|Women's Mentorship Program
The Women's Mentorship Program is an annual training program that provides female leaders of overseas financial co-operatives with a unique opportunity for professional development; it is also a mutual learning opportunity for Canadians and international co-operators.
The participants are matched up with credit union in Canada for 10 days. In those 10 days the woman becomes immersed in the credit union and community, receiving general leadership training and learning the ins-and-outs of day to day operations. Canadian credit union managers volunteer their time, training materials, transportation and accommodation for the overseas participants.
Few women hold leadership positions in the world's financial sector. Even in community-owned co-operatives and credit unions, there are often less women in management positions. Since 2002, the Women's Mentorship Program has offered a rare opportunity for these women to gain professional skills through internships and mentoring. Through these experiences the women learn best practices and gain confidence, which allow them to build strong careers back in their home country.
A resounding success since it began in 2002, the Women's Mentorship Program has trained 165 women in 16 countries with over 200 Canadian credit unions hosting and sharing their knowledge.
Learn more about the Women's Mentorship Program.
CCA recently comissioned a comprehensive evaluation of the Women's Mentorship Program conducted by Foot in the Door Consulting. Check out the results.
Why Get Involved?
There are several benefits to being a credit union host. Apart from knowing that you've enriched the life a woman who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to gain valuable career-advancing skills, the Women's Mentorship program provides:
Staff engagement and learning opportunities;
Publicity for your credit union in your local market;
Fulfillment of the sixth co-operative principle "co-operation amongst co-operatives;"
The chance to learn about the challenges and opportunities of working in a credit union in a developing country.
Contact us if your credit union is interested in being a host.
"I have to tell you, everyone that meets Alice walks away with something. This has been the best learning experience of my life, and I really feel that CCA is making a difference in the entire world. I think one of the lenders in the rural branch put it best when she said that talking to Alice makes us realize the true meaning of a credit union/co op. She is showing us why we work for the credit union, and is giving us renewed pride in our institution. Thank you so much for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm looking forward to soaking it in for another few days and will miss Alice when she leaves."
Debbie Neddow, Branch Manager, Servus Credit Union, Edmonton, Alberta
"We've learned a great deal about Mavis, her culture and her country, as well as how their banking industry works and we've also had the pleasure of sharing our knowledge with someone who can take this back and make a real difference in their community."
Tara Hawes, Financial Services Manager, Ladysmith and District Credit Union, Ladysmith, BC
"We belong to different countries and have different practices but we are all working to improve the management of our credit unions. We share the same quest and the bridges the gap between us. I have so many lessons learned to take home - such as loan processing, collection and enforcing policies and procedures as well as strategic planning. My world got a lot smaller with this experience - if we close our eyes and share our thoughts, we are just one."
Aurea de Ramayo, General Manager, Cordova Multi-Purpose Co-operative, Philippines