Women As Their Household’s Chief Purchasing Officer

Women As Their Household’s Chief Purchasing Officer
February 8, 2017 Marketing


Ask Lourdes

Volume 4 Issue 2

Women As Their Household’s Chief Purchasing Officer

By Lourdes Cortez

Last month’s Women’s March was an incredibly empowering movement which demonstrated the unity of women all over the world. The event demonstrated that no matter your race, ethnicity or financial background, we all share a common goal; promoting and initiating impactful and beneficial change.  Imagine if women came together for a common financial goal? The tools needed for financial empowerment and change are already at our fingertips: buying power and accessibility to financial resources for personal financial growth.

Currently, women have tremendous buying power in America — and it’s growing.  Market estimates put women’s total purchasing prowess from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually (source Nielsen Consumer 04-02-2013). It is estimated that approximately 85% of total consumer dollars spent are purchases conducted by women. The Federal Reserve estimates that women will control two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2020. As a result, it is no surprise that women can have greater influence on the U.S. economy, and exercise more authority over household financial decisions, as well as planning for retirement.

This is a significant shift in the way we should view potential business opportunities and our own financial empowerment.  Female economic influence is on the verge of a massive power shift, where women can, if they choose, seize the reins of economic control.  They are “The Third Billion,” meaning that, globally, women are the next emerging economy.   Take note, get informed and make better financial choices for you and your family’s future. More importantly, now is the time to prepare your daughters to take on the reigns of “Chief Purchasing Officer.”

North Jersey Federal Credit Union believes in financially empowering its community members by providing them with access to financial literacy organizations like, GreenPath Financial Wellness, a financial wellness website that provides free financial literacy information to our members. GreenPath services include budgeting, debt management, housing counseling, credit report review, and student loan counseling. Visit njfcu.org, click on the “Learning Center” tab at the top of the website and then click on “GreenPath” on the dropdown menu. Let us all be empowered to build a strong financial future for ourselves and for our children.


Lourdes Cortez began her professional banking career in 1984 as a representative at the North Jersey Federal Credit Union (North Jersey Federal).  After progressing through several positions, she became CEO in 2005. In the past 10 years, North Jersey Federal’s assets have steadily grown from $171 million to $233 million.  As the first Latina CEO of a major credit union in NJ, not only has Lourdes’ stewardship increased the assets of North Jersey Federal, but her commitment to giving back to the community has been tremendous. As CEO, Lourdes crystalized the credit union’s community involvement with the creation of the North Jersey Federal Credit Union Foundation. One example of the foundation’s work includes building the first student-run credit union in NJ. Other organizations that have received support from the foundation include Autism Radio, Boys & Girls Club, Boy and Girl Scouts, Eva’s Village and the Marines Care Organization.
Lourdes has been honored by NJ Biz magazine as one of the Best 50 Women in Business in NJ, the 2015 Brava Awards from SmartCEO and the 2015 CIANJ/Commerce Magazine Best Practices Awards, among other accolades.  Recently, Lourdes was appointed to the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.