Samira Salem

PODCAST: Deep dive into DEI

“Becoming more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive is a win-win for all.”

October 1, 2020

The credit union movement is currently engaged in crucial conversations about structural racism and social justice. As credit unions consider how they can better support their employees, members, and communities, many are also learning more about diversity, equity, and inclusion—or DEI—and how it can guide credit unions in their efforts.

In this episode, Samira Salem, CUNA’s vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion, joins the CUNA News Podcast for a wide-ranging discussion of DEI principles. Salem defines the elements of DEI, explains how to review the member experience through a DEI lens, shares why credit unions should prioritize DEI during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and more.

"It should come as no surprise that diverse and inclusive organizations are more collaborative and more innovative," says Salem. "They're better able to avoid risks. We see better team performance, customer orientation, and improved decision-making."


Salem emphasizes that implementing DEI practices is both a journey and a lifestyle. "Once you begin to intentionally do this work, it will become part of how you move forward," she says. "It's continuous, and we don't have a road map. We may run into challenges, and we need to be able to pick ourselves up, make course corrections, and continue moving forward."

You can listen and subscribe to the CUNA News Podcast in Apple’s iTunes StoreSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher Radio.

In this episode:

1:11: Defining DEI

4:39: The “three-legged stool” of DEI

10:22: Taking the first step as an organization

13:00: How to measure success

15:54: DEI and COVID-19

19:28: The CU DEI Collective

21:43: Salem’s DEI priorities