Direct Federal is proudly committed to ensuring there is diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of our business. We are focused on ensuring that each and every person with whom we interact feels honored, celebrated, and appreciated for who they are. This includes our members, employees, board members, vendors, visitors, and community partners.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Direct
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
In 2020, we witnessed a groundswell of social and cultural change. For many, taking steps to end racism and encourage social justice became a mandate for positive change. Direct embraced that mandate for change, vowing to join many credit unions and businesses committed to help end injustice toward people of color.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee is comprised of Direct Federal Board of Directors, senior management, and employees.
Meet the Committee
Senior Vice President
Chief Member Officer
Mary Ann Boari
Board of Director
Board of Director
Board of Director
Our Committee is dedicated to driving positive change through education and continual development. Our employees, members, vendors, and community partners have a wealth of information and ideas for how our organization can improve and that is why this team is committed to have open lines of communication at every level.
With a strong action plan in place, we are excited to share with some of our most recent accomplishments. Check back often to see what we are up to. We continue to listen, learn, and reflect on our priorities. Growing and evolving a diverse and inclusive environment is on the forefront of our business every single day.
Black History Month
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee kicked off February by announcing a series of events for the month to honor and celebrate Black History Month. Direct will be reimbursing employees up to $50 for supporting a black-owned business in Norfolk and Middlesex County. These businesses will be featured on our Facebook page throughout the month of February. In addition, employees will have the opportunity to attend a free virtual guided tour of the Black Entrepreneurs of the 18th and 19th Centuries Exhibit at the Museum of African American History in Boston. Later this month, the Committee will be hosting and moderating a round table discussion on Ava DuVernay’s documentary film, 13th. 13th takes an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States.
All Company Unconscious Bias Training
Direct Federal Employees attended an hour-long training led by Insource Service’s Vice President Saleha Walsh, Chief People Officer DaQuall Graham and Sr. HR Consultant Shavon Andrews. The training discussed and helped employees uncover how unconscious bias can affect their actions, interactions, and perceptions – both in everyday life and in the workplace. The Credit Union put additional resources in place during the hour to allow all employees the ability to attend the training. The training was interactive and encouraged employee participation, discussion, and dialogue about an array of topics related to unconscious bias.
Launch of Diversity and Inclusion Author Series
Direct Federal is proud to launch the Direct Federal Credit Union’s Diversity and Inclusion Author Series. This series includes partnering with local bookstores to highlight books that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion by authors who show a commitment to these same principles. On October 23, 2021, the series was launched with an event done in partnership with Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton. Author Anika Aldamuy Denise read her book "Planting Stories" to children and families at Gardner Park in Acton. Every child received a free copy of her book. Next, we will be partnering with the Maynard Boys and Girls Club featuring Denise's groundbreaking book.
Mental Health Roundtable
Direct Federal held it's second employee roundtable, focusing on mental health challenges, including the additional hardships faced by minority groups when seeking help. Four videos were watched and discussed by attendees with discussion themes around the impact of mental health issues in our personal and professional lives and what Direct Federal can do to support the mental health of our employees on an ongoing basis.
Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable
Direct Federal held it's first roundtable to encourage employee conversations on Diversity and Inclusion topics both at work and in our community. The conversation centered around a video shared by our Franklin High School Diversity and Inclusion Champion Scholarship Winner, Ndoumbe Ndoye. Ndoye helped organize a roundtable discussion on the Franklin Common in late 2020 to discuss the experiences of students of color who have grown up in a predominantly white community.
Direct Federal participated in Financial Literacy programs in seven schools in Norfolk and Middlesex County. Highlights from the 2020-2021 school year:
- 492 students
- 7 schools
- 1,423 hours of learning time
- 48% of the students we served self-identified as members of a minority group
Diversity and Inclusion Champion Scholarship
The 2021 Diversity Champion Scholarship recognized high school seniors from Dedham High, Everett High, Framingham High School, Franklin High, and the Waltham Boys and Girls Club who have led or supported an effort in making their school and/or community diverse and inclusive. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship.
Diversity in the Workplace Certificate
Jennifer Cavan, AVP Human Resources at Direct Federal, recently obtained a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
in the Workplace Certificate from the University of South Florida, MUMA College of Business. The goal of the certificate program is to help companies become more inclusive by imparting knowledge and developing tools to perform organizational self-assessment and plans for inclusive change. Cavan is a member of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee and will use this certificate to lead Direct in embracing practices, initiatives, and tools designed to increase levels of diversity among employees.
Top 50 Most Influential People of Color
In 2020 partnered with the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce to launch its 50 Most Influential People of Color program. This program aimed to celebrate, document, and showcase the plethora of professionals and executives of color making a positive contribution to the economic and social fabric of the region. The honorees, selected by a seven-member committee from over 200 nominations, work and/or sit on a board for a business or nonprofit that is physically located in Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Waltham, Watertown, Natick and Framingham. Click here to view the list and learn more.
Statement from our Chairman and CEO
Our Chairman of the Board Don Kelliher and President and CEO Joe Walsh announced to our 30,000 members outlining specific actions the credit union will take to bring diversity and inclusion into the forefront of our business and sphere of influence. Following this letter, our Board of Directors asked the management team to assemble a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This committee is comprised of members of the board, senior management, and staff.
Our employees are the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees have represent who we are as a Credit Union.
We embrace and encourage our employees' differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique.
As we continue to innovate and grow, having an inclusive workplace tremendously impacts our culture, employees, and business. Our culture is rooted in the idea that all employee voices should be heard, respected and valued.
We have made a commitment to ensure we are recruiting and attracting people of color to our Board, Supervisory Committee, and Leadership Team. If you would like to connect with our Recruitment Team, please click the link below.
Credit Unions were founded on the philosophy "People Helping People” and we strive to deliver that in our work, every day. Our DirectGiving program demonstrates our commitment to make a positive difference in the communities we serve by integrating our community engagement efforts into our everyday business and leveraging our strengths and resources to make the greatest impact.
In 2021 we committed to increasing our philanthropic and volunteer efforts and redirect a significant portion of those resources to groups that promote social justice, fight racism, serve the needs of minority groups, and support impoverished areas. 44% of our DirectGiving budget in 2021 supported groups that fell into these categories. These groups include, but are not limited to:
- 50 Most Influential People of Color Needham Newton Chamber of Commerce
- Ellie Fund Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
- Waltham Boys and Girls Club
- Newton Boys and Girls Club
- Hope and Comfort
- Catie's Closet
- Justice Resource Institute Children's Advocacy Center
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
Equal Opportunity Lender.
Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency.
© 2021 DIRECT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION