Vancity was founded on the vision of inclusion when a small group of citizens couldn’t get their needs met by existing banks in 1946. We continue that work today with fair financial services and access for all.
In 2020, we made a commitment to oppose racism. With an understanding that being actively anti-racist requires much learning and unlearning, we want to be transparent by sharing an honest update on what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve fallen short.
Financial institutions provide important services, access, and opportunities, so it’s critical that our work with communities that have faced racism and discrimination are centered on building meaningful relationships, not just transactional services. The banking system has many standard processes created for privileged groups, which frequently translate into systemic barriers for everyone else. As a financial institution and employer, we’re committed to doing our part in removing financial barriers that stem from systemic exclusion and inequities.
In 2021, we received the results of our external racial equity audit. Vancity’s Racial Equity Employee Resource Group (ERG) was consulted to review, validate, and advise on the priority actions. As a result:
Our work with communities centres on building meaningful relationships, not just transactional services. And because fair financial services can translate to better access and economic opportunities, we create financial products that account for specific needs and strengths of groups that have been historically excluded. In 2021:
Vancity is part of the federal 50-30 Challenge to accelerate diversity and improve equity at our Board and senior management levels. The goal is to attain gender parity (50 per cent) and at least 30 per cent representation of underrepresented groups to build a more diverse, inclusive, and vibrant economy.
To meet this challenge, we need to improve on gender parity at the senior management levels. For underrepresented groups, we recognize that by grouping these identities together, we don’t see the disparities among them. Therefore, we are setting a higher target so that by the end of 2025, we reflect our community diversity with a Board and a senior management team where at least 40 per cent identify as Indigenous, Black, person of colour, 2SLGBTQIA+ or a person living with disabilities.
Our commitment to provide fair financial services and access for all means continuing the work to be an anti-racist institution, promote meaningful Reconciliation, and ensure equity is embedded in our processes. A few initiatives currently underway are:
Vancity’s unique organizational history positions us to embed inclusion and anti-racism in our organizational priorities. While we take pride in our progress, we do so knowingly that the work is urgent and ongoing. We’ll continue to be accountable and share updates with our employees and members.
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