Why representation matters in the workplace and across the banking industry
To our Alkamists and the Transgender Community —
We stand with you. We support you. Our solidarity will not waver and will only grow stronger as we deepen our understanding of allyship through continuous education and employee advocacy. At Alkami, we are committed to creating an inclusive, safe environment.
As influencers in the financial services industry, we will advocate for you. Supporting the transgender (trans) community is important not only to us, but to broader society. Consumers want to bank with a financial institution (FI) that cares. In an article published by The Financial Brand, Jim Marous explored how FIs need to not only respond to societal issues, but also be a part of the solution. “Beyond being a place to safely store funds or to get access to credit, financial institutions have a corporate social responsibility to voluntarily contribute to a better society as a whole. This responsibility goes beyond regulated ethics to include moral obligations.”
On Transgender Day of Visibility, we “celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people, while also drawing attention to the poverty, discrimination, and violence the community faces,” (GLAAD, 2021). The day was started by trans advocate Rachel Crandall in hopes of, “celebrating the lives of transgender people, empowering them to live authentically, while still acknowledging that due to discrimination, not every trans person can or wants to be visible.”
How can I become a better ally for the transgender community?
To be an ally, you must commit to a pathway of continuous education. It is simply not enough to know someone who is transgender and say that you support them. Allyship involves education, listening to others’ experiences, amplifying their voices, and advocating for them when they do not have the opportunity themselves.
We recognize that many people want to be an ally or educate themselves better on the topic. Our Alkamists have put together a list of resources that can serve as foundational pieces for your education about the trans community.
Beginning the work to become an ally can be challenging, but even more challenging is the prejudice and repression trans people experience throughout their lives. It boils down to compassion and having an open mind. At Alkami, we want to provide a space where employees feel comfortable to ask questions, learn, and grow.
How can financial institutions support the trans community?
Representation matters and so does allyship. In 2019, Mastercard introduced the True Name™ card to support trans people in their banking experiences. “The True Name initiative was developed in response to a need for credit, debit and prepaid cards that reflect the true identities of many in the transgender and non-binary communities who are misrepresented when shopping and going about daily life” (BusinessWire, 2019).
“Research found that nearly one-third (32%) of individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported negative experiences, such as being harassed, denied services and/or attacked.” By providing people with cards that match their identity, FIs can help suppress the discrimination trans folks experience daily and dissociate from their deadname1.
Through education, inclusive language, a strong understanding of pronouns, awareness and prevention of microaggressions, and advocacy, the industry at large can learn how to better serve their trans customers or members.
Always remember, true allyship is not a single action but a sustainable behavior that creates a more inclusive environment for everyone. At Alkami, we are proud to cultivate a workplace for everyone who is passionate about digital banking.
1 According to Merriam Webster, deadname is the name that a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses upon transitioning.