Summit Credit Union launches ‘Equity in Money’ initiative
Cooperative’s multi-faceted plan aims to improve financial well-being of women
MADISON, WI (March 13, 2023) — As the nation prepares to honor Equal Pay Day March 14, Summit Credit Union announced its financial wellness initiative Equity in Money, which focuses on solutions for pay inequities between men and women.
Summit said it wants to inspire progress for equal pay in Wisconsin, where women earn 80 cents for every $1 earned by men. At the current rate, women in Wisconsin will not reach equal pay status until 2067.
The credit union started the conversation with advertising and will continue it with an ongoing Pay Equity Dashboard on Summit’s website that will transparently track the cooperative’s record on pay equity. Later this year, the credit union will debut loan programs and scholarships for women.
“At Summit we are committed to helping to close the wealth gap between women and men because it is good for our members and for our communities. The pay gap makes it more difficult for women to save and can also create higher debt, which can lead to poverty for women, especially in retirement,” said Kim Sponem, CEO & President. Sponem published a column March 12 on her initiative in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Women age 65 or older are about 43% more likely than men to live on an income below the poverty level. And about 65% of the elderly poor are women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Pay inequity leads to more than $500 billion in lost earning power annually for women, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Summit’s research showed not only the need for pay parity for women and men in similar positions, but also a need for increased representation in leadership jobs. There are not enough women getting promotions or breaking into higher-paid jobs and fields and that slows efforts to close the overall pay gap.
“As a leading financial institution in Wisconsin we want to inspire a conversation about pay equity and representation gaps in our industry and our communities,” Sponem said. “Summit is committed to ensuring fair pay for similar work for all our colleagues, while recognizing performance and experience levels. Helping women get into higher level positions within companies and boards will help reduce the pay gap as well.”
About Summit Credit Union (WI)
Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative. Summit holds $5 billion in assets and has more than 226,000 members and 799 employees across 49 locations throughout south-central and southeastern Wisconsin. Kim Sponem has been CEO & President of Summit Credit Union, and its predecessor organization, CUNA Credit Union/Great Wisconsin Credit Union, since 2002. Recognized for its excellence in employee engagement, Summit was named a Top Workplace in the USA in 2021 and 2022 by Top Workplaces USA and a Top Workplace in the Madison area for 2022 and 2021 by the Wisconsin State Journal.
For more information, visit www.summitcreditunion.com or call 608-243-5000 or 800-236-5560.
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