Pioneer Mutual Team



Beth Welsh, our Business Development Manager, was awarded one of four Global Women’s Scholarships from the Global Women’s Leadership Network. As part of her scholarship Beth was given the opportunity to attend the World Credit Union Conference (WCCU) in Singapore in July, with over 1,400 credit union board members, CEO’s and senior staff in attendance from 58 countries. Beth was honoured to represent the UK Credit Movement, and carry flag at the Conference Opening Ceremony alongside representatives from the other 57 countries.

The Global Women’s Leadership Network is dedicated to addressing the gender imbalance among credit union leadership positions worldwide. The Network provides an annual scholarship to female leaders within the credit union industry, so they may develop new skills, tools and resources to make an impact in their credit union. Since 2009, Global Women has awarded 47 scholarships to women from 22 countries. Scholarships are made possible through funding from annual membership donations and sponsorships, including the generous support of CUNA Mutual Group.

Beth said: “Attending WCCU as part of my Global Women’s Leaders Network scholarship was an amazing, inspirational and motivational experience, to have the opportunity to network and learn from the credit union leaders of today and tomorrow was priceless.

It was empowering to see the global movement in action and the social impact credit unions have across the world, through people helping people. The peer to peer learning from credit unions across the globe was invaluable and the connections made will have a positive impact within Pioneer Mutual, and hopefully beyond in the British movement, to enable us to flourish and grow.

One of the key messages that I have taken away from WCCU is that our similarities are greater than our differences; regardless of size or location ethical finance is at the heart of everything we do and we all have the same mission to help our members and communities.

As part of the scholarship I had the opportunity to partake in the Global Women’s Diversity & Inclusion Conference Track, which is dedicated to empowering and advancing women and young leaders within the credit union movement through professional development and networking. The key theme that I took from this was that we must embrace our differences and embed equality within our culture through attitude and not just through policy alone.

“Spending time with the other 3 scholarship winners from Cameroon, Malawi and Canada was a great chance to gain a detailed insight into how the sector operates in these countries.”

“World Council’s Global Women’s Leadership Network announced during their annual conference that there are more than 2600 members from 78 countries now participating in making a difference in the credit union community.  Four scholarships were awarded to advance women in leadership and we were proud to have Beth Welsh join us in Singapore.  Her active participation in the diversity and inclusion conversation has sparked interest in creating a local GWLN Society in the UK connecting women and men from all over the world.  Congratulations, Beth!”  – Susan Mitchell, Chair, Global Women’s Leadership Network, a program of World Council of Credit Unions.

The 2018 scholarship winners were:

  • Mambo Hariett Tangu – Mitanyen Cooperative Credit Union (Cameroon)
  • Njeri (Jeri) Kontulahti – Vancity (Canada)
  • Beth Welsh – Pioneer Mutual Credit Union Ltd (Great Britain)
  • Sekanawo Chiwayula – Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Malawi)