For me it's really important to note that as a woman being in a position of leadership twenty, twenty five, thirty years you attract all kinds of attention and not all of it obviously good. So there were a lot of opportunities, but there was also a lot of notice that you got and navigating that is difficult and is still difficult. I have all women who work for me, and it’s still difficult for young women I think to navigate any world where it's dominated by men and especially men at the top. And for me, as I read though some of your questions like, ‘What would you advise women today,’ my take on it even from a young age was, I'm not going to be afraid to be out front, I'm not going to be afraid to fail, and I'm not going be afraid to speak up. And so you know what, I really always wanted to move forward, and the only way to move forward was to be out front sometimes, so I would get on boards, and every board I got on I went through what they call the chairs. So I would become secretary and treasurer then vice chair, then chair, because I wanted to do it and I wanted other women to see a women in that position. And I always show—so that's a picture of me [pointing at photo with Karen and about 15 men, all in suits] and all guys. That's the state trade association board. And it's me with, now there was another woman but she wasn't in the picture but it's like okay, you know what, we cannot be afraid to be out from like that. And I always thought of myself as an equal. Whether anybody else did or not was not really my problem. That’s how I looked at it. I looked at myself as an equal so when I went into that boardroom and sat down with all those guys I spoke up, I said what I thought. And they didn't always treat me as an equal, but that doesn't mean I didn't behave as if I expected them to.
Karen Duffy was born in Melrose, MA and currently lives in Shrewsbury, MA. She is the CEO of Worcester Credit Union and an active member of the Worcester community. In this interview, Karen discusses many of her life experiences encompassing both her family and work life. She talks about where she has lived, including some time she spent in Scotland while her ex-husband was stationed there in the Navy. In her family life, Karen reflects on her experience with her youngest daughter coming out as gay, how she and her ex-husband reacted, and how they grew to support their daughter.