On Friday 9th September I was invited down to Clydesdale Bank Glasgow by Paul Skovron Senior Project Manager at the bank and Craig Macphee Senior Associate at Pinsent Masons to give a talk on trans inclusion in the work place to the staff of the bank and Pinsent Masons. I gave a twenty minute talk about my own circumstances from childhood to coming out at work and the challenges that I faced along the way at home and in the work place. Afterwards we had a question and answer session in which I gave everyone carte blanche as to what they could ask wether it sounded silly or was maybe a little offensive as I find that allowing this freedom helps people to feel more relaxed and more inclined to ask questions, also I did inform the room that I too still make mistakes and say the wrong thing so please don’t worry.
( Where as if you shouted at someone for asking or saying something wrong then you generally find that people clam up and no longer wish to listen and learn. )
I have to say though that this session was one of the best and I was given lots of questions to answer and many I had never been asked before. We focussed on issues like not presumuning what gender a person is on the telephone just by their voice and I gave some suggestions as to how staff could answer in a way that would not be upsetting to anyone.
I also bought up the issue which seems to vary from bank to bank on trans customers being able to change their own bank account details by using a simple statutory declaration or deed poll without the need to have to pay for a solicitor to stamp it or indeed compose a letter to the bank. Not only does this cause huge upset but alot of trans folk simply cannot afford the extra expense and and are considered extremely lucky if they still have active employment.
We also talked about the usual issues of toilets and changing facilities and how important it is in the work place to have visible allies be they LGBT+ or straight.
All in all it was a very productive talk and I look forward to working with Clydesdale Bank and Pinsent Masons again in the future.
You can also read an article that was published prior to my visit by the Scottish Business News Network by clicking the link below.