CUNA Study Finds 51% of Credit Union CEOs are Women

May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021
Washington, DC


CUNA Study Finds 51% of Credit Union CEOs are Women

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) released a new industry report that found 51% of U.S. credit union CEOs – and 33% of board members – are women. The “Women in Credit Union Leadership” issues brief examines the extent to which women are represented in leadership positions at credit unions compared to commercial banks.

“Women are significantly underrepresented in executive positions across all industries, particularly within the financial services sector,” said CUNA Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Samira Salem. “America’s credit unions are bucking this trend and our research shows that women not only have a seat at the table, but also play a major role in the financial success of the institution.” 

Key findings of the study include: 

  • A majority (51%) of credit union CEOs are women – more than 15 times higher than the rate of women CEOs at banks (3%).
  • Among U.S. banks and credit unions between $1 billion to $5 billion in assets, 13% of credit union CEOs are women versus only 2% of bank CEOs.
  • At both banks and credit unions, women CEOs are relatively more common at smaller institutions.
  • A board member of a credit union is about twice as likely to be a woman – 33% of credit union board members are women as opposed to 16% of members of bank boards.

CUNA economists sampled 163 publicly traded commercial with less than $5 billion in total assets to compare against the credit union industry. The trade association published a similar issues brief in 2018, which also reflected that women in leadership roles are significantly more common at credit unions compared to other financial institutions. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed nearly 3 million women out of the workforce and women in senior management have been among the hardest hit. Our industry is working diligently to provide opportunities for women to remain employed and to achieve equity as they move toward the C-suite. We are also encouraged by the number of women who serve on the boards of their local credit unions,” Salem added. “While we are encouraged by our findings, we also know that there is more work to be done and we, as a movement, are committed to doing more.”

You can read the issue brief in full here



About CUNA:           
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 120 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


Lauren Williams
CUNA Communications