May 05 2021

Road Map to Activating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Report  
Number  
521

There is no one-size-fits-all DEI solution and your next steps will depend on the circumstances at your individual credit union. Use this Road Map to proceed along a personal, operational, and organizational change pathway.

Quinetta Roberson
Quinetta Roberson
Ph.D., John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Management and Psychology
Michigan State University
Paul Dionne
Paul Dionne
Research Project Manager
Filene Research Institute
Report Number 521

Executive Summary

Activating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) requires more than just diversity. How is your credit union creating an environment to recognize and value diverse perspectives? Does your team have the capacity to activate DEI not only within your organization but also across your member experience? How are you integrating DEI into your strategy to create greater impact?

What is the research about?

The changing landscape of the cooperative finance industry presents an opportunity for a competitive advantage among credit unions yet necessitates solutions for leveraging the potential of DEI to fulfill organizational mission and achieve business goals. The Filene report Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Credit Unions: Approaches, Insights, and Future Directions provides the framework for an evidence-based approach to understanding and tapping into the power of DEI to enhance credit union success and member financial well-being.

No matter where your credit union is on its DEI journey, the time to leverage the benefits of DEI has arrived. The business case is clear, and the moral imperative echoes our cooperative principles and our mission of people helping people. Your commitment to change helps ensure your organization will remain relevant and sustainable for years to come.

What are the credit union implications?

As you move along the pathways in the Road Map, there will inevitably be challenges and missteps. Keep your DEI efforts on track by:

  • Adopting a developmental, learning perspective to help yield better outcomes. 
  • Being authentic and building a culture of trust. 
  • Working with, and listening to, staff and members to strengthen connection and collaboration. 
  • Establishing allies, buy-in, and momentum at all levels of your organization.