The credit union movement needs to make some progress on diversity, inclusion, and equity, says Ronaldo Hardy, CEO of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union in Lake Charles.
That’s the elephant in the room, Hardy tells the How To Conference by CU Water Cooler in Madison, Wis.
“We are in a modern day civil rights movement,” Hardy says, referencing various movements where minorities are raising their voices.
And these people are recognizing the power of their dollar in society, using it to affect change, he notes.
Credit unions should own the decision to make a change, says Hardy.
• Going beyond diversity. “It does not make any sense to have all the right ingredients on the table if you don’t add them to the pot,” Hardy says.
Hiring is the first step. Ensuring places at the table for minorities is the next step.
• Building a culture of candor. “We need to listen,” Hardy says, adding that leaders would be surprised by how many barriers exist in their organizations, intentionally or unintentionally.
• Building a culture of acceptance and appreciation. These are two different things, Hardy says. “We have to appreciate the difference.”
No one wants to just feel accepted. You have to build a culture of learning so people can get to know each other in a deeper way so they appreciate differences.
The bottom line: Organizations that embrace cultural differences will see better results, revenue, hire better talent, and capture more market share, Hardy says.