The NCUA’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion recently rolled out its Voluntary Diversity and Inclusion Policies and Practices Checklist, which included a diversity self-assessment questionnaire, an article entitled “Diversity: A Good Investment For Credit Unions” and a copy of the interagency policy statement establishing diversity joint standards. These materials can be found at the agency’s website ( The OMWI article is concise and informative; I recommend its reading to every credit union volunteer, professional and supplier. But for those who are or will be assigned the task of completing the self-assessment questionnaire, read the article first before proceeding to answer the questions. Take note that the questionnaire is voluntary, will not be used in your institution’s examination process, and will not be disclosed in any forum (e.g., report to Congress) without your consent. Therefore, when answering each question, be honest in your response. Once you have completed it, congratulate yourself for taking the first step toward gaining a competitive advantage for your credit union. Then, based upon your findings, evaluate whether diversity is a strength or weakness at your financial institution.

Typically, successful organizations conduct a self-assessment of some type as part of its strategic planning process. This self-evaluation provides the company with a snapshot of its current state in the marketplace. An organizational self-critique helps to ensure the institution’s operations and utilization of resources are in alignment with the company’s mission and strategic goals. This assessment process hopefully includes an analysis of the financial institution’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, also known as a SWOT analysis. Here, the credit union looks externally as well as internally to determine the status of its strategic capabilities. Utilizing this four-quadrant approach, the credit union can list and report on each strength, weakness, opportunity and threat in every area or department of the institution.

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