Women Transforming Leadership at the GWLN Executive Readiness Summit

After two years of virtual gatherings, credit union women meet face-to-face in North Carolina

MADISON, WI (November 2, 2022) — More than 50 credit union women from four countries and 15 U.S. states engaged with thought leaders, industry experts and one another to learn more about the “coach approach” to leadership, leading in a hybrid world, DEI challenges around the globe and succession to credit union boards at last week’s Global Women’s Leadership Network’s (GWLN) 2022 Executive Readiness Summit, held in Raleigh, N.C.

World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde greeted attendees in a video message by telling them that women in the global credit union movement need to be at the forefront of driving positive change.

“This is ultimately why we’re here. We need to be able to advance financial access and financial inclusion, and better products and services to our members—including men and women and young people who are going to drive change for the next generation,” said McCarter LaBorde.

Sponsored by CO-OP SolutionsKinecta Federal Credit UnioneLeadership Academy™, PSCU and new partner HerCSuite, the Summit was held in person for the first time since 2019, and co-hosted by Civic Federal Credit Union and Local Government Federal Credit Union.

“It was truly a privilege to host this group of women from near and far; this summit is a great opportunity to gather with women across the globe and learn from one another. Kudos to GWLN for producing another meaningful event,” said Ashley Ruffin, Chief Administrative Officer of the host credit unions.

With eight sessions held over two days, presenters focused on helping attendees reclaim their personal power to grow as leaders, learn how to better “coach” their teams and prepare themselves to assume board director seats at credit unions and other organizations. Speakers included:

  • Deb Fine, Managing Vice President of Learning and Development, PSCU.
  • Helen Ceike Ojeda, CPC Senior Organizational Effectiveness and Learning Consultant, UC Irvine Health.
  • Sandra McDowell, CEO and Founder, eLeadership Academy™.
  • Sarah Szilagyi, SVP, Experience Operations, Co-op Solutions.
  • Gisele Gomes, DEI Executive,, Sicredi Pioneira.
  • Naomi Kent, HerCsuite™ Advisor and Speaker, Board Director.

Once again, the Executive Readiness Summit offered a dynamic, experiential and inspirational workshop for credit union women in mid- to high-tiered positions.

“With attendees joining us for the first time, as well as repeat attendees and speakers from Brazil, Canada, the UK and the US, this year’s event provided the opportunity for all participants to engage, learn and network with other women in credit unions on a much greater scale,” said Lena Giakoumopoulos, GWLN Program Director. “Through the interactive workshop sessions, practical exercises and resources, participants are able to grow their professional toolkit to enhance their existing roles and prepare for the future.”

GWLN aims to provide tools and resources for more women to grow personally and professionally, advancing to leadership positions in credit unions across the globe. GWLN membership is open to all women and men in the credit union industry.

To learn more, visit GWLN, donate or connect on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


Greg Neumann
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

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