CUNA study finds women in credit union leadership lead the pack


The Credit Union National Association (CUNA)’s latest industry report reveals that the percentage of women in CEO positions is significantly higher at credit unions than banks, continuing the trend from earlier reports. The “Women in Credit Union Leadership Issues Brief” investigates the extent to which women are represented in leadership positions at credit unions compared to commercial banks.

“There’s a lot of good news in this report. First, credit unions continue to be the one place where women can get a fair shake when it comes to leadership positions—both on boards and in the C-Suite. And significantly, since the last report we’ve seen a growing percentage of women leading larger credit unions,” said CUNA Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Samira Salem.

Highlights of the study include:

  • a majority (51%) of credit union CEOs are women—nearly 14 times higher than the percentage of women CEOs at banks (4%).
  • a comparison of larger credit unions and banks (>$1B), shows that a CEO of a credit union is five times more likely to be a woman than a CEO of a bank.
  • a board member of a credit union is more than 1.5 times as likely to be a woman. In 2022, 36.5 percent of credit union board members were women compared to 23.3 percent of bank board members.
  • the largest credit unions are the most likely to have gender diversity on their board, with just 2.6 percent of credit unions with more than $1 billion in total assets having no women on their board.

“These results, which eclipse what we find at banks, should be celebrated. At the same time, our research demonstrates that we still need to identify and remove the remaining barriers to women making even more headway on credit union boards and as CEOs of larger credit unions,” Salem added.

CUNA economists sampled 162 publicly traded banks with less than $22 billion in total assets to compare against the credit union industry.

Read the full report

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