When Jim Norris first learned about an in-depth diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training opportunity, he immediately knew SkyPoint Federal Credit Union had to participate.
“I wanted to do more than just write a statement of commitment to DEI,” says Norris, CEO of the $188 million asset credit union in Germantown, Md. “I wanted something transformational that would impact our day-to-day culture.”
SkyPoint Federal was the first credit union to register for the course, which was presented through the Maryland & DC Credit Union Association and Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.
The certificate program consists of lectures, class discussions, case studies, and hands-on projects that require interaction and collaboration among participants.
The Credit Union Foundation of MD/DC offered a limited number of grants to off-set the costs of DEI training for staff at credit unions with less than $500 million in assets.
By paying half the cost of the course’s $3,400 fee, “we hope to bring this important initiative within the financial reach of local credit unions who otherwise could not afford participation,” says Ron Shockley, chair of The Credit Union Foundation of MD/DC.
‘I wanted to do more than just write a statement of commitment to DEI.’
Santita Prather, manager of talent acquisition and development and the director of SkyPoint Federal’s DEI efforts, participated in the program, which consisted of two eight-hour sessions over three months.
“Between classes, we were required to complete homework for our upcoming sessions and participate in a capstone group project with a group of our peers as a final project,” she says.
The in-depth material spans the entire recruitment cycle.
“There was so much valuable information that helped me understand the business, moral, and legal cases for advancing DEI in the workplace,” says Prather. “I was also surprised by the level of expertise among the credit union professionals in the class. Their information and stories will prepare me for my role in human resources.”
With SkyPoint Federal’s community charter and business lending expansion, recruiting a talented, diverse staff for outreach efforts and business lending is a top priority. Prather is eager to share what she has learned about DEI with all staff.
“SkyPoint Federal understands the importance of leveraging a diverse workforce that reflects the membership and the communities we serve,” Prather says. “Advancing DEI in the workplace is another investment SkyPoint Federal is making to demonstrate the importance of financial inclusivity for all its members.”