Last Thursday, the preliminary results of the Filene Research Institute’s DEI Practices and Policies Survey were presented at the “Amplifying Impact: Connecting Credit Unions and Communities” virtual think tank event.
The presentation was given by Filene fellow Dr. Quinetta Roberson, a professor of management and psychology at the University of Michigan, who noted that credit union leadership’s overall commitment to DEI was given a 78 out of 100. Dr. Roberson shared her satisfaction with the score but felt there was room for improvement.
The results were broken down into several categories including types of strategic DEI practices, DEI staffing practices, DEI training and development practices, DEI affinity groups, and accountability.
Regarding their strategies for implementing DEI practices, 72.2% of credit unions noted they had a DEI statement, 69% had a strategic plan, and 62.1% had a chief diversity officer.
These numbers remain high in the second category on DEI staffing plans, in which the majority of participants noted they took steps to ensure diverse staffing (82%), advertise for jobs in places targeting diverse candidate pools (74.6%), and DEI-focused interview training (63.8%).
However, when discussing specific programs within the credit union to support DEI, such as mentorships and employee resource groups, the numbers fall, with only 38.3% of credit unions having mentorships available for underrepresented groups and only 33% offering affinity groups.
“What we want to understand is,” noted Roberson, “is it that those who do not have that in place found there isn’t a business case for it or much of an impact? Or, in our analyses, I wonder if we’ll find that mentoring practices actually help to drive the employee experience, member experience, and performance.”
Finally, regarding accountability, the majority of responding credit unions stated that they both set goals (59-77%) and were collecting and tracking data to determine the commitment to DEI (52-75%).
In terms of the survey, it should be stated that only 284 credit unions participated in the research survey, and of those 284, only 196 provided complete data and information. Furthermore, the average credit union size surveyed was $1.9 billion in assets, 133,000 members, and 325 staff. For smaller credit unions with less staff, the average DEI score may differ.