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A Direct Line Blog

The Drive for Diversity

March 6, 2019 7:30 am

A friend posed a good question on his blog recently: “What does your credit union do to encourage diversity in its leadership ranks and workforce?” I think most of us would have to answer honestly by saying “not much.”

Here in Montana, gender diversity is strong. In fact, while CUNA recently noted (in a letter to the chairwoman of a U.S. House subcommittee) that 52% of credit union CEOs are female; in Montana we boast 56% of our credit unions having a woman at the helm.

In addition to gender, credit unions need to start looking at some age diversity on their boards, ethnic diversity within their staff and executive teams, and an awareness that the diversity in the communities you serve should be reflected in your board room and staff. That is not easily accomplished in Montana, where almost 90% of our population is Caucasian.

A goal of “more diversity” is not easy, but awareness is a big first step. Maybe someday we’ll have our own version of the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” to comply with. My hope is that we get there organically instead!

And, if you are intrigued by the topic, we have a speaker from CUNA Mutual Group discussing “Diversity & Inclusion” at our Power Up conference on Friday, May 17, in Butte!

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