GWLN releases 'We for She' paper on global women's challenges

July 23, 2021

The Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) released the “We for She” Pink Paper. 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:

  • Invest in women’s careers and their personal development.
  • Recognize that diverse perspectives make good business sense.
  • Champion women into board and executive positions.
  • Mentor and coach women to seize opportunities.
  • Encourage women to rewrite social and cultural scripts that define power and privilege.

“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.”