A Message to our Members from CEO Benson Porter
Our communities are being called upon to fully recognize and confront the systemic injustice that has endured for generations. The hurt, anger, fear and despair felt by Black people must be acknowledged in order for us become better allies in the movement for change.
BECU will not stand for bias and racism. As individuals, and as a credit union, we have a responsibility to embrace and support diverse experiences and viewpoints in order to be an inclusive organization, strengthened by our purpose to improve the financial well-being of all.
We know that talk and well-intentioned gestures can only go so far. We must act to affect change. BECU is committed to taking an active stance in making changes at the individual, structural and broader co-op levels. Work is already underway. We have been listening, learning and aligning to take meaningful action, which we will sustain for the long term.
- Encouraging members to participate in our annual People Helping People Awards by nominating organizations serving marginalized and culturally diverse communities.
- Hiring a VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to help guide our efforts to become a more equitable organization. Recruitment for this role in underway and we expect to fill it soon.
- Supporting our staff through Community Time Off to enable them to more fully participate in the community and nonprofit programs of their choice.
- Expanding our employee connection groups to include the Black Alliance Cooperative and a LGBTQ+ council, in addition to our Women's Leadership Group, Young Professionals Group, and Veterans Employee Resource Group, and the work of our existing internal employee council focused on "Belonging, Inclusion and Levering Differences."
- Providing more access for marginalized communities (black, indigenous, people of color) through our membership, products, services, giving and hiring practices.
- Actively reviewing recruiting, hiring, retention, promotion/talent development, and vendor strategies and practices to ensure diverse representation at all levels - particularly senior management.
- Creating clear guidelines for a better and more respectful work environment.
- Developing a Member Code of Conduct that we can all be proud of to allow employees to feel supported and safe in their work environments.
- Continuing to leverage our Board and diverse community partners in support of our commitment to sustainable racial equity.
We know we don't have all the answers, we know some of our actions may feel bold and uncomfortable, and we will do more. What guides us is the desire to embody our values; most importantly, to "Do the Right Thing." Together, through compassion, acknowledgement, open and honest conversations, and a commitment to action, we can empower meaningful change.
I thank you for sharing the values of BECU through your membership, and I encourage us all to join together to become better allies in the movement for real change.