Union: This month at Union, we’re looking at the Possibility of Harmony. How does that concept apply to TD’s work with the LGBTQ community in Toronto?
Tim Thompson: We believe that diversity and inclusion makes TD and our society stronger. TD has a long-standing commitment to our LGBTQ2+ community. In 1994, TD was the first bank to provide same-sex spousal benefits for our employees, and in 2008, first bank to provide gender affirmation surgery support to our employees and their families. In 2005, TD was the first major bank to be a presenting sponsor for a Pride festival. In 2016, we adopted all gender restrooms as a building design standard for new and renovated retail locations. Today, we support 83 Pride festivals and over 160 LGBTQ2+ community initiatives across North America, including World Pride in NYC this year. We want to help drive change to create a more inclusive society, for our LGBTQ2+ colleagues, customers, and communities.
U: How did you come to be involved with this work at TD?
TT: I joined TD in 1990, when it was less welcoming for LGBTQ2+ individuals in the business community. Early on, our CEO and the senior executive team took bold, and sometimes unpopular positions, to demonstrate their authentic support of our LGBTQ2+ community, which helped create a unique and inclusive culture at TD. 5 years ago, I was grateful to have the opportunity to further TD’s continuing commitment by becoming the chair of TD’s LGBTQ2+ Executive Steering Committee. The committee includes senior executives from businesses across North America, to ensure our efforts come to life across our TD teams. I’m most touched and energized by the passionate commitment of our colleagues, whether they are from the LGBTQ2+ community or an ally, to drive our inclusion efforts forward everyday.
U: What advice for citizens, commuters, community members who are seeking to understand LGBTQ issues better would you give?
TT: 2019 is an important year for our LGBTQ2+ community: it is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which many attribute as the beginning of the modern LGBTQ2+ human rights movement. In Canada, it is also the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. While some progress has been made over the past 50 years, the journey must continue, to ensure that experience across our diverse LGBTQ2+ community is welcoming. Learn more about the diverse experiences of the LGBTQ2+ community through online articles, through websites such as Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, PFLAG, and Human Rights Campaign, and share your learnings with your family, friends and colleagues. Each of us can make a meaningful difference, to help create a more inclusive society.