Diversity and inclusion up for discussion (Image: Shutterstock).

As credit unions and other financial institutions struggle with how to make their workforces more diverse, the newly established House Financial Services Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee will hold its first hearing on the issue Wednesday.

In announcing the hearing, the subcommittee cited a GAO study that found that from 2007 to 2015, the overall representation of women managers at financial institutions remained unchanged, while the overall representation of minorities increased a bit, except for African-Americans, whose representation decreased.

The sole witness at Wednesday’s hearing is Daniel Garcia-Diaz, the GAO’s director of financial markets and community investment.

The hearing comes, as CUNA’s board chairman called for the addition of an eighth credit union cooperative principle to include diversity and inclusion.

“Absent from the seven cooperative principles is a specific focus on diversity and inclusion,” Maurice Smith, CUNA’s board chairman and CEO of the Local Government Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C., wrote, in an op-ed posted on the trade association’s website. “I raise this point because I think this is a prime opportunity for the credit union movement to further distinguish itself from other industries.”

“For credit unions, diversity and inclusion seems like a natural value to uphold,” he continued. “Credit unions support the notion that every member of a community has an inalienable right to exercise the doctrines presented in the cooperative principles.”