2013 Global Women’s Leadership Forum Addresses Advancement in CU Women Leadership
Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky co-author, supports women’s potential to further economic development
Sheryl WuDunn, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, discusses women's economic empowerment at the 2013 Global Women's Leadership Forum in Ottawa, Canada.
OTTAWA, Canada — More than 110 women credit union leaders from 12
countries gathered in Ottawa, Canada, yesterday for the 2013 Global
Women’s Leadership Forum, held in conjunction with World Council of
Credit Unions’ World Credit Union Conference, to discuss the advancement
of credit union women leadership. Participants heard from keynote
speaker Sheryl WuDunn, New York Times bestselling author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and the first Asian-American Pulitzer Prize winner, about women’s potential to impact global development.
by MasterCard Worldwide, WuDunn presented research from her book on the
varying degrees of women's oppression worldwide. In addition to women's
education and jobs, she said that microsavings can provide women's
economic empowerment, which is a key to solving gender inequity
"There's no silver bullet. We must try different
strategies, and a lot of times what works is not always the sexiest," WuDunn
Sheryl WuDunn meets Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO, at the 2013 Global Women's Leadership Network reception.
WuDunn related her findings to the credit union
movement during a panel discussion focused on the challenges women
credit union leaders face. Teresa Freeborn, Xceed Financial Credit Union
president and CEO, moderated the discussion, which included Patrice
Pratt, Vancity Credit Union (Canada) director; Lucy Ito, California and
Nevada Credit Union Leagues (USA) executive vice president and chief
operating officer; Lisa Bonin, Servus Credit Union (Canada) corporate
procurement specialist; and Katie Smigiel, CU*Answers (USA) vice
president of organizational development.
The panel discussed
recent research on inequalities in executive positions held by women
throughout credit union systems worldwide. Their studies and personal
experiences revealed that a balance of men and women in top
decision-making positions can accelerate an organization's economic
success. Panelists suggested Network members could make a difference by
raising awareness on the importance and benefits of women leadership at
their own credit unions, especially among those in upper management.
"Women aren't the problem. They are the solution," WuDunn said.
Network announced at the forum that it is partnering with Filene
Research Institute this year to conduct a study that identifies
obstacles to leadership that women face in the credit union industry
Nicole Bice, Network manager, (left) presents the 2013 Athena Award to Roxanne Ostrem (right), Ventura County Credit Union director, on behalf of the Global Women's Leadership Network at Saturday's Global Women's Leadership Network reception in Ottawa, Canada.
Prior to the forum, Roxanne Ostrem, Ventura
County Credit Union (Calif., USA) director, was honored with the Global
Women's Leadership Network's 2013 Athena Award Saturday evening at the
Global Women's Leadership Network reception. The annual award is named
for the Greek goddess of reason, intelligence, arts and agriculture, and
honors outstanding achievement in support of credit union development,
particularly as it relates to credit union women's leadership
development worldwide. Ostrem has been a credit union advocate for more
than 20 years and is a founding member of the Global Women's Leadership
Network. She has tirelessly volunteered her time to changing the lives
of Hispanic field workers in her community by leading the "Boots in the
Dirt" campaign with World Council, in which Ventura County Credit Union
staff delivers financial services to field workers using iPhone
The Global Women's Leadership Network meets
annually in conjunction with the World Credit Union Conference. More
than 2,000 people from 61 countries are attending the World Credit Union
Conference this week in Ottawa, Canada, where they are learning from
experts in mobile banking, social media and corporate leadership,
visiting local credit unions and networking with international peers at a
variety of special events. The conference ends July 17 with World
Council's annual awards ceremony and closing night reception at the
Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Follow conference activities, including daily event photos, on World Council's Facebook and Twitter pages at www.facebook.com/WOCCU and www.twitter.com/WOCCU using #WCUC2013.
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 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
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Contact: Rebecca Carpenter
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions