TD is an organization that operates under the purpose of enriching the lives of its customers, communities, and colleagues — including the LGBTQ2+ community across Canada.
In 2014, TD formed a LGBTQ2+ business team, a team committed to supporting the community in achieving their personal, financial, and business goals while actively advocating for a more inclusive and equitable present and future.
We spoke with Grant Minish, who is the Regional LGBTQ2+ Business Development Manager for Vancouver, to find out more about how TD is supporting the LGBTQ2+ community in Vancouver and beyond through its business and its corporate citizenship platform, TD Ready Commitment.
Vancouver Is Awesome: What inspires and empowers TD to take a lead role in supporting and giving back to the LGBTQ2+ community in Vancouver year after year?
Grant Minish: At TD, we want to create a place where everyone feels included and welcomed, and that their voices are being heard.
We've supported the LGBTQ2+ community for more than a decade and continue to do so through our corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment. Through our business, philanthropy, and colleagues, we are working to help create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.
As Regional Manager, LGBTQ2+ Business Development, my primary role is to serve as a trusted liaison between TD and the LGBTQ2+ community. In addition to my deep understanding of the community itself, I rely on my ability to develop strong relationships with its members in order to fully discover their financial needs and goals. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with a wide range of talented colleagues from multiple lines of business, including Personal Banking, Business Banking and TD Wealth, to help provide our LGBTQ2+ clients with the best wealth advice and exceptional service they deserve.
Vancouver Is Awesome: What are some highlights of projects and campaigns TD has been involved with in support of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community?
Grant Minish: Through the TD Ready Commitment, we support community organizations across four areas: Financial Security, Connected Communities, Vibrant Planet, and Better Health. We believe that each plays a critical role at an individual and societal level – and we’re seeing that come to light as COVID-19 has impacted the economy, personal finances, the environment, and our ability to connect with one another.
That’s why organizations like Vancouver Pride, A Loving Spoonful, or LOUD Business – and so many more – are essential to vibrant, healthy communities. In Metro Vancouver, A Loving Spoonful is providing nutritious meals to those living with HIV/AIDS, and LOUD Business is supporting LGBTQ2+ entrepreneurs and young community leaders with opportunities to connect, learn and grow their business.
And I'm proud Vancouver Pride continued with its celebration this year. While we can't be together in person, I believe it's never been more important that we come together as a community.
Grant Minish, LGBTQ2+ Business Development Regional Manager, TD Bank Group.
Vancouver Is Awesome: How does TD support and advocate for an inclusive work environment for their employees?
Grant Minish: One of the great things about working at TD is that I'm able to bring my whole self to work every day. I have seen the positive impact this inclusive culture can have on colleagues - in some cases people will come out at work before they come out in their personal life. A supportive, inclusive culture at TD enables that to happen.
TD supports its colleagues through a variety of inclusive policies, development programs and initiatives. In 1994, TD was the first Canadian bank to provide same-sex spousal benefits to employees, and to introduce gender affirmation surgery to employees and their families in 2008. Two years ago, we launched Gender Language and Concepts courses so we can better serve our customers and colleagues.
The LGBTQ2+ community is diverse, and the lived experiences of our colleagues are not the same for transgender and gender non-binary, bisexual, two-spirit, people of colour and women; and experiences in urban areas are different from rural areas. TD has an internal Inclusive and Diversity Leadership Committee (I chair this committee in Vancouver) that represents the LGBTQ2+ community, which actively listens to and engages with our colleagues and customers to ensure we are creating a space where everyone feels they can be their whole self.
While we have made progress, as a society and at TD, the journey for inclusion and equity continues. As an organization, and on a personal level for myself, we believe that it's important that we continue to listen and work with our customers, colleagues and community partners to truly help create a more inclusive tomorrow.
Vancouver Is Awesome: How is TD currently supporting the LGBTQ2+ community during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Grant Minish: COVID-19 has impacted every facet of our lives, and while everyone is feeling the effects, research is showing that some communities are experiencing it more acutely.
In March, we stood up the TD Community Resilience Initiative as part of the TD Ready Commitment to provide $25 million in funding, employee engagement and on-going collaboration with organizations and community groups across our footprint.
We want to be there for our community partners who are providing critical services to their communities and to those who need it most.
Through our business we are continuing to support LGBTQ2+ businesses and individuals through the Canadian government’s relief efforts and our own programs. We had to make some significant changes in a very short period to do this. I am impressed with the speed and adaptability of my colleagues across the enterprise, which enabled us to continue to serve and advise our clients in a very different world.
TD is forever proud to support LGBTQ2+ initiatives across Canada and North America.