Dear Boards of Directors and Chief Executive Officers:
Unquestionably, recent months have been tremendously challenging. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting response has severely disrupted almost every aspect of American life. Exacerbating this uncertain and challenging environment is the tragic death of George Floyd.
It has been nearly two months since George Floyd died in Minneapolis while in police custody. There’s no question there is a tremendous amount of pain and anger surrounding another instance of abuse of authority against a black man. At the same time, however, I am heartened by the responses from so many in the credit union community. If there is a common thread to what I am hearing, it is that people want to know what they can do that will truly make a difference. People want to move beyond platitudes and vague expressions of support, so we can focus on real changes that will have a concrete impact.
To that end, as the industry is looking for what it can do to help, committing to take NCUA’s Annual Voluntary Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment is a small but important step.
Last year, we had 118 credit unions complete the Annual Voluntary Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment. The year before that, we had 81. This is progress year-over-year, but it is not good enough. I encourage the industry to take this small step to show your commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The diversity assessment is a valuable tool for credit unions seeking to make a stronger commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity – it helps industry leaders to see areas in which they can strengthen that commitment, for the benefit of your employees, your members, and your communities.
Here are five quick facts about the Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment:
- It is a tool for building diversity and inclusion.
- It is voluntary.
- It is simple and brief.
- It has no effect on CAMEL and risk ratings, or how your credit union is supervised
- It is available year-round.
With a set of best practices for assessing your workforce development, procurement practices, and transparency practices, the self-assessment can provide a fuller and more objective picture of how your institution is meeting its diversity objectives, or how you might improve in your inclusion efforts.
Once submitted, the NCUA aggregates the data from the assessment and without identifying any single respondent, issues an annual report on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the credit union system. Based on the state of the credit union system, the NCUA also creates and makes available resources that credit unions can use to address challenges and opportunities in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Credit unions can use the Annual Voluntary Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment as a working tool throughout the year. However, at present, most credit unions do not complete the survey until the end of the calendar year. If you do not want to participate until the end of the year, you can make a voluntary commitment to the NCUA today to take the Annual Voluntary Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment by emailing CUDiversity@ncua.gov.
If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact OMWI at 703.518.1650 or by email at CUDiversity@ncua.gov.
Rodney E. Hood