Vancity is founded on the principles of financial inclusion where all are welcome. We were the first Canadian financial institution to market to the gay and lesbian community through mainstream advertising back in 2002 – years before same sex marriage became legal in Canada. We remain committed to equitable access to financial services while treating everyone with dignity, respect and understanding.
We are proudly the first Canadian financial institution to market to the gay and lesbian community through mainstream advertising. Vancity has "come out" publicly in August 2002 through page-dominant ads in daily newspapers featuring real members who were also members of Vancouver’s vibrant 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
"This is about openly recognizing the lesbian and gay community and acknowledging their right to equality, respect and dignity, both in society and as members of Vancity.” (Vancity news release, 2002)
Vancity’s public announcement and allyship was welcomed by many, but not all. Some members left the credit union as a result. Vancouver’s Roman Catholic archdiocese cancelled Vancity’s near-decade-old junior banking program that taught students about investing and saving money. Shortly after it received media coverage, some of our community branches were subjected to bomb threats.
We stood our ground and responded, “We are committed to serving another vibrant Vancouver community and we believe we’re doing the right thing.” We worked hard to protect our employees and remain steadfast in our commitment to inclusion.
Vancity’s support and partnership with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community continues by being a conscious, intentional, and active ally.
As an employer, we strive to be a workplace where all identities are embraced, all lived experiences are valued and where everyone feels welcome.
Vancity’s 2SLGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group (ERG) is instrumental in providing advice to create a more inclusive organization. This employee-led group was established in 2019 to offer a safe space for support and discussions about LGBTQAI2S+ issues. They turn lived experience into action through supporting the development of gender inclusion training for employees, providing advice about how to support the community through sponsorships and community events, and sharing insights on inclusion for more members. For example, their input led to the addition of Mx. as a salutation that members can choose – a small change that makes a big difference for those who don’t identify as male or female. Vancity provides support through admin assistance, an executive sponsor that advocates for the group within the organization, and compensation is provided to the elected group chair.
Vancity’s employee health benefits include inclusive coverage. We proudly offer gender affirmation coverage for employees and their dependents, including surgical procedures to align feminine or masculine features to the transitioned gender, intended to supplement provincial health plans.
Also built into our health benefits program is Vancity’s commitment to support our employees’ mental health. Recognizing that some employees may require specialized recurring care due to intersectional factors, all Vancity employees have an optional $10,000 annual maximum for mental health paramedical practitioners – one of the most competitive offerings for mental health coverage in Canada.
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