Colleen Nerius January 19, 2021 at 9:07 AM

SAFE and Metro Chamber to bring DEI tools to Sacramento-area businesses

Numerous studies show that companies that embrace the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have better financial outcomes, higher employee morale, and stronger brand respect. For instance, a BCG diversity and innovation survey conducted in 2017 found that companies with above-average diversity scores reported 45% average innovation revenue compared to 26% for companies with below-average diversity scores.

At SAFE Credit Union, we’re committed to a continual journey of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace. We understand that empowering diverse voices to help shape our business will help us better connect to the many communities we serve. We pledge to foster an inclusive environment where all our employees know they will be met with respect when they share their ideas. And we will practice equity by providing the tools and resources our employees need to make the most of their careers.

Of the many important lessons from 2020 is that a company needs to embrace DEI principles to succeed. And no company can change their community alone. It will take all businesses in our region to work together to bring needed, fundamental change.

That’s why SAFE is sponsoring an initiative with the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to bring a unique program to regional businesses to ensure the future shines brightly for everyone. The initiative will provide Emtrain’s corporate culture indicators survey tools to businesses in the Greater Sacramento region.

Emtrain, a Sacramento-based human resources consultant company, provides unique training tools that integrate lessons with questions that survey employees about their experience with core indicators of DEI. The anonymous responses are displayed on a heat map that shows the health of a company’s culture in various areas. Business leaders can then use that heat map to chart the continuing improvement of their cultures.

SAFE’s President and CEO Dave Roughton, as the 2021 Metro Chamber board chairperson, anticipates a productive collaboration among SAFE, Emtrain, and the Chamber. “Through our philanthropy and business citizenship, SAFE understands that we’re part of the broader fabric of our community,” he says. “I look forward to supporting this effort to provide a regional view of how business is incorporating DEI principles in order to attract and retain a more engaged, diverse workforce. Sacramento is one of the nation’s most diverse metropolitan areas, so it’s essential that our businesses lead the way to include diverse voices, lift others to success through equity practices, and create inclusive cultures in our workplaces and the community.”

As one of the few credit unions in our region to provide business banking services, SAFE is committed to working toward the well-being of our business community. We’re one of the top credit union Small Business Administration lenders in our region, connecting businesses with the funding they need to grow. We also helped over 400 small businesses secure Paycheck Protection Program loans in 2020. Our knowledgeable business banking experts provide comprehensive products and services specifically tailored to small businesses.

Sponsoring the initiative with the Chamber and Emtrain is another way that SAFE shows its commitment to our region’s economic success.

“SAFE and the Metro Chamber are leading the way to address important societal issues,” says Janine Yancey, CEO, Emtrain. “As businesspeople, we need to take a leadership role to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community. A community business working with a community chamber to solve these issues is beautiful.”

Yancey says that Emtrain will share its Workplace Social Indicators™ framework with regional businesses through the Metro Chamber with an eye toward strengthening the social fabric of workplaces, building strong teams, and facilitating healthy workplace cultures.

Amanda Blackwood, president and CEO of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, recognizes the need to address workplace culture. “Today, we are experiencing a compounding series of challenges that are adversely impacting women and communities of color in staggering ways,” she says. “While bias and discriminatory behaviors are not new, the economic recovery ahead of us gives us all an opportunity to address these issues head-on and create inclusive prosperity for generations to come. We are proud to partner on this initiative to make the elevated training program and corporate culture indicator survey tools available to all businesses in the Greater Sacramento region. At the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, we are committed to finding meaningful and measurable ways to advance and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion for a stronger, more resilient, and more vibrant region for us all. This is our commitment to change.”

Note: This content was also shared in the January 2021 edition of Comstocks magazine.


Learn more about Emtrain. 

Connect with the Metro Chamber. 

Learn more about how SAFE can serve your business.




Colleen Nerius

Colleen Nerius is Chief Human Resources at SAFE Credit Union.