Credit unions global women’s leadership network celebrates its 10th anniversary
15 Feb 19
The Global Women’s Leadership network was set up in 2009 as a special programme run by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) to facilitate greater gender balance among credit union leadership roles. Since 2009 the network has provided 52 scholarships to women from 22 countries.
The network has grown to include more than 2,600 members and nearly 100 sister societies across 18 countries. It has raised over $2.5m to make a difference for women involved in credit unions and their families.
Speaking at the most recent Global Women Leadership Network strategic planning session, Susan Mitchell, founding chair of the Network, congratulated all volunteers and supporters for the "incredible momentum in 2018", Susan added that "We need to think big in 2019 to grow our membership and build our brand to create a scale that will enhance our impact locally and globally".
Last year, Pioneer Mutual Credit Union’s, Beth Welsh was awarded one of five scholarships to join the credit union sector’s Global Women’s Leadership Network and began her scholarship at the 2018 World Credit Union Conference in Singapore.
Speaking about the scholarship at last year’s WOCCU conference, Beth said: “Attending WCUC as part of my Global Women’s Leaders Network scholarship was an amazing, inspirational and motivational experience, to have the opportunity to network and learn from the credit union leaders of today and tomorrow was priceless.
“It was empowering to see the global movement in action and the social impact credit unions have across the world, through people helping people. The peer to peer learning from credit unions across the globe was invaluable and the connections made will have a positive impact within Pioneer Mutual, and hopefully beyond in the British movement, to enable us to flourish and grow.
“One of the key messages that I have taken away from WCCU is that our similarities are greater than our differences; regardless of size or location ethical finance is at the heart of everything we do and we all have the same mission to help our members and communities.
"As part of the scholarship, I had the opportunity to partake in the Global Women's Diversity & Inclusion Conference Track, which is dedicated to empowering and advancing women and young leaders within the credit union movement through professional development and networking. The key theme that I took from this was that we must embrace our differences and embed equality within our culture through attitude and not through policy alone.
“Spending time with the other 3 scholarship winners from Cameroon, Malawi and Canada was a great chance to gain a detailed insight into how the sector operates in these countries”.