Global Women’s Leadership Network Addressed at Breakfast Event

CUs applauded for community economic development efforts.

February 28, 2013
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Women credit union leaders from more than 23 states around the country gathered at the National Museum of Women in the Arts during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference to discuss current issues facing women in the industry and to hear from high-caliber speakers about the role of credit unions and women in economic development.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, who co-sponsored the credit union member business lending bill earlier this year in Congress, spoke to the group of 105 credit union executives and board members about the important role credit unions play in economic development. She said many small businesswomen have been able to contribute to their local economies through the help of their credit unions.
 
Bonamici applauded the group of women for the work they were doing and encouraged them to continue helping each other and to see value in learning different points of view. She ended with a quote from Madeline Albright: "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."
 
Laida Garcia, floridacentral Credit Union president/CEO and Network member, found the networking opportunity both educational and inspiring.
 
"Special guest speakers like Congresswoman Bonamici made the event extremely meaningful," Garcia said. "Not only is she a great role model for women in leadership positions, but she is also a friend of credit unions who gets that raising the member business lending cap is about helping small business. We need more leaders on Capitol Hill who share her perspective and support the passage of H.R. 688, the Credit Unions Small Business Jobs Creation Bill."
 
The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) helped bring Bonamici to the event because of her support of women's issues at the congressional level.
 
"Rep. Bonamici is a powerful example of what it means to be a credit union champion," said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUA vice president of legislative advocacy and Network member. "She understands the unique structure of Oregon's credit unions and the critical role credit unions play in their communities. Her first official action in Congress was to sign the credit union MBL bill last year, and she is back fighting for us again this year."
 
Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO, also addressed the group, as well as Teresa Freeborn, Xceed Financial Credit Union president/CEO, and Zixta Martinez, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau assistant director of community affairs.
 
The Global Women's Leadership Network is a World Council of Credit Unions program that connects credit union women around the world to engage in personal and professional growth, international credit union development and peer networking and support. 
 
More than 350 women from 35 countries have been involved with the network since its inception, with regional sister societies in multiple locations including Canada, Fiji, Jamaica and the United States. Learn more at www.CUwomen.org

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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