WOCCU Accepting Applications for Board ‘Observers’

New Fellowship initiative designed for credit union women and young professionals

April 05, 2023

MADISON, Wis.—Emerging credit union leaders under the age of 40 and women of any age are invited to apply for a new fellowship program that will designate one person from each of those categories as “Observers” on the World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) Board of Directors.

The WOCCU Fellowship is designed to promote the representation of women and emerging leaders in governance roles—something that is both a shared goal and ongoing challenge among credit unions and financial cooperatives across our global movement.

The WOCCU Board of Directors embraced the new initiative to inspire future leaders and give a voice to new perspectives in our industry, while supporting individuals on their professional journeys. Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) and the World Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP) will work with the Board to implement the new program.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to show how women and young leaders can bring value to governance roles, while allowing World Council to boost its relevance with these key demographic groups that are so important to growing our international movement,” said Diana Dykstra, Chair of the World Council Board of Directors.

Eligibility for the WOCCU Fellowship is restricted solely to women of any age, and to emerging leaders under 40 years of age. Additionally, candidates must:

  • be employees, current board directors or members of other elected governance systems, either with a direct member of World Council or a financial cooperative institution that is affiliated with that direct member.
  • have demonstrated a leadership contribution to their community, organization, and credit union system.

Applicants must apply online by May 15, 2023, and include a resume, along with a video and essays that demonstrate their governance and leadership experience, highlight local initiatives that promote women and emerging leaders in governance, and identify strategies to address demographic gaps in governance. 

WYCUP and GWLN will jointly manage the application process across their respective networks. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than July 15.

The two applicants ultimately selected to be Observers will attend and participate in three World Council Board of Directors’ meetings over a one-year period, beginning in fall of 2023. Their travel expenses, including airfare, hotel and local transportation, will be covered by World Council, including registration to attend the 2024 World Credit Union Conference.

Observers will receive all material information provided to members of the Board but will not have formal voting rights during the Board of Directors’ meetings. They will also receive mentorship from members of the WOCCU Board, or from members of the WOCCU or Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ staff.

To apply for the 2023 WOCCU Fellowship program, click here.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform 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 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Author Photo
Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048
The WOCCU Board of Directors at the 2022 World Credit Union Conference
The WOCCU Board of Directors at the 2022 World Credit Union Conference

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