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Flying the Flag…This Month and Year-Round

TD’s Forever Proud campaign is READY for Pride Month…
 
Forever Proud. It’s the iconic rainbow symbol but in circular form. It’s TD’s LGBTQ2+ symbol. You’ve heard it. You’ve seen it. You might even have walked through it during Pride. Where did it come from? What does it mean? And, most importantly, why is it so crucial to the success of TD’s support of the LGBTQ2+ community?
 
TD has had a long history of championing inclusion and diversity—which includes the LGBTQ2+ community. In fact, we were the first bank in Canada to introduce same-sex benefits in the workplace (back in 1994), and we’ve continued to forge ahead—it’s now in our DNA. However, it was not always that way. Not too long ago, employees at TD didn’t feel they could bring their whole selves to work. Even with our policies in place to protect them, they didn’t feel included. In fact, we had embarrassingly low take-up rates for our same-sex benefits.
 
Everyone knows when someone is, or somewhere feels, inclusive.
 
Our turning point came back in 2004. Ed Clark, our then president and CEO, kicked into gear what we now call Diversity 2.0 at TD. He formed our Diversity Leadership Council, and got his entire senior executive team on board to chair one of six initiatives supporting various diverse groups—including LGBTQ2+. Bharat Masrani, our current president and CEO, has taken the baton and embedded it in our DNA.
 
From the get-go, we knew we had to be different to make change. Inclusion and diversity had to be the business imperative for substantive change. It’s not only the right thing to do from a humanistic standpoint but it makes good business sense—from acquiring the best talent and supporting our employees to achieve their full potential, to authentically supporting our communities where we live, work and do business with our customers.
 
Supporting Pride festivals has always been and continues to be a cornerstone of our support for the LGBTQ2+ community, and it all started back in 2005, when TD was the first major bank in Canada to sponsor a Pride festival. We sponsored Pride Toronto and forged ahead—we now sponsor 57 Pride festivals from Florida to the Northwest Territories plus more than 100 LGBTQ2+ grassroots community initiatives across Canada—and counting!
 
The success of these partnerships relies heavily on our employees. They’ve always been the heart and soul of our Inclusion and Diversity efforts—that’s true for every initiative at TD. We are proud to say that we have one of the largest employee Pride networks in Canada, where our LGBTQ2+ employees and their allies come together year-round to help foster an inclusive environment within the workplace and in our communities.
 
Unique Roles – another first in the financial industry in Canada
From a customer standpoint, I’m fortunate to lead a dedicated team that serves our LGBTQ2+ customers to provide the best financial advice and deliver legendary client experience. Our roles are
unique in that they are one of a kind in the financial industry in Canada. We have the best jobs because we get to work side by side with our customers, employees and community at large.
 
And there is no better time to do that than during Pride season. We are READY to celebrate as we’ve been doing for decades! However, when the last confetti floats to the ground and the last Pride festival for the year has been completed, TD support for the LGBTQ2+ will kick into another gear, because we understand that in order to be a genuine partner, our support for our employees, customers and the community at large has to be year-round.
 
It cannot be Pride for a day. It must be Pride 365, which is why we’ll be…#ForeverProud.
 
To kick off its Pride celebrations, TD has recently launched its Forever Proud video, which highlights some of its LGBTQ2+ employees and community partners.
 

 

 
AL RAMSAY is TD Bank Group’s regional manager, LGBTQ2+ Business Development, and leads a team of expert advisors dedicated to serving the LGBTQ2+ community. For more information or to book a meeting, he can be reached at al.ramsay@td.com or follow him on Twitter at @AlRamsay_TD.
 

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