Nine Iowa Credit Union Executives Enrolled into Global Women’s Leadership Network
Contact: Emily Caropreso, Iowa Credit Union League
Des Moines, IA—Nine executives from the Iowa Credit Union League and its affiliated organizations are new enrollees into the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN), an international education and advocacy group created in 2009 by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).
“An essential aspect to leadership development is continuing education and awareness, and for credit unions that takes on a worldwide scope,” said Patrick S. Jury, President and CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League. “As members of the GWLN, our enrollees will have the opportunity to collaborate, learn, and share solutions with other credit union leaders both in the U.S. and across the globe.”
GWLN connects credit union women leaders with a worldwide network that engages them in professional and personal development through programs, educational forums, and social media. The network also offers international perspectives on common challenges that credit unions around the globe face, including solutions to issues involving growth strategies, alternative capital and operational efficiencies.
“These are not just challenges for credit unions,” Jury pointed out, “but also challenges for the socioeconomic development of the communities in which credit unions operate, including Iowa.”
New enrollee Ginger Heckman, Member Business Lending Coordinator with Community Business Lenders, agrees.
“Our mission at CBL is to build stronger communities, one business at a time, and being a part of the Global Women’s Leadership Network is really going to facilitate that,” Heckman said. “Women are fortunate in the U.S. to have already gained a high measure of respectability as business leaders. That didn’t happen overnight; we needed a strong support network over many years. So it will be very exciting to be able to provide support and insight to women business leaders in developing countries as they strive to gain independence and respect.”
In addition to helping international businesses gain a solid foundation, the leadership network also helps strengthen financial stability for families. In many countries, women often are the financial decision makers for the family, responsible for spending and saving, but sometimes lack expertise or face stigma about a women’s role. By interacting with other professionals in a business forum, network members have access to unlimited resources and can learn from the experiences of their peers.
“Connecting through the leadership network will be a great way for us all to benefit from best practices,” said Miriam De Dios, Vice President of Coopera Consulting and new GWLN enrollee. “We’ve seen in the United States that as women gain financial confidence and experience, both in the family realm and in business, that helps provide overall economic growth and stability to an entire generation and region.”
“Credit unions have long recognized the ability to accomplish great things through positive dialogue and shared experiences,” said Jury. “To that end the Global Women’s Leadership Forum is a tremendous asset. Together, we can help strengthen overall credit union operations and provide economic stability — all in a way that is true to our traditions and philosophy — by working together to improve the financial lives of consumers.”