The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 2015 launched “A Forum for Women in Banking” as a component of its engagement strategy. Through these annual forums, the Bank aims to build relationships with diverse industry professionals; enhance these professionals’ overall understanding of the Federal Reserve System; and help the industry retain and develop a diverse workforce at all levels.
The most recent forum, titled “Banking and the Economy,” was in October in Norman, Okla. It was presented in partnership with the Oklahoma Bankers Association and the Community Bankers Association of Oklahoma and was attended by 176 women bank leaders representing 69 organizations across Oklahoma.
“The Women in Banking forum provides a unique opportunity for an underrepresented population in the banking industry to participate in high-quality programming and networking,” said Chantell Garrett, senior stakeholder engagement adviser at the Kansas City Fed. “We are pleased to offer this professional development opportunity that supports the women bank leaders in our District.”
The forum included sessions on the economy, banking, financial technology, the U.S. payments system, tax reform and leadership strategies. Speakers included Susan Chapman Plumb, board chair and chief executive officer of Bank of Cherokee County; Shirley Davis, president of SDS Global Enterprises; Cynthia Blankenship, vice chairman and corporate president at Bank of the West; Jill Castilla, president and chief executive officer at Citizens Bank of Edmond; and Lynn Horton, American Red Cross regional executive for Oklahoma and Arkansas.