Creating and sustaining an inclusive culture may be one of the most difficult challenges an organization can undertake.
A diversity initiative is more than a compensation review to evaluate pay equity. The ability to authentically engage diverse people and perspectives, and interact across cultures fosters inclusion and belonging, which are critical skills for our evolving world.
It’s increasingly important for the board to learn and practice inclusive behaviors. In doing so we see how making changes or developing new skills will make a difference to us, our colleagues, and the credit union. Those who strive to improve diversity and inclusion discuss and evaluate how these efforts affect not only their marketplace, but also their business strategy.
Creating an inclusive governance model is not one–size–fits–all. It requires adapting the approach to each organization’s unique characteristics. By advocating for and setting an example of inclusion at the board level, boards can move the organizational needle as it relates to diversity and inclusion.
Many employees see inclusion as a top factor in deciding where to work, and they want inclusion to be fundamental to their daily work experience. When boards think and act inclusively, it sends a clear message about what is important to the organization, according to the Deloitte Center for Board Effectiveness.
Consider these five questions to start the conversation:
Building a culture of inclusion and belonging requires a shift from complacency to action.
Consider taking these steps to cultivate inclusive governance:
By fostering inclusion and building a diverse organization, we demonstrate our commitment to creating equity and fulfilling our mission of serving our members and communities in a strategic and sustainable way. The heart of diversity and inclusion is about shifting our behaviors and mindsets, and ensuring these efforts are at the center of decision-making.
It’s time for boards to recognize both their potential for influencing inclusion and their responsibility to do so, not only for the sake of employees but for their members and the communities they serve.
ALISON CARR is the chief strategist and consultant with Your Credit Union Partner. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.