"Credit unions that have genuinely embraced ethnic diversity among employees are reaping the benefits that cultural differences can add to an organization.
Lisa Anderson, manager of diversity and recruitment at Assiniboine, says that in 2000 the board of Assiniboine formalized initiatives that were already underway to create a more diverse workforce, with more women, Aboriginal people, people of colour and people with disabilities. “It was really members who drove the initiative,” says Anderson. The Board’s decisions reaped results. The latest figures for Assiniboine, before its recent merger with Vantis, show a workforce composed of eight percent Aboriginal, three percent people with disabilities and 17 percent persons of colour. Half of the top management or executive positions are held by women, as are 70 percent of middle management positions. Some of the numbers may be low, says Anderson, because Assiniboine relies on self-identification. It is especially difficult for people with physical or mental needs to publicly acknowledge their disability. “It’s taken some people years to come forward and say, ‘I’m in pain,” says Anderson. But, gradually, more people are coming forward and getting the help that Assiniboine is more than willing to provide.
- by Laureen
Note: We did something a little different for this one. We merged the large colourless background with the foreground.
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