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Making sure you belong

Learn how important diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are to Coastal Community.

3 min read Time to read June 2023

Removing barriers to ensure everyone has a voice at the table is key to creating fair workplaces offering equal opportunities. At Coastal Community, the employee-led Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Committee helps lead that work. To learn more, here’s an interview with Nathan Hilton, a Member Service Representative at our Hammond Bay location.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background? Nathan Hilton

My name is Nathan, I go by any pronouns, and I am currently sitting as Co-Chair on Coastal Community’s DEIB committee. I am new to the island, moving here in 2020 with my partner from the East Kootenays. I have always looked for volunteer opportunities to help people in my communities and amplify marginalized voices wherever possible.

Why did you choose to volunteer for the DEIB Committee?

When I heard Coastal had a DEIB committee, I thought it would be a perfect use of my experience to help make real positive impacts for our staff, members, clients, and the community. Our executive team and board are really receptive to us as we share the goal of making Coastal Community the best it can be.

What does diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging mean to you?

DEIB is about recognizing that everyone in our organization, as well as our members and clients, come from so many different backgrounds and all have unique needs. You know you are in a place where you belong when you are comfortable with a bit of vulnerability, whether it’s asking for help or raising a concern. Belonging is also knowing that if you do have a concern, it won’t just be brushed aside.

I think that’s important for our members and clients to feel as well. Recently I had a member who is visually impaired and was having difficulty using our online services. I took the time to call him and go over some specifics, and I’ll take what I learned forward to see if we can make some changes. Taking the time to listen to our members, clients and colleagues when they do raise these concerns is so important in making sure they feel valued and belong with our Credit Union.

What sort of things are on the DEIB Committee’s radar for the coming year?

This year we really want to focus on education as well as the belonging aspect of DEIB. We know Coastal Community scores well on feedback surveys like the one from Great Place To Work™ but we want to dig a little deeper into that and find areas of improvement.

We are also looking at ways to better support our diverse island communities whether it be with accessibility of our services, getting ourselves out volunteering with more groups, or working on the journey of reconciliation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know more about Nathan, and if you’d like to learn more about Coastal Community’s approach to Environmental, Social and Governance principles, check out our Annual Report.