Instant Insights / CU Times: Diversity in the Raw

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is top-of-mind for credit union leaders. Learn about the industry's latest DEI-related data and initiatives - and the people behind them - in this special coverage package.


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According to the African-American Credit Union Coalition, mentors in workplaces are more likely to pair up with professionals of their own culture, leaving many Black professionals steps behind whites in their pursuit of occupying the C-suite. This limitation is what triggered the AACUC to launch the pilot mentoring program “1-to-1Woman,” which matched nine white female credit union executives with nine Black female rising professionals to form a mentoring relationship over a four-week period.

The white female executives were assigned as mentors for the Black women, who were selected based on merit, education and credit union industry experience, the AACUC said. Participants received a workbook containing weekly topics, which were related to professional development, race/cultural bias and gender similarities and served as a springboard for conversations, according to the organization. Pairs were encouraged to meet twice a week, and all meetings took place virtually as the participants were located in different states and time zones.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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