Enhancing diversity and inclusion is a top priority for me and for our agency. When I became Chairman in 2009, one of the first goals I established was for NCUA to be an employer of choice, with an understanding that a diverse workforce enriches the agency and its employees, and enhances their output. And every year, I reaffirm our agency’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equal employment opportunity, with written policy statements to our staff.
As you may know, in our current Strategic Plan, one of our top Strategic Goals is to “cultivate an environment that fosters a diverse, well-trained and motivated staff.” Every day, our Office of Minority and Women Inclusion works diligently with our staff offices to help achieve these goals.
Since we created the office in 2011, each OMWI Director and acting director has met regularly with me, and we’ve worked closely with the Executive Director on OMWI issues. We’ve always advocated for OMWI to receive the resources needed to fulfill its statutory mission under the Dodd-Frank Act.
I’ve been personally involved because I feel strongly that regardless of the reporting structure, the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion deserves the direct attention and support of the agency Chairman.
Now some may wonder why we are changing the reporting structure at this particular time. As John pointed out during his presentation, NCUA was not in position to update the reporting structure until after the Equal Employment Opportunity Office merged into OMWI, and OMWI had a permanent Director.
Finding a suitable permanent director turned out to be quite a challenge. For 18 months, OMWI was led by three acting directors, who each did a valiant job of moving the office forward. During this time, we conducted four extensive searches for a permanent director. We were looking for an innovative leader who has a proven track record of increasing diversity and inclusion in the workforce and in contracting. And I’m delighted that we found that leader in Monica Davy.
Now that Monica has taken the helm at OMWI, we are in position to update our reporting structure in line with other agencies where the OMWI Director reports to the agency’s top official.
Finally, I’d also like to acknowledge the lead author of the OMWI section of the Dodd-Frank Act. In November of 2015, after we had already begun working on these new delegations for the OMWI Director to report to the NCUA Chairman, we received a report from the House Financial Services Committee’s Ranking Member, Congresswoman Maxine Waters. The report clarified the Congressional intent for NCUA, “that the OMWI Director report to the head of the agency which, in this case, is the Chairwoman.”
So, our first Board action of this New Year follows the laws governing both EEO and OMWI, as well as the practices of other agencies.
I look forward to continuing to work with Monica and her office, to promote greater diversity in our workforce and in our contracting.
Doing so will make NCUA an even more responsive agency, as our diverse workforce brings together a wide variety of perspectives which help us relate to all stakeholders.