MADISON, Wis.—As credit unions worldwide carefully manage expenses to overcome the challenges presented by the global financial crisis, they recognize that cultivating future credit union leadership is more critical than ever. As a result, credit unions around the world are stepping forward to support the Global Women's Leadership Network, launched earlier this year by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF). The network is designed to enable women credit union leaders to connect, communicate and seek confidential advice from their peers around the world.
WOCCU and CDF are raising funds for the network to provide women in both developed and developing countries with credit union resources to lead economic growth in their communities. Leaders who join the network will also gain access to the peer advisory group online and receive periodic updates on relevant credit union issues for women.
In addition to expanding access to financial services for women in developing countries, funds raised through the network will enable women credit union CEOs from 10 developing countries to participate in the first Global Women's Leadership Forum, the network's inaugural gathering, which will be held in conjunction with WOCCU's World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain, July 26-29. To date, women leaders from Afghanistan, Belarus, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Kenya, Macedonia, Mexico, the Philippines and Sri Lanka will join the forum there.
Participation in the Global Women's Leadership Forum is by invitation only. The forum is designed to tap the leadership experience of women who are credit union CEOs and executive team members, retired credit union executives, credit union volunteers and executives of credit union partner organizations. However, any individual contributing US$250 or more to support women's leadership development through credit unions in developing countries automatically becomes a network member.
Current network members at the Forum level and above include:
For complete information about the network and becoming a member, visit www.woccu.org/womensleadership, or contact Valerie Breunig, WOCCU, at firstname.lastname@example.org. In Canada, contact Julie Breuer, CDF, email@example.com.
CDF also has established an educational Website devoted to exploring women's issues as related to commerce, credit and social challenges. The Website, open to the public, can be accessed at www.coopscanada.coop/global.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.