Making a Difference in Women’s Lives Around the World

Members of the GWLN wear pink to support women around the globe
Susan Mitchell Photo
CEO of Mitchell Stankovic & Associates
Founding Chair of GWLN

3 minutes

Raise your hands in celebration of 10 years of Global Women’s Leadership Network impact!

On behalf of hundreds of volunteers, I am proud to share that in 2019 World Council of Credit Unions’ Global Women’s Leadership Network celebrated its 10th anniversary. Incredible results and hard work over the last 10 years have garnered momentum that will carry us forward into the future. GWLN represents the best of the industry and is the premier global women’s group for credit unions.

In 2009, we mentioned the WOCCU vision to create a global network to advance women in leadership and heads turned. At the time, there was little recognition that we needed to focus on diversity within credit unions!

Today, we have raised global awareness of women’s issues and the importance of financial inclusion, and we have done it through our local impact. GWLN is building recognition of the credit union difference! One person, one step, one man, one woman, one Sister Society at a time.

Leni San Roque is a perfect example. In three years, she has helped form 28 Sister Societies throughout Asia, including our most recent one in India, with women uniting and pushing forward to manifest a new destiny for their sons and daughters. One man, Manfred Dasenbrock, chair of Sicredi, helped create 20 Sister Societies throughout Brazil.

Support form thousands of credit union leaders and many other business partners has resulted in 37 Sister Societies in major cities throughout the United States. There are now 108 Sister Societies across the globe, and at least one on every continent except Antarctica, representing actively engaged women and men.

GWLN is a movement even more than a network. It takes on all shapes in accordance to what is needed to advance women in individual and global circumstances—from poverty to building a business, to breaking the glass ceiling as CEOs and volunteers, the vision applies!

The passionate people I have met who believe so strongly in sharing their human spirits and their knowledge selflessly have inspired me and changed my life. GWLN is a fabric of diversity, a quilt of experiences that reaches all of us. I thank Brian Branch, CEO of WOCCU, for asking me to join as the organization chair in 2009 and for encouraging cooperatives to build a network across all boundaries to change the lives of credit union women. Now, more than ever, our voice is vital!

As we look to the future, GWLN cannot do this work without each of you and your donations! The next 10 years are all about making GWLN a sustainable, world-dominant, premier program. We depend entirely on volunteers and donations. Your support will impact the future of families worldwide as we raise our hands together, men and women, to demonstrate the cooperative principle that our founders believed in over 100 years ago—people helping people. Go to to donate and to join. cues icon

Susan Mitchell is the GWLN chair, worldwide foundation director, and CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates.

Compass Subscription