“Diversity and inclusion” is a phrase we have been hearing for a while but in the past few years, it’s become an essential part of organizations around the world. We hear diversity and inclusion everywhere from hiring processes, webinars, seminars, workshops to small projects such as community outreaches and more but just how important is it to have an inclusive and diverse environment in your credit union? Maintaining diversity and inclusion in a financial institution such as a credit union is extremely important not only because of the policies and regulations that prohibit a lender from making decisions based on gender, religion, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, and/or other attributes but because it takes away from properly connecting and relating to members to build strong long-lasting relationships with them. The lack of diversity and inclusion also makes a credit union’s internal culture weak and feel stuck in old ways. This is why it is important to keep our board members and leadership team accountable for making sure our credit unions continue evolving and become diverse, inclusive, and have tools to keep with these changing times.
There are two main reasons why it’s important to maintain diversity and inclusion in the workplace to reach Hispanics:
The first reason has to do with a credit union’s internal culture, the way it’s defined is by everyday decisions, the leadership team, board members and their priorities, focus, and what they allow other staff members do. Diversity and inclusion are necessary to shape the internal culture of an organization and search beyond our own needs and priorities when reaching the communities we serve. When it comes to making important decisions on what new products, services, or new campaigns to launch and implement is important to hear different perspectives, where age, cultural background, race, and others play a big role. Hearing from a board member that moved from a Latin American country and understands the struggles and the hardships of moving to a different country, learn a new language, and learn a new financial system will help the credit union redirect itself and take into consideration other solutions for Hispanic members.
The second reason why it is critical to maintain diversity and inclusion in the workplace is that this is key to understand and better serve the members of our Hispanic communities. It allows credit unions to continue implementing solutions and resources that will help members reach their financial goals. The United States has become an extremely diverse country, more so in the past few decades, and the need to open the field of memberships to larger groups and include Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) lending to its solutions has become apparent.
If a Latino member comes into your branch and does not feel welcome, embraced, or related to, they will eventually have a hard time trusting the staff and the financial solutions that are been provided.
Would a Hispanic member feel welcome coming into your branch, searching your credit union’s website, interacting with the call center, or simply applying for a loan?
If the answer is no, feel free to reach out to us and we can help you in the process to make your credit union a second home for the Hispanic community.