Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

UW Credit Union is committed to creating a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as leading the way for other organizations to do the same.

Here For Every You.

What are diversity, equity and inclusion? Put simply, to us:

  • Diversity is our differences, both visible and invisible. It's a celebration of different perspectives, backgrounds and identities.
  • Equity is fair treatment. It's eliminating barriers and providing resources to those who may need a boost, so everyone has an equal chance to thrive.
  • Inclusion is a welcoming environment. It's the sense of belonging that comes when those around you are culturally competent and value different perspectives.

What about equality? Equality assumes that everyone starts from the same place and should be treated equally, while equity assumes different people have different needs. Equity is our goal.

Staff of UW Credit Union Bay View Branch

Our Bay View team at the branch's grand opening in 2022.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are put into practice at UW Credit Union to ensure we create a welcoming environment where everyone - members and employees - can succeed.

Through DEI, we gain new perspectives and understanding, which lead to better service and solutions, greater innovation, and an enriched member and employee experience.

Implementing DEI throughout our organization is an ongoing process of reflection and action. We're on a journey to make DEI a priority that's practiced by everyone and owned by our leaders.

It's not just a moment; it's a movement. Learn more about credit unions' DEI statement.

Here For All Of You: Our DEI Mission Statement

At UW Credit Union, diversity, equity and inclusion are more than words. They are part of everyday life.

Our employees, like our members, represent a range of races and ethnicities, genders and gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, generations, spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic backgrounds, communication styles and more. This diversity brings valuable perspectives to our work and our relationships. It inspires us to advocate for one another and seek solutions that benefit us all.

In our workplace, each of us is valued, accepted and empowered to do our best. We can all express ourselves fully, contribute in meaningful ways and advance professionally. Our differences make us stronger and our respect for each other gives us power.

Steps We've Taken

  • Recruiting practices - Our vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion works closely with human resources and our recruitment team to create inclusive hiring practices.
  • Team training - All employees have the opportunity to attend ongoing cultural competency trainings on topics such as implicit bias, emotions and belonging.
  • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) - Employee-led groups offer networking, community engagement, and career development opportunities. Our ERGs include Black Excellence, Green Team, Helping Young Professionals Engage (HYPE), Raices Latinx, Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), and the Women's Initiative Network.
  • Policies audit - We're reviewing all our policies and established business practices through a DEI lens to update and make changes accordingly.
  • Flexible work - Whenever and wherever possible, we provide options for flexible, accessible remote work, which helps us be a more inclusive and supportive employer while giving employees new opportunities and a better work-life balance.
  • Embracing diversity and advocacy - We're taking steps to make sure our spaces and our actions create feelings of safety and inclusivity for our members and our coworkers. Examples include community partnerships and support, Spanish-language resources; acknowledging symbols of pride or tribute and dates of significance; and honoring individuals' pronouns and preferred names.
Sheila Milton, UWCU's Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

UW Credit Union Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Sheila Milton.

Our Partnership with Filene

In 2019 we partnered with Filene Research Institute to open their new Center of Excellence for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which conducts research and tackles challenges regarding workforce diversity and underserved populations in the financial sector.

The goal of this work is to develop actionable ideas, such as industry-wide benchmarking to monitor DEI progress and guidelines for the implementation of best practices.

Together with Filene, we are creating insights and innovation that will lead to real and lasting change.

The UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity

In 2021 we established our Fund for Racial Equity, which made a $1.5 million investment in organizations that remove barriers for people of color by creating financial stability and closing the education achievement gap.

Developed in partnership with United Way of Dane County and United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, the Fund also earmarked $250,000 for emergency funds to meet immediate needs of racial equity initiatives, including COVID-19 relief for underserved communities.

Learn more about our investment and how eligible organizations can apply for funding.

Juntos Avanzamos Designation

In 2023, we received the distinguished Juntos Avanzamos (“Together We Advance”) designation, recognizing our commitment to empowering Hispanic and immigrant consumers.

Factors contributing to this recognition include our robust roster of bilingual staff, our efforts to remove barriers for Hispanic/Latinx consumers and our Spanish-language financial literacy programs.

Financial Services for All

We offer financial products and services that change lives. With focus on access, transparency and affordability, we are there for those who need us most, including unbanked and underbanked individuals, people with past financial struggles and anyone who needs a financial friend.

  • Fee prevention. We actively help members avoid paying fees. For example, our debit card transactions are processed in the order they are received, unlike many financial institutions that post larger amounts first to increase chances of an overdraft.
  • No ATM fees. We don’t charge a fee to anyone using our ATMs to access their hard-earned money.
Two women use the UW Credit Union app at home to improve their financial education.

UW Credit Union is your financial partner through life.

  • Overdraft-free checking. Another way to prevent fees, our Clear Account has no overdraft. If there isn't enough money in the account to cover a purchase, the transaction is simply declined.
  • Fresh start checking. For people who have struggled in the past and need to rebuild their finances, we provide a way forward with our Encore Account.
  • Credit building. We help young people and anyone starting out to build a strong financial foundation with our low-limit, unsecured Visa credit card.
  • Financial counseling. We offer complimentary, confidential, no-obligation Credit Consultations for members and non-members.
  • Accessibility standards. We meet or exceed standards for effectively serving people with disabilities, taking special care to make UW Credit Union accessible to everyone, and we have been among the first financial institutions to adopt new technologies that improve accessibility.