In honor of the conclusion of Pride month, we wanted to highlight how the banking industry can support the LGBTQ+ community. Before speaking about why we recognize today as Pride month, it’s important to reflect on the history of this tradition and how it has impacted the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a safe haven for LGBTQ+ individuals – a place where they felt comfortable embracing their identities and being their true, genuine selves. On the first anniversary of the riots, hundreds of people gathered in the streets of New York City to march for equal rights. Following what came to be known as the Stonewall riots, the LGTBQ+ community and their allies commemorate the event as a celebration of pride and resilience. What once was a protest where the community risked their lives to attend is now an annual tradition recognized around the world.
This year, our Alkamists got together and showcased their pride by celebrating in cities across the country. In early June, the Texas crew took on Dallas Pride alongside families, companies, and community allies.
To continue the celebration and our internal work of becoming better allies, we looked inward to hear from our Alkamists. Listening to their stories and experiences, we knew it was important to elevate and amplify their voices for the rest of the banking industry to hear. Thank you to those Alkamists for sharing. We could not be more proud to have these incredible leaders in our organization.
There’s still a lot of work to be done for the LGBTQ+ community. So how can financial institutions (FIs) partake in advocacy and activism? It goes beyond putting a rainbow-colored logo on social media accounts to taking real action. As the Great Resignation continues to impact the United States’ workforce, companies need to turn inward and see what kind of culture and environment they are fostering for their employees. Is it safe? Inclusive? Do people feel a sense of belonging?
The LGBTQ+ community still faces unique challenges when it comes to banking, applying for jobs, house hunting, and more. In a 2018 Experian survey on LGBTQ+ financial planning, respondents indicated that their primary financial concerns were: saving for retirement and paying off debt. To address this, FIs should focus on delivering financial wellness tools and education.
Pride is not limited to June. It’s an inclusion effort that spans 365 days a year. It’s up to us to represent LGBTQ+ financial needs, offer financial literacy, and provide users with an intuitive digital banking platform that empowers them to achieve financial security.