Global Women’s Leadership Network Releases “We for She” Pink Paper

Examines challenges women face when seeking leadership positions in the credit union industry

July 19, 2021

Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

MADISON, Wis.—The Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) today released the “We for She” Pink Paper. Written for the international credit union movement, the paper aims to understand the challenges faced by women globally in advancing to leadership positions in the industry and offer recommendations and actions that can be taken to overcome them.

“What holds women back? According to a recent GWLN membership survey, more than 60% of  respondents told us it was a lack of confidence to advocate for themselves. It was astounding to hear similar challenges that women seeking to advance in leadership still face today. We must first take action for ourselves as individuals, and then for other women,” said Lena Giakoumopoulos, GWLN Program Director.

53% reported that GWLN has helped advance their career overall and findings also showed that GWLN credit union leaders:

“We’ve long heard that diverse credit union boards and leadership teams are good for our business and are shown to improve profitability and productivity. Our communities expect it, our members demand it and everyone benefits from it. This ‘pink paper’ puts a bright light on the many issues that are still in the way of reaching gender parity. GWLN is the go-to resource center that is empowering, forward-looking, and supportive of both women and men who want to change the way women are viewed, positioned and rewarded in the workplace (and beyond),” said Teresa Freeborn, GWLN Chair and President of Kinecta Federal Credit Union.

The paper compiled data collected through the GWLN membership survey, and 20 interviews with GWLN female credit union leaders, executives, CEOs and board members from across the globe. 

“We’re very excited to share this first of its kind We for She Pink Paper for the women and leadership teams in our global credit union community. Readers will find a useful resource filled with data, practical tips and inspiration,” said Giakoumopoulos.   

GWLN’s strategic partner, PSCU, contributed to the development of the project.

“As a longtime supporter and partner of GWLN, PSCU applauds their ongoing efforts to bring prescriptive, actionable and intentional means to the advancement of women’s leadership within the credit union movement,” said PSCU Senior Vice President of Industry Engagement Merry Pateuk. “Credit unions have a long history of effecting positive change, and this new paper from the GWLN is squarely aligned with the spirit of the credit union philosophy.”

To see the full GWLN Pink Paper, visit the page here.

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