2020 WYCUP Virtual Forum Begins with Scholarship Awards; DEI Discussion

Three young credit union professionals from three different continents each received a scholarship Wednesday that includes an all-expense paid trip to Glasgow, Scotland for the 2021 World Credit Union Conference.

The World Council Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP) program awarded its scholarships during the first session of its three-day 2020 Virtual Forum.

The 2020 WYCUP Scholarships were presented to:

Vita Hernandez – USA;

Vinicius Mattia – Brazil;

Lukasz Nowak – Poland.

The winners were selected out of 22 nominees who applied from across the globe. The WYCUP Scholarship program is open to nominees who are 40 or younger, have made significant contributions to their credit union or financial cooperative system and have the potential to make a global credit union impact. The WYCUP program has awarded more than 90 scholarships since 2001.

Examining the “Global Relevance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”

The first of four WYCUP 2020 Virtual Forum Sessions also focused on the importance of credit unions embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs—and why young credit union leaders need to be at the forefront of those efforts.

Kevin Martin, Senior Vice President of Organizational Performance and Strategic Planning at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, emphasized in his keynote address that engagement is everything for a credit union—but that you can’t fully engage with staff and members unless you have a quality DEI program in place.

“The consumer of yesterday looks very different than the consumer of tomorrow,” explained Martin. “If someone walks into your business and sees no one that looks like them, they could start to question why, and they may wonder—'can this business really serve me?’”

That’s why Martin says representation of different demographic groups among your employees really matters when trying to attract and retain not only new members—but new staffers as well.

“My experience tells me that if you focus on creating an inclusive environment the recruiting process gets a lot easier,” said Martin, explaining that engaged employees will recruit other talented people to work at your credit union.

“The leader of today and tomorrow is someone who creates an environment that promotes inclusion,” said Martin.

Wednesday’s session also included a WYCUP alumni forum where former scholarship winners discussed ways they have been impacted by diversity, equity and inclusion issues over the years, and how the WYCUP program has helped them to recognize the value of DEI initatives.

The 2020 WYCUP Virtual Forum continues with two sessions on Thursday, July 23, focused on:

  • Changing the World Through Youth Engagement; and
  • Leading Forward Through Adversity.

You can follow updates on the forum by visiting wycup.org/blog.