News release

15 women leaders are better equipped to advance financial inclusion with support from the Women’s Mentorship Program

OTTAWA, ON, May 16 – The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada’s 2019 Women’s Mentorship Program (WMP) has concluded in Ottawa. Currently in its 17th year of implementation, the Program provides leadership and professional development training to credit union women leaders from around the world. This year’s Program welcomed participants from 14 countries representing Africa, Asia and the Americas.

“The Women’s Mentorship Program is a vibrant testimony to the power of leadership that was supported by the Canadian government, Canadian credit unions, private sector donors such as Fiserv, and regular Canadians, who provide a home and a family for our participants during their stay in Canada”, said Benoît André, Executive Director of CDF Canada. “We hope that this Program will continue to invest in women globally to impact change locally.”

2019 Women’s Mentorship Program graduates

CDF Canada’s WMP is an annual training program that provides women managers with a unique opportunity to strengthen their professional, technical and leadership skills and empowers them to become agents of change in their countries. By building stronger leaders in credit unions around the world, WMP supports improvements in the provision of and access to financial services, which contribute to greater economic activity, job creation and increased prosperity, touching the lives of countless individuals and numerous communities.

“The simple truth is that women can play important leadership roles in the economy, yet are underrepresented and face gender-based barriers”, said Caroline Leclerc, Assistant Deputy Minister, Partnerships for Development Innovation, Global Affairs Canada. “By working together, we can help remove these barriers. This is why the Government of Canada supports initiatives such as the Women’s Mentorship Program.”

A moment to celebrate leadership and achievement

The truly outstanding part about WMP is that it creates synergies between public and private efforts to advance inclusive development. The Program provides high-quality classroom training and access to some of the best global experiences in managing credit union institutions. Since 2002, the Program has trained 254 women, representing over 25 countries and has benefited from the support of over 200 Canadian credit unions and hundreds of Canadian hosts.

The Women’s Mentorship Program is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada. The Program has also benefited from the generous financial support of Fiserv. Fiserv is a provider of technology solutions to the financial world, including banks, credit unions, securities processing organizations, insurance companies and others.

The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada is an international development organization that helps improve the lives of individuals and communities through co-operatives. Canadian co-operators have engaged internationally for more than 70 years through CDF Canada. CDF Canada’s mission is to act on co-operative principles and partner with communities around the world to achieve sustainable economic and social development. For more details visit: http://cdfcanada.coop/

MEDIA CONTACT: Victor Neagu, Manager, Communications, vneagu@cdfcanada.coop, 613-238-6711, ext. 217

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