FOUNDING A WOMEN'S BANK
If Rita McCoy had stood by her first reaction to the proposal, she certainly wouldn't be where she is today—president and CEO of The Women's Bank in San Diego. For she readily admits that when the founders of the bank came to her that March of 1975 to offer the post of president, her immediate inclination was to tell them, "No way!"
"1 was afraid they were a group of radical feminists with whom I'd have absolutely nothing in common," says the bank executive, smiling as she recalls her concern.
As she soon discovered, however, the founders of The Women's Bank were far from flaming radicals. In
fact, what the group had in mind was a bank which would provide personalized banking service to all individuals, as well as special services to women (such as free financial guidance for the recently widowed or divorced). Convinced by their plans, Rita McCoy accepted the post.
For the new president, that decision has entailed more than a year of grueling work. She spent her first months in the job crisscrossing the state in search of investors for the bank's initial stock offering. The bank was able to raise the one and a half million dollars it needed for capitalization by January 31, 1976, five months after the stock went on sale. With that goal achieved, the CEO redirected her energies to preparing the bank for opening day—March 31. Since then, she has worked as many as 14 hours a day, six days a week, to make The Women's Bank a going concern.
If anyone can make it a success, many are convinced Rita McCoy is the one to do it. Her credentials are impeccable. A graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she has held nearly every post in banking during her 18 years in the profession, earning the respect of both fellow bankers and employees along the way.
Still, her personality probably has had as much to do with her success as her background. Hardly a bold and brassy feminist, Rita McCoy is reserved in speech and manner, poised and well dressed—indeed,