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    Serving Diverse Members – A Sensitivity Guide

    Could your credit union employees benefit from Sensitivity/Diversity Training? If so, a new sensitivity guide is available to help with those efforts. The guide is not a training manual, but rather offers resources credit unions can access to develop a customized training program for staff/board based on specific needs or goals.

    Why provide Sensitivity/Diversity Training?

    If your credit union is seeking to serve new underbanked markets such as immigrants, ethnic/racial minorities, and/or low-income households, your employees may benefit from a richer understanding of cultural and economic differences within people. Similarly, if your credit union is planning to add alternative financial products such as a payday loan alternative, a check cashing program for non-members, or a fresh start checking or credit product, your employees should understand why the credit union is offering the new products, whom it will benefit, and how the credit union will benefit.

    These markets hold tremendous untapped potential for credit unions, but credit unions must be able to provide inviting environments to these new members within which to conduct their financial affairs. The guide consists of three sections:
    1. About low-wealth and underserved markets – a description of the financial challenges facing low income, asset-poor households;
    2. Sensitivity training and communication competencies – discussion and exercises to help employees learn communication techniques and compassion for struggling households;
    3. Diversity awareness – resources and exercises to help employees value diversity.

    A couple of questions for you:

    • Is the guide helpful for you? How do you plan to use it?
    • Do you have other sensitivity/diversity training materials that you have either developed or found and are willing to share?
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