As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we would like to take the time to reflect and recognise the role that strong female leaders play in our organisation’s success and culture.

The International Women’s Day theme for 2021 is Choose to Challenge, and celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

MOVE Bank’s very own Therese Turner was the youngest CEO in credit union history and is a strong female role model, not only within our team but the customer-owned banking sector as a whole. Therese has shared with us some insights about her journey as a woman in leadership.

What do you think is the most significant challenge to female leadership?

The most significant challenge I see for female leadership is breaking through to CEO roles. While there is an unprecedented number of women in leadership positions, we still represent a small portion of the country’s leaders. There is a bias, whether conscious or unconscious, that can act as a barrier to women striving to climb the corporate ladder.

CEO roles, in particular, are still unrepresented by women, with only around 15% of CEO positions held by women in the mutual banking industry. There are positive signs that things are changing though, with the majority of appointments to CEO roles in the mutual industry being awarded to women over the past few years.

 

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

One of the best pieces of advice I could give to future female leaders is to get outside of your comfort zone by putting yourself forward for promotions, projects, and serving on industry committees.

In discussions with emerging female leaders, I often find there is a reluctance to put themselves forward as they feel they are not ready and still have some boxes to tick before making their next move. The reality is that they are creating barriers to their success.

The chance that a perfect role will present itself is rare, which is why I encourage the next generation of female leaders to take risks and think differently, be confident that you are just as worthy of a seat at the table as anyone else.

We are proud to have a team full of strong women here at MOVE Bank and want to take this moment to thank them for the role they have played in growing and shaping our organisation.

Happy International Women’s Day, not just today but every day!