Credit union women find the “Power of I Am” at Executive Readiness Summit

Annual Global Women’s Leadership Network event goes virtual for 2020

MADISON, WI (November 2, 2020) — More than 130 credit union women from five continents engaged with industry experts, thought leaders and one another to learn more about leadership skills, and personal and financial wellness at the Global Women’s Leadership Network’s (GWLN) 2020 Executive Readiness Summit, held October 28-30.

Sponsored by  CO-OP Financial ServicesPSCUCUNA Mutual Group and eLeadership Academy™, the Summit attracted a truly international audience for the first time, because it was held through a virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the past, the Summit was held to address the challenge in identifying women to join the pipeline for open C-suite positions. It was an in-person event focused only on a U.S. audience. This year’s virtual platform provided the opportunity for GWLN members and Sister Society leaders from across the globe to participate as well. Despite the very late hours in their time zones, our international participants stayed on, engaged throughout the Summit and showed their commitment to advancing women in society,” said Lena Giakoumopoulos, GWLN Program Director.

With 10 sessions over three days, presenters such as Jill Nowacki, CEO, Humanidei & O’Rourke, Lisa Hayes, CEO, Through-The-Hayes and Sandra McDowell, Founder of eLeadership Academy™ focused on values in the workplace as drivers for success, executive presence and building personal resilience.

The major focus of GWLN as a program is to provide tools and resources for more women to grow personally and professionally, advancing to leadership positions in credit unions across the globe. That’s why several sessions on leadership skills took center stage, including a diverse panel of leaders sharing professional journeys, insights and recommendations to attendees.

“We need to shut down the voices that hold us back and use our authenticity to propel our teams,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Experience Officer, Co-Op Financial Services, who gave a presentation on Leadership Skills for Today.

Linda Nedelcoff, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Human Resources Officer for CUNA Mutual Group, urged attendees to push for a new blueprint for women in the workforce.

“We can’t afford to lose women in the workplace, so we need to be aggressive. We need to be allies and ask more of our allies,” said Nedelcoff.

Financial wellness was another focus of the Summit. Merry Pateuk, Senior Vice President for Industry Engagement at PSCU, gave examples of mistakes attendees should avoid.

“Know your money story, take an active role in your finances, and increase your savings and investing. These are key drivers of financial health. Knowing and understanding your financial health, along with your personal and mental health is critical,” said Pateuk.

About World Council of Credit Unions

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, 87,914 credit unions in 118 countries serve 393 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


Greg Neumann
WOCCU Director of Communications

More News