Fighting gender & racial bias in the workplace: Onsite at REACH

Humanidei’s CEO explains why it’s in credit unions’ best interest to tackle the issue of diversity and inclusion.

Monterey, CA

Only 5% of credit union CEOs are people of color. If one out of every 10 people on an organization’s leadership team is female, 45% of men believe women are well-represented on that leadership team. And resumes with “black-sounding names” are 50% less likely to be called by hiring managers.

Those were a few staggering statistics from CUNA, McKinsey & Leanin and an unknown source, respectively, presented by Jill Nowacki, president/CEO of human capital consulting firm Humanidei, during a breakout session at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH conference Oct. 29. The former president/CEO of the Credit Union League of Connecticut opened the session by sharing her own experiences as a woman climbing the ranks of leadership in the credit union industry.

“I was the youngest league president, and one of only a few women league presidents,” Nowacki said. “I felt pressure to represent my entire gender and generation.” She added that she felt as if she was placed in the role as a “token” of her gender or generation, not as a qualified individual, and that she would sometimes suppress her ideas.

“Think of a time when you didn’t feel like you fit in with a group,” she said, painting a picture for the audience of what it can feel like as a woman or minority who is underrepresented in a workplace. “How did you not bring your best self to the situation?”


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