Fifty credit union women walk into a room

Leadership, data and GWLN’s Executive Readiness Summit

What do you find when you have a room filled with credit union women? Learning on all things leadership. Relationship building that goes beyond networking activities. Women not afraid to be authentic and vulnerable, showing true emotions (laughter and tears)! And a deep look into the data for women in leadership on a national and international scale.

The Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) held its annual Executive Readiness Summit in November and was hosted by HAPO Community Credit Union in Richland, Washington. This experiential and inspirational workshop for credit union women in mid- to high-tiered positions fostered professional development through vibrant sessions and a look at the data for women in leadership and barriers that women still face.

The feedback provided to GWLN was very positive and some of the attendee comments showed us how impactful our work is.

“The ERS event last week was a highlight of my year, affirmation of our Credit Union movement and excitement to energize our Virginia Sister Society moving forward. The agenda, content, presenters, networking opportunities, host, venue…I could go on, were all spot-on, thank you again GWLN!” (First time attendee)

“The event was nothing short of amazing, and it was a privilege for HAPO Community Credit Union to be a part of it. Your hard work and dedication in putting together such an inspiring gathering did not go unnoticed. From the selection of speakers to the overall organization, every aspect resonated perfectly with our audience. 

I have received countless positive comments and feedback from attendees who were genuinely moved by the impactful sessions and the empowering atmosphere you created. This event truly made a lasting impression on our entire team.

Thank you once again for entrusting us with this significant event. It’s partnerships like these that strengthen our community.” (Crystal Contreras, Community Relations Director, HAPO Community Credit Union)

But, we also examined the gender data and highlighted how we still have work to do!! Some of the astounding numbers that we shared for women on a global scale:

In the United States, CUNA’s “Women in Credit Union Leadership”, October 2023 report showed us that more than half of credit union CEOs are women with 51.2% compared to 3.7% at banks. However, both at credit unions and banks, women CEOs are concentrated in smaller institutions.

And as we dove further into the report, we found that the largest credit unions are the most likely to have gender diversity on their board, with just 2.6% of credit unions with over $1 billion in total assets having no women on their board.

The sessions showed us once again how we must all collectively take action to move the needle for women and close the gender gap.

At GWLN, we look to continue engaging our audiences to change the numbers for women! JOIN US!


GWLN – To learn more about how to get engaged, apply for a scholarship, join as a member, or start a Sister Society, visit the page here. To join the effort to Bridge the Gender Gap, you can donate here.


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Lena Giakoumopoulos

Lena Giakoumopoulos

Giakoumopoulos has over 20 years of international experience working in 15 countries in western, central and eastern Europe. Prior to joining the World Council, she worked for consultancies funding European ... Web: Details