Pub. 10 2020-2021 Issue 5


Chairman’s Message: Diversity Helps Banks Meet Community Needs

As I write this message, we are coming up on a year since the COVID-19 Pandemic began, bringing with it not only a health crisis but a financial one, too. Looking back over the past 12 months, it is hard to wrap one’s mind around all that our country has endured.

But we have much to be hopeful about, as well. As Americans have begun rolling up their sleeves for vaccines, bankers have rolled up their sleeves to facilitate support for their communities.

As an industry, we can be proud that we came through with flying colors when our mettle was tested. We have been part of the solution every step of the way, not only proving our worth but demonstrating our unwavering dedication to our customers and our communities. We have further solidified that commitment by responding to the call to affect our industry’s demographics’ real change.

Last year, CBA launched a Diversity and Inclusion Council, working toward developing new Colorado banks’ resources to diversify the state’s industrial workforce.

We know that a variety of perspectives can only help our banks meet the needs of the communities they serve — and we know it is important for Colorado institutions to reflect and represent those communities and customers. A CBA education program is in development to expand the council’s communication to the greater industry across the state and allow bankers to share ideas, success stories and resources to improve diversity and inclusion-related efforts in banks’ hiring and retention practices. I encourage each of you to take advantage of this important opportunity.

The council is led by a fellow CBA board member, Mbiyu Chisholm, a banker with Chase Bank. I believe he captured our industry’s intention perfectly when he said, “This (council) is looking to bring about change, beginning with our Colorado community. Diversity and inclusion are done through empathy, education and engagement, and reinforced through tangible actions and consistency of message.”

I am gratified by our industry’s willingness to embrace change. I am heartened by how personally Colorado bankers take their role in the state’s economy and their customers and communities’ well-being.

In the words of the late Supreme Court Justice, the Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

We know there is much work to be done, and it won’t happen overnight. But our customers can “take it to the bank” that we are willing, ready and able to do it.