International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th annually and in 2023 the theme is Embrace Equity. The figures outlined below demonstrate women’s integral role within HSSCU at every level of the credit union.
Women In HSSCU
- Members: 43,119 (65%)
- Board of Directors: 6 (60%)
- Senior Management: 11 (61%)
- Overall Staff: 71 (77%)
The numbers of women on our Board, senior management, and staff positively reflects HSSCU’s membership. Much of the figures provided are far ahead of our peers in the financial services sector. In general, women in Ireland are under represented in management and leadership roles. This is not the case here at HSSCU as is highlighted in the above figures.
Catherine Byrne, Chief Operations Officer, had this to say “As an organisation we’re proud of having a strong female representation across the organisation. It reflects the majority of our members that we serve and their workplaces. As a credit union we’re ahead of many of our peers and others in the financial sector in having strong presence of women across the entire organisation.”
A Key Figure
As is known, a key figure in the establishment of the Irish Credit Union movement was Nora Herilhy. Nora was a pioneer and looked to enact change for the betterment of Irish society, with a focus on those who lacked access to financial services.
She began promoting credit unions in 1958 to encourage people to assert more control over their finances, and to curtail exploitation by money-lenders who maintained a persistent threat over the lives of the poor in 1950s Ireland. What is of particular note is that at this time, finance was an area that women were not expected to be involved with. Nora continued to promote and establish credit unions all over the country until her death on February 7, 1988, which happened to be the 28th anniversary of the founding of the Irish League of Credit Unions.
Women continue to play a vital role in all aspects of HSSCU and the wider credit union movement.