Jordan van Rijn

CUNA’s van Rijn discusses leadership gender effects on CUs

July 8, 2019

CUNA Senior Economist Jordan van Rijn presented findings on the role of CEO gender at financial institutions last week at the EFiC 2019 Conference in Banking and Corporate Finance at the University of Essex Business School. During his presentation, van Rijn used NCUA and CUNA data to examine gender roles in CEO management at credit unions.

Van Rijn noted that female executives are “significantly more common at credit unions compared to other financial institutions,” as a majority (52%) of credit union CEOs are female. This is approximately 10 times greater than the rate of female CEOs at banks (5%).

Looking at only institutions of the same size—U.S. banks and credit unions with between $1b and $3b in assets—14.2% of credit union CEOs are female versus only 3.6% of bank CEOs.

“In other words, a CEO of a credit union is about four times more likely to be female than a CEO of a bank, even after accounting for differences in asset size,” he added.

Van Rijn added that findings in the data do not support the academic literature regarding fundamental gender differences in risk management, but rather gender differences are small and context specific. On the other hand, male-led credit unions do appear to grow significantly faster than female-led credit unions, on average, in terms of loans, memberships and merger-acquisitions; however, there are no significant gender differences in earnings.