New Service Takes Holistic Approach to Accelerate Credit Unions’ DEI Work
April 26, 2022
Credit unions can now turn to CUNA Mutual Group (CMG) for guidance in jumpstarting their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The Strategic Link partner recently announced the launch of its DEI Services, an offering to work directly with CUNA Mutual Group’s DEI staff and advisors to assess current DEI efforts and guide a plan to activate or accelerate them. Each plan is tailored to the credit union’s specific needs and resources.
“We believe DEI is central to who we are and critically important for our industry,” said Angela Russell, Chief Diversity Officer for CUNA Mutual Group. “The credit union system is built on the idea of ‘People Helping People,’ and we cannot make that founding principle true for all without DEI at the forefront. We are excited for the opportunity to work with more credit unions and our partners in the credit union movement to advance DEI.”
Russell explained that the number of multicultural consumers is increasing exponentially. In fact, according to research, 61% of new credit union growth comes from multicultural consumers. This means member needs are inevitably changing too. Credit unions that proactively address those shifts will be better suited to “serve existing members, grow with new ones and improve our financial system for all.”
Maps Credit Union, based in Salem, participated in the DEI Services pilot program and has found it to be invaluable.
“We learned about ourselves and ultimately humanity as a whole,” said Scott Sadler, Chief People Officer. “Maps Credit Union is moving forward utilizing this experience to inform day-to-day conversations with our teams, member and community engagement, and we have embedded what we have learned into our core values.”
CUNA Mutual Group’s DEI Services take a collaborative and customizable approach to meet the needs of individual credit unions. They’re designed to make lasting change, weaving DEI efforts into the core of credit unions’ business to have a sustainable impact on both short- and long-term results.
Through the services, credit unions explore DEI strategies in three key areas:
- Workforce: Create an inclusive and equitable experience for staff to thrive and view business operations through a DEI lens.
- Marketplace: Understand the financial needs of your existing membership and identify opportunities to better serve members and potential members through an informed multicultural business strategy.
- Community: Build on the shared credit union mission to improve financial well-being for all through community engagement and investment.
Editor’s note: Northwest credit unions can also learn ways to bolster their DEI efforts by reviewing recommendations made by the Northwest Credit Unions’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. Hosted by the Northwest Credit Union Association and the Northwest Credit Union Foundation, the task force focused on identifying actionable strategies that could help to accelerate credit unions’ DEI work as employers, financial institutions, and community partners. Credit unions are encouraged to visit the online DEI Resource Library, a hub housing the task force recommendations, research, case studies, and other collateral.