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NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Statement on the NCUA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan

January 2024
NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Statement on the NCUA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan
Todd M. Harper

NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper delivers statement on the NCUA's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan.

As Prepared for Delivery on January 18, 2024

Thank you, Miguel, for your presentation and for the work of you and your team to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at the National Credit Union Administration and within the credit union system. And, thank you to the entire team in the Office of Women and Minority Inclusion for developing and finalizing this strategic plan.

The NCUA has a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. That commitment stems, in part, from the historic development of credit unions, many of which were created to serve marginalized communities unable to obtain safe, fair, and affordable credit through banks or other financial providers. Those institutions sought to provide financial equity.

NCUA’s commitment also stems from the business case for diversity. Research shows that those organizations with greater diversity and inclusion perform better and operate more efficiently and effectively. Through external initiatives like the agency’s annual DEI Summit, the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, and mentoring grants for minority depository institutions — as well as internal efforts like employee resource groups, outreach to potential suppliers, and hiring initiatives — the NCUA advances these important principles within the agency and across the credit union system.

Credit unions historically have focused on building secure financial futures for their members. In a similar way, the NCUA seeks to draw strength from a broad range of talents and perspectives to create a diverse and inclusive environment where every employee can make the most of opportunities, drive innovation, and, in turn, build a stronger agency.

The strategic plan the Board is discussing today outlines the agency’s efforts related to workforce diversity, inclusion, workplace resolutions, supplier diversity, and credit union diversity that will support the NCUA’s strategic objectives over the next four years. The four goals in this plan will reinforce the NCUA’s priority of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as an imperative within the agency and the credit union industry. In doing so, the credit union system will be better positioned for sustainable progress.

Specifically, the plan provides the foundation for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility practices in the agency’s recruitment and hiring process and promotes equitable opportunities for the agency’s employees. The power of allyship and a culture of belonging are critical to achieving these collective goals. They improve employee retention, empower employees to work and speak authentically, and give employees the space to become agents for positive change.

Before recognizing others, I have several questions for you, Miguel. One way to evaluate performance and success is through data. Credit unions can contribute to these efforts by filling out a voluntary Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment, of which the results are confidential. We are collecting voluntary survey submissions until February 15. That deadline is fast approaching. Where can credit unions access this survey to fill out and voluntarily submit?

Thank you. Last year, one in ten credit unions voluntarily submitted their survey results. I hope that we can achieve a similar participation rate or higher this year. For those credit unions that opt in, what sorts of insights can credit union management gain from filling out the diversity self-assessment?

I’m a deep believer in the management tenet: If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. What outcomes do we see when credit unions respond to the self-assessment every year?

Thank you, Miguel. I strongly encourage credit unions, especially those with 100 or more employees, to complete a self-assessment this year. And, thanks again to you and your team for the excellent work on this strategic plan.

That concludes my remarks. I now recognize the Vice Chairman.

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