We’ve heard it said in many ways: our differences make us better and stronger. Here, at FHLBank Chicago, we believe, live, and promote that sentiment in all that we do.

Our employees, our members, and their communities are diverse, and we celebrate that diversity by fostering a culture where all are engaged, respected, and given equitable opportunities to succeed.

We start within our Bank, where our employees are active participants in developing the diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture we aspire to have. We actively recruit and retain diverse talent whose unique experiences and ideas are not just heard, but also valued. This approach allows us to consistently develop and deliver quality products and solutions to our members that enable them to support their communities.

We don't stop there, however. Our Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) continues to find innovative ways to support, represent, and learn from our staff, members, and communities. Whether we are providing capital to traditionally underserved neighborhoods, hosting a panel discussion that tackles tough topics like systemic racism, or learning about our colleagues' backgrounds and traditions, we are dedicated to keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront. Our work is about more than checking boxes; we aim to create a positive change that amplifies our District's diversity, beauty, and vibrancy.

I encourage you to read below to find out more about our work. I also invite you to click around our website to apply for an open position, apply to become a vendor to the Bank, and learn more about the benefits of being our member.  We firmly believe by valuing one another, everyone can achieve their desired goals.  We cannot wait to work with you.



-Cedric D. Thurman
Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Group Head, Community Investment and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) Mission

FHLBank Chicago values all perspectives and is committed to be an industry leader where our diversity, equitable, and inclusive culture serves to inspire our internal and external stakeholders.

Within Our Team

ODEI encourages a workplace that has conscious inclusion, a culture that promotes feedback, and diverse representation across our organization. In addition to dozens of annual employee-driven events and training sessions, here are a few ways we encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Bank:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee: A diverse group of employees who meet to develop strategies and garner support for our DEI initiatives.
  • Employee Resource Groups: Employees with shared experiences and goals who volunteer to bring greater representation across the Bank.
  • Engagement Teams: Our Book Club, Financial Literacy Group, and Culture Collective (a group that leads many of our charitable and volunteer opportunities) make up our Engagement Teams. They allow us to learn, have fun, and connect with each other.
  • Working Groups: Employees from all backgrounds, experiences, and job levels who collaborate to offer their perspectives and offer creative solutions.

    View our Careers page to learn about current job openings!

Throughout Our Communities and Across Our District

We proudly serve members across Illinois and Wisconsin. Our programs and corporate contributions enable our members and external partners to further support their diverse communities. Here are a few ways we champion diversity, equity, and inclusion outside of our Bank:

  • Supplier Diversity: We actively seek and work with diverse, minority-owned businesses to help us complete team projects. If you are a diverse vendor, please connect with us!
  • Culture Collective: An employee-led group that focuses on ways to drive our mission forward, including volunteer opportunities, partnerships that bring value to our communities, and initiatives that bring our employees together.
  • Affordable Housing Program: One of our Community Investment programs that encourages and supports the acquisition, new construction, and/or rehabilitation of affordable rental or owner-occupied housing
  • Downpayment Plus® Programs: Programs that provide our members with easy-to-access down payment and closing cost assistance to help their income-eligible customers achieve homeownership
  • Cultural Explorations: A bi-annual, immersive experience where our Board of Directors, Executive Team, and randomly-selected employees learn about a different culture and address barriers that may impact their access to equitable opportunities

Check out the videos below to hear from FHLBank Chicago leaders and community partners on housing and economic development challenges and opportunities in rural communities across the district. This conversation was part of FHLBank Chicago’s bi-annual Cultural Exploration, a year-long engagement with our Board of Directors to better understand the needs of underserved communities. Learn how the Cultural Exploration enabled us to grow a partnership with the USDA, which unlocked resources for our member IAA Credit Union to support a homebuyer customer in their rural community. 

Alongside Our Members

In 2022, FHLBank Chicago hosted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Open House to allow employees to network and explore new ways to get involved in DEI activities at the Bank. Members from ERGs hosted booths at the Open House to recruit new members and share resources with employees. The event also provided a safe space for employees and partners to host transparent and inclusive discussions.

The event was also an opportunity for member banks to learn about the Bank’s DEI strategy and resources offered at the Bank. Representatives from Park Bank in Madison, Wisconsin – a FHLBank Chicago member – also joined the Open House to engage with peers and learn more about how to serve employees and local communities. “For us, DEI is a journey that is very new. It feels like FHLBank Chicago has been working on this journey already, so we came to learn, listen, and absorb as much as we can,” said Sujhey Beisser, Assistant Vice President of Strategy & Development at Park Bank

Watch the videos below to learn about our 2022 DEI Open House as well as Park Bank’s DEI journey and how they implemented those shared ideas to further support their associates and their community.