DEI can’t happen without Belonging and Accessibility
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are more than just buzzwords, and practitioners are starting to see that adding Belonging and Accessibility to the mix is key for achieving more inclusive, profitable and attractive companies to work for. Ronaldo Hardy, our Chief People Officer and head of DEIBA services, is bringing these concepts and values to credit unions with the company’s DEIBA offerings, including the new Board DEIBA Institute.
“Bringing DEIBA to the board level highlights the strategic significance of the matter to the highest level,” Hardy says. “The board members represent the members who own the credit unions, and when they own DEIBA, the rest of the credit union will follow. Demonstrating the diversity and equity within the credit union catches members’ and potential members attention, makes credit union more attractive as employers, helps to avoid public relations crises and so much more.”
Belonging and Accessibility
The concepts and values behind DEIBA are key to a healthy, flourishing organization and productive, engaged workforce. Belonging can be thought of as the next step beyond Inclusion – not just inviting people to the party but making sure they feel comfortable dancing their favorite dance. Accessibility, Hardy explained, is an important addition he’s found in his work with credit unions, because bias against people with disabilities is the single most common unconscious bias people hold.
Incorporating the values behind the initials can improve your bottom line. Research has shown that diverse companies are 35% more likely to have above-average earnings, experience less employee turnover by living a brand and creating loyalty, and boost innovation and creativity.
The Board Institute
CU Strategic Planning’s Board DEIBA Institute starts with a two-day event, encompassing honest dialogue on race, culture, financial inequities, eradicating poverty, expanding financial access, strategic product design and the role of Community Development Financial Institution-certified credit unions in addressing these issues. Additionally, the board and each of its members will have quarterly check-ins with Hardy to discuss the progress of the institution, as well as address individual goals.
“Many people and organizations want to address DEIBA, but they don’t know where to start,” Hardy acknowledged. “Let’s navigate our journeys as we come together as credit unions and leaders of people.”