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Diversity Equity & Inclusion

A commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Credit unions are built on the “people helping people” mission, so it is natural for them to inclusively serve diverse memberships in their communities. Our strength is in our unique commitment to “serving the underserved,” while helping others. So, as the rest of the world prioritizes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, credit unions are already living it out.

As this effort gains momentum in the broader spectrum, we wanted to provide a resource center to assist as credit unions look to formalize what they’re already doing. To do this, we’ve collected a group of documents that can serve as guidelines or tools for measurement, depending on where you are on the journey.

Our goal is to help you by offering resources that you may want to review or incorporate into your efforts. We hope these tools will help credit unions gain an edge for talent, create higher levels of diversity, enhance workplace equity, and further strengthen the workplace.

Statement of Commitment

An organizational commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a core foundation to the successful, strategic integration of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. Having a shared understanding of how to articulate that commitment can help engage and align all stakeholders. These sample DEi Statements of Commitment may provide a place for your credit union to begin crafting and adopting your own statement of commitment.

Download the full document here

Organization Assessment

This Organizational Competency Assessment is designed to help an organization gain an understanding of its current position as a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and to identify the next steps to take on to achieve the next level of competency.

Leaders should complete the tool as objectively as possible, with collaboration from other senior leaders when appropriate. Review each question, select the best response for your organization, then add up the numbers to identify your total score. Finally, review the recommendations for where your organization may currently be and the next steps that may expand your capacity for equity and inclusion.

The assessment includes two sections. Section 1, Employee Competency Assessment looks at how the people in the organization are being developed to expand their capacity and competency. Section 2, Operational Competency Assessment looks more closely at the systems and structures of the organization. Both elements matter, and organizations should take care to understand where there are gaps in both areas related to overall organizational competency. While the final score is determined as a sum of both sections, if an organization finds itself with disparate scoring between the sections, next steps should be modified to focus more on the area where there is the greatest growth potential.

Download the full document here

In House Leadership

If your credit union has fully embraced strategic integration of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, you may find yourself ready to hire a Chief Diversity Officer or otherwise bring your DEi efforts in-house. You are not alone! According to a March 2021 study by Linkedln, hiring for experts in workplace diversity has risen 90% since 2019, making roles like Diversity Manager, Diversity Officer, and Head of Diversity the fifth fastest growing job field at an average salary range of $72,900 to $97,000. Unfortunately, turnover for these roles also remains high as executives moving into the position do not always have clearly defined performance expectations or the formal knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work.

The following tool is designed to help your credit union define expectations of in-house diversity leadership, including:

  1. Expected Outcomes (accomplishments) of a Chief Diversity Officer role (and alternative suggestions for achieving those outcomes without hiring a COO).
  2. A sample Job Description for a Chief Diversity Officer
  3. A sample Job Posting for a Chief Diversity Officer

Download the full document here

Transparency & Equity in Pay

A common obstacle to equity in an organization relates to fairness (or perceived fairness) in compensation. Transparency in compensation philosophy and regular pay equity analyses may help to identify any areas where there are processes, practices, or biases that create inequity in compensation. This tool provides insights into what to review related to pay equity and how to take action that increases pay transparency to create equity across the organization.

Download the full document here

Biased Language tool

This series of guidelines assists in creating job descriptions that are free from biased language, positioning you to recruit and ultimately hire from a more diverse pool of candidates. Upon review of this document, you will be able to better identify how certain wording can impact the candidates that you attract (or discourage) with your next job posting and what tools you can use to avoid using biased language.

Research has shown that one of the biggest areas of failure in job description bias is gender-based. In a research paper titled “Evidence that gendered wording in job advertisements exists and sustains gender inequality” written by Danielle Gaucher, Justin Friesen, and Aaron Kay, they conducted a series of studies on gendered language in job descriptions. These studies demonstrated that gender-biased language in job descriptions still exists.

The study found that job descriptions for positions traditionally associated with men use language that may unconsciously deter women from applying for these positions. The use of male-associated pronouns like “his” – rather than female-associated “her” or more gender-neutral “they” or “the person” – significantly impacts who applies for each position. Even worse, those gender-specific pronouns have a profound effect on who gets hired. Even using words like “dominant” or “competitive” can be viewed as biased.

Download the full document here

Candidate Diversity Policy

This practice overview provides general guidance and should be used as a reference.  It may be refined in accordance with your current HR policies

Download the full document here

How-to Focus Group

The experience one employee has in a workplace could vary significantly from that of another employee in the same workplace. Often, the narrative becomes defined by those in power and other perspectives are dismissed as minority, dissenting, or outlying voices. To gain a comprehensive perspective of the inclusiveness of your full environment, it is necessary to provide opportunities for every employee to raise their voice.

The best way to provide your employees the opportunity to share feedback is in partnership with a third party who offers a confidential opportunity for employees to raise their voices through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. This feedback can then be incorporated in a written summary of key findings from this research, organized in aggregate themes/trends, rather than attributed to any individual.

Download the full document here

Advisory Group Charter

Many credit unions have found they have employees who are passionate about building internal DEi Advisory Groups. These groups have been founded to steer the strategic integration of DEi efforts in a cross-functional manner. This document provides a sample charter that creates a framework and structure for the creation of an internal DEi Advisory group. The sample charter provides an overall outline with a Vision, Mission, and Objectives section. It also provides examples of Membership Criteria credit unions might consider when selecting members of their internal DEi Advisory Group, as well as an Organizational Structure and Roles to establish governance and set expectations and requirements of service for members of the DEi Advisory Group.

Download the full document here

Guide to Employee Resource Group

As credit unions grow both in the number of employees and through their DEi journeys, organizations could find that Employee Resource Groups (or ERG’s) are a helpful tool for cultivating a safe space for a growing diverse workplace. ERG’s are networks of employees that form based on shared characteristics or background, sponsored by the organization where they work. The groups help their members with professional development, networking for recruiting, cultural awareness, community outreach and often serve as a visible sign of a credit union’s commitment to DEi.

This Guide to ERGs includes questions that may help define your organization’s need for ERGs, a sample charter that may be used for each ERG in your organization, a budget checklist that can help plan sufficient funding for ERG development.

Download the full document here

Supplier Diversity Guide

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 asserted that credit unions and other financial institutions, especially those with more than 100 employees, should conduct annual self­ assessments of diversity and inclusion practices and policies, extending to both workforce and contractors.

When the financial institution regulatory agencies collectively established the joint standards set forth in the 2015 lnteragency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices, Procurement and Business Practices (Supplier Diversity) was prominently featured as the third (of five) areas for evaluation. Results from NCUA self-assessments indicate a very limited number of credit unions have taken action in this area.

This guide helps to define the elements and actions to build a Supplier Diversity program, provides tips on calculating diversity spend, introduces a Sample Supplier Diversity Policy, and offers additional resources.

Download the full document here

Board Succession Tools

A credit union’s Board of Directors serves as the highest level of leadership for the organization. These volunteers are critical in setting the strategic direction of the organization and ensuring accountability to serving the best interest of the membership. An engaged Board of Directors that represents the membership and community served by the credit union can help create ongoing relevance and sustainability for the credit union.

Some credit unions have expressed challenges with recruiting and retaining new Board members and ensuring that Boards are comprised of a diverse representation of the membership (especially for credit unions that have expanded to serve broader fields of membership). Items included in this toolkit have been designed to support credit unions in increasing Board diversity and Board succession planning.

These items are:

  1. Board Succession Planning Guide
  2. Creating a Board Member Value Proposition
  3. Board Member Recruitment Matrix

Download the full document here

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