University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives


by Carol Hunter
Information Officer, CCA

WICEN (Women in Co-operatives Electronic Network) is an electronic discussion group open to women and men who share an interest in issues surrounding women in co-operatives and credit unions. This discussion group provides a forum for an exchange of ideas, experiences and information; a place to pose questions or propose solutions; a place to share 'best practices' and case studies; and a place to network or make new contacts.

This discussion group has been launched by the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) in response to a growing interest amongst women in the co-operative sector for a venue to share ideas, experiences and concerns, including concerns about women's (under) representation on boards of directors and ways in which women can be more involved in decision-making within co-operatives and credit unions. A resolution was also passed at the 1995 CCA annual general meeting calling for the establishment of a national women and co-operatives network. This resolution was moved by Marian Jefferies, Director of Co-op Atlantic, and was passed unanimously. This electronic conference ('listserve') is open to members, directors, employees, volunteers, and managers of co-ops and credit unions in Canada and abroad. It is NOT restricted to women only.

At this point, only one electronic conference on women in co-operatives is envisioned. As more people join the conference, however, and as various issues get discussed and examined, there may be a need to start other conferences on particular, focused issues. For example, some women may have an interest only in discussing women in community economic development while others may be more interested in women's leadership on boards. We will revisit this possibility at a future date.

This conference is being moderated, for the present time, by the CCA. As a moderator, CCA will try to keep the discussions rolling, suggest discussion topics, and post items of interest. The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan is providing technical assistance and the server site.


This conference belongs to you. Although many women have identified women and leadership and women's representation on boards as critical issues, this conference is not restricted to discussion on these subjects.

As a new subscriber to this conference, we would like to hear from you. To kick off discussion in WICEN, we would appreciate hearing from you on the following:

  1. What are some of the issues you would like to see discussed in WICEN?

  2. Who would you like to include in the discussion? How can participation be broadened? Should participation beyond the co-op and credit union sector be invited (e.g. associations working with farm women, women in development, and women in business)?


You can participate in this conference in a number of ways by:
  • Posting questions
  • Responding to questions posted by others
  • Letting us know about resources (print or electronic), conferences or workshops
  • Letting us know about co-op or credit union initiatives which promote women's involvement in decision-making
  • Letting us know about co-op or credit union practices which present barriers to women's involvement
  • Posting short documents, book reviews, or other materials to the conference. Please do not post documents longer than 3 pages. Longer documents can be posted in CCA's WEB site.
Please spread the word about WICEN.

Let's keep in touch and keep 'talking'.


Here's how you can post comments or questions to WICEN (Women in Co-operatives Electronic Network). Other commands are also listed.

SUBSCRIBE (although you have already subscribed, you may want to share this information with someone else):

Send an e-mail message to: Leave the subject line blank and in the body of the message type: SUBSCRIBE wicen . For example: SUBSCRIBE wicen

Do NOT send your subscription request to This will send your request to everyone on the list!

UNSUBSCRIBE (if you no longer want to be on the conference)
Send an e-mail message to: Leave the subject line blank and in the body of the message type:

UNSUBSCRIBE wicen . For example: UNSUBSCRIBE wicen

Send your comments/questions/responses to: Sending a message to this address will distribute the message to the members of the list

If you only want to respond, privately, to an individual in the conference and you don't want everyone to read your response, send your e-mail message to the person's personal e-mail address, not to

To receive a help file of all commands, send an e-mail to: Leave the subject line blank and type in the body of the message.

If you want to discuss topics or problems with the list manager(s), send a message to:

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