ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/3/13)--The National Credit Union Administration says it has "made work force diversity a top priority," and these efforts have led to a 1.5% increase in minority representation in the agency workforce from Dec. 31, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2012, the agency said in a report to the U.S. Congress. With that increase minorities represented 27% of the agency workforce.
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The NCUA's Office of Minority & Women Inclusion annual report said that the most significant change in diversity representation occurred in executive positions. Minorities rose from 9% to 15% of the total senior staff positions, representing a 6% increase.
Women in senior staff positions also increased from 24% to 41% of the total senior staff positions, representing an increase of 17%.
The report also updated Congress on the progress of diversity education and outreach efforts.
The agency said it has worked to incorporate greater supplier diversity into its procurement process, and to enhance employee awareness of supplier diversity. The NCUA said it plans in 2013 to offer greater technical assistance resources to minority and women-owned businesses, and conduct greater outreach with these businesses.
Credit unions serving diverse fields of membership have achieved some degree of diversity within their work forces, the NCUA report noted. Minorities account for 30.9% of the credit union work force, and women represent about 70.7% of that work force, according to the report. "Credit unions' work forces are generally diverse and resemble the nation's population," the NCUA said.
The NCUA said it continues to work with other federal agencies to draft joint diversity policy and practice assessment standards, and held roundtables with stakeholders on this issue during 2012. The agency said it is working to finalize these assessment standards, and plans to work with credit unions to educate them about the final assessment standards once they are adopted. The NCUA also noted it "will be burdensome for smaller credit unions to achieve diversity in employment and business activities." Developing a set of diversity assessment standards that can be applied to all financial institutions, including credit unions that are, at times, limited to serving specific geographic areas, could also prove difficult, the NCUA report said.
The Credit Union National Association in a letter sent to the NCUA last year urged the agency to implement diversity standards "in a manner that would minimize the information gathering and reporting burden on credit unions."
NCUA does not have enforcement authority regarding work force diversity standards at credit unions, CUNA has noted.
The NCUA established OMWI in January 2011. It consists of a director, an administrative assistant, a business activities program analyst and two diversity outreach program analysts. The two diversity analysts are responsible for enhancing diversity and inclusion of minorities at all levels in the workforce of the agency and in the credit union industry.