NCUA Board Member Rodney E. Hood celebrated the significant evolution of the event and the ongoing commitment of the credit union community to DEI principles Thursday at NCUA’s 2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit.
“From its humble beginnings as a one-day event in 2019, the NCUA’s DEI Summit has burgeoned into a robust convening under Chairman Harper’s vision,” Hood noted, commending Chairman Todd M. Harper for expanding the Summit into an integral forum for advancing DEI in the credit union industry.
The success of the NCUA’s annual DEI Summit, according to Board Member Hood, is the dedication of the NCUA and the broader credit union community, who are integral to driving DEI to the forefront of the industry’s mission. He stressed the importance of DEI, not as a new concept, but as one that has gained crucial attention in recent years, necessitating continuous dialogue and implementation of DEI initiatives within daily operations.
Hood also highlighted the NCUA’s progressive stance on DEI, citing the agency’s “Second Chance” regulatory reform as an example of leading-edge policy, providing individuals with past minor criminal records fair employment opportunities in banking.
“That was an issue where the NCUA and the credit union industry were leading the way as the debate over criminal justice reform began to pick up steam in the years to follow,” Hood said. “And just last month, we took an important step forward to clarify and codify the Second Chance initiative in accordance with the Fair Hiring in Banking Act. In fact, more and more leaders in the larger business community are recognizing the wisdom of this approach.”
He concluded his remarks by urging the credit union industry to maintain its momentum, transforming the discourse from the conference into actionable steps within their communities.
“If we truly hope to surmount the barriers that divide our society, then we need to focus on the steps we can take to make that kind of ‘deep commitment’ a reality,” Hood said. “That begins with the conversations and exchanges of ideas that we’re having here at the DEI Summit and then putting those ideas into action in your own credit unions and workplaces after this event concludes.”