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GWLN: Embrace Our New Normal

Eleni Giakoumopoulos, Program Director of WOCCU's Global Women's Leadership Network, writes about how credit union women face unique challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we come to the end of a month that celebrates International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we have found ourselves embracing a new normal.

This new normal for women, credit unions, working environments, families and the entire globe seems more important than ever today.

The social and economic disruption caused by the pandemic will likely hit women hard. As families face heightened tensions, financial uncertainties and other pressures, women face intensified vulnerabilities. School closures, restricted travel and care-taking for aged relatives increase the burdens already faced by women.

For many women this year’s new normal brings unprecedented challenges alongside the usual demands of contributing to their families’ financial and emotional well-being.

Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) encourages all to embrace our new normal and share the care: 

  • Post and share stories of the new normal at your credit union through social media.
  • Stay connected with colleagues, friends and loved ones through a number of online platforms (video calls, online meetings and social “chats”).
  • Use your video!!!!! You may be physically apart, but it’s important to see everyone on your calls.
  • Send notes of inspiration, humorous anecdotes of a work/life balance that entails work from home (for those who have the opportunity to do so) and positive messages to Sister Society leaders/members, both domestic and global during this time of uncertainty.
  • Be comfortable in sharing your fear. You are not in this alone!
  • Rejoice in the daily wins, professional and personal (nothing is too small).
  • Breathe and take care of YOU!!! Personal well-being, daily exercise, taking walks, yoga, meditation, and regular time outs for yourself are necessary for YOU!!

Nancy Herbert, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Boardroom Sage LLC, credit union board member and GWLN member says, “One of the benefits of change is that it provides an opportunity to look at our world through a new lens. I believe how we live through this change, how we stay connected and emotionally engaged while socially/physically distant, is pivotal in our transition from who we are today to who we are when we find our safe path out of this forest of obstacles.”

GWLN encourages all to overcommunicate with each other to get through this! Among all the things on your plate during this time, it is now #Timetosharethecare. This should be the only #Newnormal!

This post originally appeared in Field Notes: A Blog of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions.

GWLN membership is open to all women and men in the credit union industry. To learn more, visit GWLN, donate or connect on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.