news.cuna.org/articles/118673-credit-union-women-find-the-power-of-i-am-at-summit
GWLN

Credit Union women find the “Power of I Am” at summit

November 5, 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 Oct. 28-30.

Sponsored by  CO-OP Financial Services, PSCU, CUNA 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