Edward Gibson got his start in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) during a college internship. He’s been involved since, providing space for people to feel comfortable being themselves.
The California native became a Certified Diversity Professional in 2021 and worked at the Texas Department of Transportation prior to joining Credit Union National Association in September 2022. As DEI manager, Gibson supports “CUNA’s efforts to deepen our inclusive workplace culture and foster a more equitable and diverse workplace.”
CUNA News recently caught up with Gibson to discuss his career, his new role, the importance of DEI, the components of an inclusive work environment, misconceptions about DEI, and his interests outside of work.
CUNA News: What brought you to CUNA?
Edward Gibson: My journey to CUNA came about when I was looking for places to learn and grow my skills in DEI. I saw the foundation that CUNA set for the importance of DEI. Specifically, I was looking for a place to go that has emphasized the importance of DEI throughout each level of the organization.
CUNA’s pillars spoke to me. Recognizing inclusion as an important part of the equation is extremely important to me, and I found the emphasis at CUNA valuable.
A: The DEI team’s goal is to provide a space where people can feel free to be their full self, and increase involvement throughout our employee engagement groups, councils, and programs.
We also plan to provide more education for all, internally and externally. We will achieve growth throughout the entire organization through intentional initiatives and collaboration.
A: I first started in college when I did an internship in the Intercultural International Affairs Office. I fell in love with the opportunity to create community while hosting events. Later, I found myself working in higher education doing DEI work and loving the self-reflection and intentional growth.
A: Good company culture is important to any organization. Some signs of good company culture have to do with the freedom to share thoughts, opinions, and experiences without fear or consequences.
It’s important to create a space where mistakes are valued and not criticized because we all learn differently. The ability to communicate during challenging times often promotes learning and inclusivity.
A: A supportive and inclusive work environment involves each person. Everyone must be committed to create that inclusive and supportive work environment. An employee must have a voice, sense of belonging, and support system for personal and career growth.
A: A common misconception is that we just want to give women and people of color jobs. We want to lower the barrier but never the bar. We want qualified applicants to come into the fold because workforce research has proved that more diverse viewpoints achieve greater success.
A: I look up to my mother, Anissa Goode, personally and professionally. She has always been a truthful and dedicated individual in all she does. I hope to have half the strength she does.
A: I like to walk and hike with my dogs. I have recently been getting more into gardening.
A: California. I was born and raised there, so it is always good when I can go back to visit family. I am very family oriented, so any vacation seeing family is worthwhile.
A: DEI is a never-ending journey that I look forward to being a part of at CUNA.