Skip to content

CUES RealTalk! 2023 Series Playbacks

Miss the first session? Check out the playback below.

Real Talk. Real Stories.

Don’t miss the remaining sessions of this groundbreaking online discussion series that tackles the important, but often hard-to-discuss, issues impacting women in the workforce. It's free for everyone!


JULY 19, 2023

Session 1: Proving My Worth

Navigating the Intersection of Race and Gender

Get set to be inspired by CUES’ own Jimese Harkley as she shares her experiences managing diversity along her career path and within her personal life. She will also discuss how she found confidence to be herself at work and home.

Growing up, Jimese was often told, you must work twice as hard as everyone else or you’ll never get anywhere. In her professional career, she would hear you’re not ready for leadership or a promotion—words that prompted her to develop a mindset to take charge and forge a path forward.

Jimese will explore how these words resonated with her throughout her life as she delves into the intricate interplay of gender and race. You’ll learn about the unique challenges she has faced—and the opportunities for growth and representation she found along the way. You’ll hear about:

  • Building a career—standing out and finding opportunities
  • Challenges those in the double diversity world face such as extreme perceptions and a higher competency threshold   
  • How race dynamics factor into it all
  • Finding confidence along the way  


The following resources were discussed in the live chat during the session:
If you want to learn more from Jimese, you can find all of her content for CU Management magazine here.

August 16, 2023

Session 2: Dear CU Leaders: We’re here, but not for long.

Managing Your Career Amid Executive Indifference 

Credit unions are full of emerging leaders and young professionals who are excited about the industry and believe in what it stands for. Despite this, the future of the movement may very well be on the line—due to executive indifference.

The shrinking number of credit unions combined with senior-level leaders who are on the brink of burnout and unwilling or unable to build the next generation up concerned Rachel Guyselman enough that she recently penned two open letters to the industry–Dear Fellow CU Leaders: Why There's So Much Uncertainty in This Profession and Dear CU Leaders: A Letter From the Future of the Movement.

In them, Rachel points out that many of the industry’s emerging leaders are experiencing indifference, distance, and perhaps even worse—an unwillingness to change and unwillingness to listen—from their CEOs, executive leaders, and even their boards.  

Why the indifference and reluctance to change? Why are we seeing so many CEOs simply awaiting their retirement, when the credit union will likely merge due to the aforementioned indifference? And what can you do about it, to save not only your career—but also the movement?  

Whether you’re an emerging leader, young professional, or a seasoned executive, you’ll walk away with great tips and ideas on ways to approach these difficult conversations that will lead to greatness.


The following resources were discussed in the live chat during the session:
Check out for more Emerging Leader resources.

September 20, 2023

Session 3: From the Brink of Burnout

How Organizations and Leaders Can Support Working Women

Laurie discusses her personal journey of balancing the demands of career and family while dealing with feelings of not being or doing enough for anyone. We’ll discuss:

  • The realities women face when aspiring to have a thriving career and personal life, and the impact the tradeoffs have on meeting your professional goals
  • How leadership has evolved to help, and what still needs to be done
  • Managing the balancing act that is life


The following resources were discussed in the live chat during the session:

October 25, 2023

Special Session: A Journey of Empowerment and Excellence in Leadership

As the first female CEO at CUES, Heather brings a unique perspective on advancing women in leadership. Discover insights from her 30+ years of experience and learn how she shattered glass ceilings while staying true to her passion for people and community.

  • Charting an Unconventional Path: Heather's journey to the CEO position at CUES highlights the value of unconventional career paths and seizing opportunities.
  • Embracing Adaptive Leadership: Learn the importance of adapting your leadership style throughout your career and harnessing the power of feedback for personal and professional growth.
  • Mastering Modern Leadership Challenges: Gain invaluable insights on how credit unions and leaders can effectively navigate the evolving landscape of workplace flexibility in the post-pandemic era.


The following resources were discussed in the live chat during the session:
  • Check out Advancing Women from CU Management magazine for more insights and inspiration for women in credit unions.
  • Five credit union CEOs tell the story of their climb to the top in The Leader Ladder.
  • CUES has partnered with Harvard ManageMentor®, an online resource program, which includes more than 40 topics addressing these critical management issues and more. Each online topic includes the practical advice and tools you need to succeed. Learn more here.
  • CUES members have access to two mentoring guides, one for staff and one for board directors. You can find these member benefits in your myCUES Dashboard.
  • Article: Overtasking the Multitasker
  • Laurie talks about having it all without doing it all in this article. Hint it involves “no”.
  • Article: Women in the Workforce and The Double Bind
  • The CUES Emerge program is another great way to develop your career and it will return in 2024. Watch for more information.
  • CUES Advanced Management Program with Cornell is an excellent way to grow in your career, especially if you aspire to the c-suite.
  • Harvard ManageMentor has a class on Ethics at Work.
  • Find more from CUES CEO Heather McKissick here.
  • Laurie is a frequent contributor to CUES CU Management magazine. Find all her content here.

November 15, 2023

Session 4: How We Got Here: Lessons From the Firsts

Inspiring Stories from Female CEOs

Gain insights and wisdom from trailblazing women who became the first female CEOs at their respective credit unions. These pioneering leaders will share their journeys, shedding light on the challenges they faced, the strategies they employed to overcome obstacles, and the invaluable lessons they learned along the way.


The following resources were discussed in the live chat during the session:

RealTalk! Series Playback Archive

Loving this content? Check out the archived playbacks from last year!

Already Waiting for RealTalk 2024?

Join our interest list and be the first to know when details are released.