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First Global Womens Leadership Forum held
BARCELONA, Spain (8/4/09)--About 40 women leaders in the global credit union movement met last week as part of the Global Women's Leadership Network, immediately following World Council of Credit Union's (WOCCU) World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Click to view larger image Kimberley Ney of Alterna Savings & Credit Union in Canada, and forum facilitator Susan Mitchell applaud the comments of another participant at a one-day forum of the Global Women's Leadership Network, held after World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain, last week.
Click to view larger image Chetna Sinha of Mann Deshi Women's Bank in India shared her leadership experiences with fellow Global Women’s Leadership Network forum participants. (Photos provided by World Council of Credit Unions)
The network, launched earlier this year by WOCCU with the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), is the first of its kind. It brings together women credit union leaders from more than 15 countries to connect, share ideas and participate in a peer advisory program. Network members met during an inaugural one-day forum Thursday to discuss leadership issues vital to credit union growth and development worldwide. Members included CEOs, executives and board directors from credit unions and industry partners. Countries represented ranged from Australia and Belarus to Mexico and Zimbabwe. “Women worldwide play an active role in finance and economics,” said Chetna Sinha, founder and chair of India's Mann Deshi Women's Bank, network member and forum participant. “It is very important that women occupy a leadership role in this industry because women's financial leadership capabilities are extraordinary.” Despite operating in different environments, the attendees found they faced similar leadership challenges in their credit unions despite the fact their credit unions are run differently. The women discussed the critical impact they have in society and challenges they face in leadership positions. Participants also broke into small groups to discuss in-depth strategic issues such as growing market share and facilitating greater access to credit unions worldwide. WOCCU and CCA are raising funds to offer women in both developed and developing countries greater access to credit union resources that will enable them to lead in the economic development of their communities. The network provides financial support for development efforts aimed at increasing access to financial services for women in field programs. Leaders who join the network can access the peer advisory online forum and receive periodic updates on women in credit unions. “Women play a vital role in the economic well-being of families and communities worldwide,” said Brian Branch, WOCCU executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The Global Women's Leadership Network will empower women not only to increase their effectiveness, but also to bring their leadership capabilities to the forefront. And that will benefit everyone.” The 2010 Global Women's Leadership Forum will take place in Las Vegas with The 1 Credit Union Conference to be co-hosted by WOCCU and the Credit Union National Association in July. For more information, use the link.
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