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More About the Women's Mentorship Program

The Women's Mentorship Program offers female credit union managers from Africa and Asia one month of career training in Ottawa and in different parts of Canada. Each participant is assigned to a Canadian credit union for 10 days of job shadowing with a branch manager or general manager acting as their mentor.

In addition to job exposure, participants undertake a 2 (1/2) week training program in Ottawa that looks at general leadership issues and lending practices: loan assessment, credit scoring, loan tracking, delinquency control, mergers/amalgamations, human resources, marketing, governance, deposit guarantee funds and change management. During the last week of the program a reception is held with embassy representatives from the women's home countries.

The purpose of the program is three-fold:

  • to provide a professional development opportunity to women leaders of financial co-operatives in developing countries;
  • to build a body of knowledge and experience related to the specific needs of women in financial co-operatives (as leaders, staff, members and clients); and
  • to provide an opportunity for Canadian co-operators to learn more about how savings and credit co-operatives operate in other countries.
Checklist for hosting in 2017:
  • January 2017 - CCA sends out a call for hosts
  • End of Feb. 2017 - Interested hosts express interest to CCA Volunteer Manager and provide the following:  name of credit union & contact info; indicate # of members, branches, staff and assets; a statement of intent of why you think your credit union would make a good host
  • Identify a staff person (or a committee) to be the main contact, to share information with fellow staff and to help build itinerary/program for the overseas guest
  • Arrange/identify a host family to billet/homestay the overseas guest (could be a staff or a board member)
  • Sign Roles and Responsibilities document (credit union and host family)
  • Participate in 1-2 teleconference calls
  • Meet the overseas guest at the closest airport, with signage (Sept. 21, 2017)
  • Introduce the overseas guest to credit union best practices and key stakeholders (CEO, Board Chair, Senior Management team)
  • Promote your community and attend events during evenings and weekends  
  • Promote the WMP program and your overseas visitor on social media (and other media)
  • After the guest has returned to CCA Ottawa, complete an in-kind form to document your volunteer contributions, and an evaluation form to make next year's program better

CCA recently comissioned a comprehensive evaluation of the Women's Mentorship Program conducted by Foot in the Door Consulting. Check out the results.

CCA WMP Evaluation Final Report (2MB)
CCA WMP Evaluation Final Report - Executive Summary (441KB)
Focus Groups - Major Findings Report (414KB)
Past participants survey report (1MB)

Core funding for this program is provided by Global Affairs Canada. The staff and leaders of Canadian credit unions volunteer their time and the credit unions themselves often contribute training materials, local transportation and accommodation. 

Canada's co-op and credit unions are among the world's best in terms of service quality and financial performance. The managers of these financial co-ops look forward to sharing their experiences with overseas counterparts, and to learning about credit union operations from around the world.


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