International Women’s Day Series: Branching Out With Modern, Personal Experiences, Part 1

ORNL FCU’s Janita Clausell leverages branch transformation to help make members’ money management efforts easier.

Credit unions are shattering the glass ceiling; more than half of CEOs are female, a statistic that proves our industry’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. While a majority of female CEOs lead smaller institutions, executives are rising through the ranks at credit unions of all sizes, challenging the historically male-driven financial services sector. The largest credit union in the world is now being led by a woman. Female credit union executives are improving the status quo of their institutions by calling attention to gender diversity; they are leading the charge in reimagining better processes and modernizing credit unions.

Such change is particularly pertinent in branch transformation. Credit unions are embracing an increasingly digital banking environment and, as a result, must adjust traditional branching strategy to offer a unified experience and make the most of personal time with members. Transforming branch processes and flow is a cultural shift that requires strong leadership involvement and support.

In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, I had the pleasure of speaking with several female executives representing Symitar Episys core credit unions of different asset sizes from across the country. Each is making a dramatic and lasting impact on their branch infrastructure and services, and they shared how their transformations differentiate their institutions. They highlighted the process, best practices, challenges and successes incurred as they lead their institutions through a journey to a more modern branch presence. These professionals serve as an inspiration for all of us looking to improve the credit union industry with innovative ideas and personal member service.


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