Recent events have amplified systemic racial injustice that America continues to face, and many individuals continue to fight for change and equality. At LendKey, we embrace and celebrate inclusion, diversity, and equality, and we are proud to hire and support people from all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. We believe that a diverse and inclusive team is critical to creating a welcoming and respectful work environment, driving innovation, and meeting the company’s goals.
One of our core values at LendKey is truthful. We believe that the truth is always your best defense and that being honest and straightforward will allow us to grow stronger together. Being truthful is having the courage to have direct conversations and that includes having the voice to speak up when you see or hear something that is not right. We recognize that there is unequal treatment of Black and Brown Americans and we all need an equal commitment to change. For this, we will not be silent or complacent – we will have the courage and commitment to speak up and to make a difference.
We are committed to being a part of this change and are announcing our public plans on what we intend to do as a company to progress equality.
- We’re committed to ongoing Diversity / Black Lives Matter Panel discussions amongst our team with an objective to open a dialogue on racial equality and social injustice. The panelists address questions such as, “Why do Black Lives Matter more right now?”, “What are race relations like in your community?”, and “Why did you accept an invitation to this panel?”. The willingness of our employees to participate in this panel and speak truthfully about their insights, viewpoints, and very personal stories takes courage and helps to personalize things after hearing how our colleagues & friends are impacted by racial injustice and inequality. We will continue these discussions with both new and existing panel members each quarter to expand the conversation and to bring more awareness on this topic.
- We launched a Diversity Resource Center (DRC), located on our company intranet, to provide resources and thoughtful dialogue on diversity and inclusion topics for those interested in learning more and expanding awareness. Our focus for the DRC this quarter has been on Black Lives Matter and includes articles, videos, testimonials, EAP resources, and other educational material. The resources provided will continue to make our company a place where diversity is embraced, and where healthy communication and respect is established. We have engaged our employees to solicit feedback on relevant content and will continue to evolve the DRC over time to cover a variety of diversity & inclusion topics.
- We updated our recruiting processes & practices to ensure more inclusive hiring of diverse candidates and established Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) around diverse hiring initiatives. This includes ensuring a diverse candidate slate and interview panel for all open roles. We’ve also participated in a virtual Diversity Career Fair and have actively posted open roles with Historical Black Colleges and Universities to hire talent graduating from their institutions. We are developing training to provide to our hiring managers and teams on inclusive hiring practices and bringing awareness to personal biases throughout the organization.
- We engaged in a workshop focused on diving into difficulty together to improve teamwork, foster diversity, develop inclusion and strengthen unity. Our objective of this workshop was to learn how to effectively dive into difficult situations together rather than allowing them to remain silently hidden beneath the surface and how to lift one another up, even if you must dive into the depths. Over 80% of our team members participated to learn to use their voices and speak up against workplace injustices including racial inequality, personal biases, and individual issues.
- We mailed every LendKey employee a copy of March – Book 1 by John Lewis to bring awareness to the civil rights movement and the history of peaceful protests. We facilitated weekly book club discussions to connect with one another on key themes, comments, and questions helping us to better understand the fight for racial injustice and what it means. During these sessions, we heard personal stories from employees who have experienced racial inequality and/or participated in peaceful protests. We continue to remind employees of John Lewis’ message of finding non-violent ways to get in the way to make our country a better place and how to use our voice to speak the truth when we see or hear something that is not right. Many of our employees will soon be engaging in a book club for March – Book 2 by John Lewis after being personally inspired by Book 1.
- Our CEO and Founder engages all employees in a Weekly Business Update video call where we provide an update on our Diversity & Black Lives Matter initiatives to ensure everyone knows how we are progressing and how they can contribute to our mission. We have also added the question, “I believe that my company is a safe and inclusive place to work for”, to our monthly voluntary employee engagement survey to ensure we are measuring our progress towards fostering an environment where all employees feel valued, welcomed, and integrated.
- And finally, we have joined the Fintech Equality Coalition where we’ll partner with a collection of Fintech companies seeking to fight racial inequality and better serve underrepresented groups within our industry. With this partnership, we’ve nominated 4 of our LendKey employees to engage in working groups where we will share best practices and identify initiatives to work on to help contribute to the coalition’s overall mission.
We ask how a company of our size can make a difference and it starts with each of us becoming more aware and gaining the courage to speak up and against racial injustice. Our commitment to these ongoing initiatives is a step in the right direction and we are excited to continue this journey.
LendKey delivers seamless technology, servicing, liquidity options, and support that financial institutions need to manage their portfolios and establish a strong digital lending presence with prime borrowers. Lenders optimize their offerings by drawing upon LendKey’s demand generation, online decisioning and loan origination engines, loan servicing, compliance expertise, and proprietary balance sheet options. Founded in 2009, LendKey works with hundreds of credit unions and banks that have collectively deployed over $4 billion in loans.