Centric Financial is already a standout in terms of elevating women to leadership positions. Its latest initiative encourages those leaders to become more visible in their communities by pursuing board positions at local organizations.
Sandra Schultz, the chief financial officer at Centric, was appointed in March to the board of trustees of the Cleve J. Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill, Pa. Centric has long had a presence in Camp Hill, and backing the library was seen as a way to further support the region.
"This is more than just a library; it is a resource for expanding job skills, providing access to computers and electronic media and satisfying other needs of the community," said Schultz, who also will serve on the organization's finance committee. "It is an opportunity to lend my expertise to them, providing them with financial insight and support."
Centric is one of only about a dozen banking companies nationwide with women in the CEO and CFO roles, so it takes the mantle of women in leadership seriously.
Two other female senior executives joined Schultz in responding to a challenge by President and Chief Executive Patricia "Patti" Husic to seek out leadership positions in the community.
Chief retail officer Leslie Meck joined the advisory board of the The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region, and Philadelphia market leader Michele Light was appointed to the board of the YWCA Bucks County. Husic is on the board of the Geisinger Holy Spirit hospital and is past chair of the American Heart Association Capital Region Go Red campaign.
It's good business for a community bank to be active in its local markets, and not only a potential boost to the resumes of the executives involved but also an example to younger women at Centric and at other businesses. If they see more women in leadership roles, they are more likely to aspire to that as well.
Husic said she was motivated in part by statistics showing that over the last 10 years the number of women on Fortune 1000 boards has not changed significantly.
More 2017 Top Teams:
She said she frequently hears complaints from businesses that they struggle to find qualified women for leadership roles. In response she planned to host a "Women Centric: Prepared to Lead" event in September as a step toward building a networking and educational resource for women in the community.
"Our response to the lack of board diversity and women in the C-suite is to be part of the solution," Husic said.
She hopes the program will support and encourage women who want to advance into decision-making positions.
Centric is being recognized for having one of the Top Teams in Banking, as part of our Most Powerful Women in Banking program. This is a reflection of the strong female leaders there who are contributing to its strategy and bottom line and of its commitment to initiatives to help more women advance in their careers.
Schultz said the drive to increase female representation on boards, and the encouragement that women at Centric get involved personally, embodies its culture. "Patti is our champion, encouraging all of us as a team to do the same things she does as leader of the organization," she said.
Headquarters: Harrisburg, Pa.
2016 Financial highlights:
Assets: $481.9 million
Female representation among corporate officers: 67% (2 of 3)
Female representation on operating committee: 67% (4 of 6)
The Team: Andrea Ahern, Mary Anne Bayer, Stacy Beeler, Deborah Block, Vickie Broughton, Maura Cohen, Peggy Elder, Tania Fleming, Jan Hastings, Patricia Husic, Michele Light, Florence Lynch, Leslie Meck, Molly O'Keefe, Veronica Rodgers, Cheryl Sakalosky, Sandra Schultz, Gethen Wilson.
Centric also had a Top Team win in 2016.