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Beyond the rainbow flag: Tangerine in the Pride community

June 10, 2024

Written by Tangerine

Key takeaways

  • Tangerine's Pride People Network, an employee-led inclusion initiative, is in its fifth year.
  • Tangerine announced enhanced coverage in its benefits plan for gender-affirming procedures. 
  • Partnerships with community organizations allow Tangerine to drive impact, advance representation, and work toward dismantling inequality.

Beyond the rainbow flag: Tangerine in the Pride community

June is Pride Month, and as the writer Margaret J. Wheatley once said, “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." For those of us in the Tangerine family, this emphasis on community and discovery goes beyond just the month of June.

Every year, the Tangerine logo is proudly emblazoned with the colourful stripes of the rainbow flag, however supporting Pride is a year-round pursuit to help promote our workplace, and our country, as a more inclusive space.

Here are just a few of the things we're involved with right now that have us feeling, ahem, pretty proud.

People Network year five

Tangerine has entered its fifth year of the Pride People Network. The People Network is an inclusion initiative that's employee-led and voluntary and is formally supported by the company – and, as Corry Melanson can attest, there was a time when the emergence of these groups was an exciting new frontier.

“I have been with the bank for 12 years," Melanson says. “Until about six years ago, there were not any People Networks of any kind, so when the first one started (Women in Leadership), I joined immediately. Other groups started to form, and when the formation of Pride People Network was announced, I messaged leadership immediately, wanting to get involved."

Melanson, a Senior Manager of Service and Sales based in Moncton, N.B., knew the importance of true workplace inclusivity.

“Feeling confident and comfortable in your workplace regardless of who you are is so important. We spend so much of our lives with our coworkers, and I wanted to help create a workspace that didn't only silently accept people; that's not enough. I wanted to contribute to a culture where we outwardly accepted people and fought against hate and ignorance." The Pride People Network has grown, with more than 20 members, along with the bank's commitment to inclusion.

Education sessions

Melanson, along with People Network member Tyler Cassidy, took the lead in hosting an education session on acronyms. It's common for people to feel intimidated around the evolving terminology in the Pride community, so rather than creating fear of judgment, Melanson decided education was the best way to connect with new allies.

“We created an education deck using the 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym as a launching pad to explore all of the terminology that could fit into a 60-minute session. Each letter had a slide and each slide dove into terminology related to that letter. The Pride People Network hosted this as a lunch-and-learn to over 200 participants and got some very positive feedback about the value of the session."

There's more where that came from. Melanson and Cassidy recruited peers from the Pride People Network — including Tangerine Pride People Network Chair Lyndsay Civello — to help host another educational session, covering 2SLGBTQIA+ rights in North America from the 1900s until today.

“About eight of us did a ton of research and created a slide or two per decade, covering off some major milestones such as Stonewall, the right to marry, decriminalization of being gay, the bathhouse raids in Toronto and a lot more."

With further emphasis on the importance of education, the Pride People Network hosted an important transgender education session along with bingo and trivia for a little extra fun.

Company inclusivity

Keeping up with the importance of workplace inclusivity, Tangerine has enhanced its benefit plan coverage since 2022 for gender-affirming procedures. Employees are now able to take advantage of plans to help support them along their journeys.

In the spirit of inclusion around the office, Tangerine also recently renovated its head office in Toronto with gender-neutral washrooms as well as beautiful artwork to spread the message of diversity throughout the workplace experience.

Engaging the community 

Outside of our four walls, our partnerships with community organizations allow us to drive impact, advance representation, and work toward dismantling inequality. This year, to design our Pride creative, we partnered with VIBE Arts, a non-profit dedicated to providing arts education and mentorship to the next generation of creatives with a focus on equity-deserving groups.

This meaningful work was developed by Toronto-based 2SLGBTQIA+ painter and illustrator, Mirka Loiselle (she/they), who shared that their inspiration was Pride’s celebration of diversity and the vital community spirit that unites 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Mirka said the artwork, like Pride itself, invites us to find joy in our differences.

Tangerine marches with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community

Last but not least, Tangerine will march in this year's Toronto Pride Parade on June 30 and do our part to wave that rainbow flag proudly. It's the flagship event of one of the world's biggest Pride festivals, so come on out, be an ally, and help us celebrate the freedoms we've fought so hard to enjoy.

Top: Artist design by Mirka Loiselle

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