The credit union movement must consider the role they play in ensuring a harassment-free environment within the credit union movement, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote on LinkedIn Friday.
“There are individuals, mostly women, who have felt everything from generally uncomfortable to personally harassed at credit union conferences,” Nussle wrote. “We – individually and collectively – can’t accept this anymore. We can’t laugh off the awkward comments and we can’t ignore the disturbing actions.”
Nussle thanked Rachel Pross, chief risk officer at Maps CU, Salem, Ore., for publicly raising this issue in the credit union industry, with Nussle noting, “we have a problem if individuals within our movement feel targeted by thoughtless comments or actions,” and said that it cannot be ignored, tolerated or accepted by anyone.
“The solution should be easy: treat everyone with dignity and respect. It’s so simple and obvious. If only it was that easy in practice,” he wrote. “So, what can be done right now? I’m going to lead by example and ask others to hold me accountable. And I’m asking you to do the same. It’s not acceptable that anyone in our movement walks away from a conference or meeting feeling disrespected, objectified or harassed.”
Nussle concluded by urging the credit union movement to remember that “we are better and should always strive to be better” and by doing so, create a culture that fully respects everyone’s unique perspectives and talents.
“It’s a basic principle at the “heart” of our credit union movement; one that will make us unstoppable,” he said.