NCUA diversity chief touts agency’s inclusion efforts before Congress

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Monica Davy, the director of the Office of Women and Minority Inclusion at the National Credit Union Administration, promoted the agency’s diversity efforts during a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Monica Davy, director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the National Credit Union Administration
Monica Davy, director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the National Credit Union Administration

Davy was one of several OMWI directors from federal banking regulators to speak as part of a House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on diversity and inclusion. Congress is back in session this week after its August recess but continues to hold virtual hearings, and all panelists addressed the subcommittee via videoconferencing.

OMWIs at NCUA and other regulators are mandated by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, and Davy credited that law with “having been a catalyst” for change at the agency. In the last five years alone, she said, NCUA has increased its racial and ethnic diversity by more than five percentage points and increased diversity among its senior staff by 12 percentage points. Additionally, more than 40% of total contract dollars at NCUA have gone to minority- or women-owned businesses in the last two years, said Davy, and awards to those suppliers have increased by nearly 16 percentage points in the last five years.

In written testimony before the panel, Davy noted progress the agency has made with increasing participation in its diversity self-assessment. While industry participation continues to be under 1%, Davy said the board is considering ways credit unions can be incentivized to participate in order to increase the number of institutions that take part.

Examiners make up two-thirds of the agency’s staff, and Davy outlined a variety of ways NCUA is working to increase diversity in those ranks, including collaborating with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to determine barriers to testing to become an NCUA principal examiner. OPM last year surveyed those who recently took the test and NCUA plans to use those results to help ensure on-the-job training is consistent.

NCUA has also expanded its recruiting efforts to ensure diverse candidate pools during the hiring process, and NCUA has a policy of putting women or minorities on interviewing panels whenever possible.

“The majority of these recruitment efforts target groups with less-than-expected participation in the agency’s workforce and individuals with disabilities,” Davy wrote. “The NCUA has expanded its recruitment efforts at historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions,” including the Prospanica, an advocacy group for Hispanic professionals, the Congressional Black Caucus, career expos for the disabled and wounded veterans, and more.

Within the last week President Trump slammed the idea of diversity training at federal agencies, calling the idea “un-American,” but U.S. Rep. Al Green (D, Texas) queried all participants about that, and every OMWI director – including Davy and her counterparts from Federal Reserve banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and more – rejected that characterization. Davy and the rest also said they were not away of anyone from the administration asking their agency to stop holding diversity trainings.

Earlier this year NCUA launched a Diversity, Culture and Inclusion Council aimed at improving DEI efforts within the industry.

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Diversity and equality NCUA Law and regulation Compliance Financial regulations Credit unions