Pride is a time when people around the world come together to celebrate uniqueness and inclusion, in light of recent events, our President and CEO, Brian Porter, recently shared “Together, we are building a Bank that is strengthened by our differences, not divided by them; that calls out the injustice of all forms when we see it, and that strives to use every opportunity to make better, stronger societies today, and for generations to come.”

Globally, Pride is an important celebration for Scotiabankers. As we look back over the years, it has been an opportunity to gather, celebrate, and raise awareness for LGBT+ inclusion. Historically, LGBT+ people across the world come together during Pride to celebrate and honour all it means to be LGBT+. In 2019, 2500+ Scotiabankers marched in Pride parades across Canada and Latin America.

Scotiabankers celebrating Pride 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

Scotiabank's 2020’s Pride celebrations have adapted in response to the pandemic and the world’s first Global Pride celebration will take place online, bringing together Pride festivals from across the world on Saturday, June 27th. In an effort to celebrate virtually with our employees this year, Scotiabankers from across our footprint will come together for an online Global Pride webcast featuring numerous speakers from the LGBT+ community and allies. This webcast will welcome Pride at Work Canada to speak to the history of global pride with a panel discussion comprised of employees from Canada, Mexico, and Peru, moderated by Barbara Mason, Group Head, and Chief Human Resourced Officer. It will also include remarks from John Doig, Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution and LGBT+ Executive champion and Nacho Deschamps, Group Head, International Banking, and Digital Transformation.  

Even though this year’s Pride celebrations may look a little different, our commitment to having an inclusive workplace that believes diverse opinions, backgrounds, and perspectives remain consistent and Scotiabankers play a big role in advancing this. Through our Employee Resource Group (ERGs), we are able to engage with employees and run educational programming and events that foster inclusion and diversity.  Its activities include an active LGBT+ allies’ program, regularly offered educational resources for employees, and engaging global events. Scotiabank Pride ERGs have expanded across Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,  Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Asia, and the USA. 

“What we try to accomplish every day is to prioritize LGBT+ inclusion. We strive to create an inclusive culture where every employee is empowered to reach their fullest potential, respected for who they are, and their differences and similarities are embraced. We unlock our employees’ potential through bias-free practices and one set of inclusive values across Scotiabank,” says Jody Jacobson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

As our employees continue to celebrate in different ways this year, we wanted to check in with a few of them to learn how will they be celebrating and why they are proud to work at Scotia!  We chatted with:

  • Raf, He/Him, Head of Digital Marketing & Sales, Canada
  • David, He/Him, Senior Manager, Pricing & Revenue Assurance, Canada
  • Zahyra, Documentation Quality Specialist, Mexico
  • Erik, He/Him, Facilitator from Learning & Development, Canada
  • Eileen, She/Her, IB Country Relationship Director, Chile

Julie: What are you excited to celebrate during “virtual” Pride this year?

Erik: We need to be there for each other more than ever. I’m excited to see everyone come together in a creative and impactful way! This year marked two years since I started transitioning, which is something that I’m looking forward to celebrating virtually with my friends, family, and fellow Scotiabankers!

Erik, He/Him, Facilitator from Learning & Development, Canada

David: It’s going to be a different year for sure, but for me, it’s not about the parties or events, it’s about the people. There are still so many opportunities for us to celebrate and acknowledge where we are today and how far Canada or the world has come! This year, I’m celebrating my freedom, with the hope that one day everyone will be accepted for themselves.

David, He/Him, Senior Manager, Pricing & Revenue Assurance, Canada

Eileen: As a parent of a child in the LGBT+ community, I am proud to celebrate her, and that she is able to feel comfortable in her own skin.

Zahyra: I’m celebrating the opportunity to contribute to generating positive change in our society. We all have the right to live without being insulted, ridiculed, or offended by the sexual orientation with which we were born.

Raf: It’s such an important day for the LGBT+ community to come together and share the love. I remember one year, I participated in a parade in New York, and I clearly remember feeling love in the air and a sense of resilience. That was a wonderful feeling that I will never forget, I accepted who I was and embraced it. This year, I want to feel the love in the air again and celebrate the beauty of life, its ups, and downs. If we continue to have resilience, it will help us get through any challenges we face.

Raf – He/Him, Head of Digital Marketing & Sales, Canada 

Julie: Why are you proud to work at Scotiabank?

David: The bank sees me for who I am, rather than just an employee. It’s important to me because it means that I can bring my whole self to work without fear, doubt or anxiety, as much or little of myself that I want to bring, I can bring without any concern.  Prioritizing diversity & inclusion means the Bank is prioritizing me and the tens of thousands of other Scotiabankers who bring different experiences, challenges, and perspectives to the table.  When we have a seat at the table and our voices are heard, together we become a stronger bank.

Raf: No one is left behind at Scotia. I’m really happy to work at a place that doesn’t turn a blind eye to the minorities and welcomes them. It’s refreshing to work at a place that emphasizes this importance.  

Erik: The most important thing for me is that Scotiabank understands the importance of including everyone and ensuring they are comfortable in their own skin. I started my transition while working at Scotiabank I felt supported and included throughout. My boss also understood that it wasn’t just the first time for her going through this, but mine as well.

Eileen: For me, there is a sense of honour that I feel knowing Scotia not only fosters inclusion but is an employer that has a very strong commitment to the LGBT+ community and demonstrates that.

Eileen, She/Her, International Business Country Relationship Director, Chile

Zahyra: Scotiabank has a culture of job inclusion and talent diversity that is focused on seeing people's talent beyond labels, prejudices, and stereotypes. I feel respected and safe for being myself and that my voice is valued.

Zahyra, Documentation Quality Specialist, Mexico

Pride 2020 will truly be a global digital celebration, connecting Scotiabankers, Pride Employee Resource Group chapters, and LGBT+ community partners from across the world. We are excited to celebrate with you all.

To learn more about #LifeatScotiabank and how we are supporting LBGT+ communities and advancing inclusion in the workplace, visit our Diversity and Inclusion careers page.