ANZ NZ has announced during Auckland’s Pride Week that it has changed its corporate wardrobe policy to allow staff to wear clothes that best meet their gender identity.
The move was welcomed by Alex Whisman, an ANZ employee who transitioned from female to male while working at the bank in 2005.
“It seems like such a little thing, but a wardrobe can be a big deal to someone transitioning,” Whisman said.
“I remember seeing an email in 2004 about the then corporate attire policy. For women you had to wear a blouse, slacks, dress or skirt. For men it was slacks, a button down shirt, tie and suit jacket.
“At that point I didn’t identify as transgender, but it panicked me. I realised I didn’t want to choose a female uniform because that’s not who I am.
“This wardrobe policy change normalises gender diversity and supports people. It says to me and others at the bank ‘your experience is as valid as my experience’, which is important,” Whisman added.
ANZ said it made the change following feedback from its staff Pride network of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Asexual and other diverse orientations (LGBTIQA+) people.
The review of The Australian Workplace Equality Index list of initiatives to promote diversity inclusion also promoted the change.
The policy applies to uniformed staff, which includes roles in ANZ’s branch network and specialists in areas such as business banking, commercial and agri and wealth.
ANZ general manager of talent and culture Felicity Evans said: “Building a culture of diversity, inclusion and respect is important to our staff and customers. We want our staff to be true to themselves at work, so this is a step we hope helps them feel comfortable.”
ANZ is also celebrating 10 years supporting the LGBTIQA+ community and has again sponsored the Big Gay Out and the Auckland and Wellington Pride Festivals.
The successful #HOLDTIGHT campaign launched in 2017 is also continuing, supporting the LGBTIQA+ community to ‘when you feel like letting go, hold tight’ on social media.
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