Delegates from the World Council Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP) took part in a forum on diversity and inclusion ahead of the opening of the World Credit Union Conference (WCUC) in the Bahamas.
Organised by the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu), the forum welcomed professionals seeking to learn or support youth in the credit union movement.
Brandi Stankovic, an executive coach and chief strategy officer at CU Solutions Group, led WYCUP members in developing an action plan for the week of WCUC.
Ms Stankovic instructed members to identify a challenge that limits their leadership abilities and to ask for suggestions from their WYCYUP colleagues on how to improve in that area.
“It’s not only for you, but also for the individuals giving the ideas. So often, when something is a challenge for us, we shut down the idea of looking for solutions. But we can’t do that and still grow into the leaders we want to be,” she said.
WYCUP members also heard from Chad Helminak, director of development education and co-operative culture at the National Credit Union Foundation. He encouraged attendees to align their values with those of the credit union movement – and to explore how to use those values to generate new ideas and encourage greater engagement among colleagues and members.
A Diversity and Inclusion Networking Luncheon heard a keynote speech from Seattle Credit Union executive vice president Tonita Webb. She stressed that diversity and inclusion programmes are easy for credit unions to plan for but often very difficult to implement.
“If you have a diversity and inclusion programme, and you’re not addressing implicit bias and micro-aggressions, you’re going to have people leave,” said Ms Webb.
She encouraged credit union employees to push for programmes that ensure women and minorities can feel safe to talk about those issues, as full diversity, inclusion and equity is only possible once that happens.