Westpac holds open day for trans youth

Westpac holds open day for trans youth

Westpac has opened its doors for a second year running to let young trans people learn more about the corporate world.

Twenty-five people met at the bank’s Auckland headquarters in October for a day of activities and discussion.

The idea was driven by a group of employees, known as GLOBAL, which advocates for LGBTI+ issues.

GLOBAL member Kelvin Gove says the initiative was created as way to demystify the corporate environment, which can appear conservative and inaccessible to some people in the LGBTI+ community.

“Trans Youth Day is about bringing in young people to show them around the business, and make them aware of what’s possible at an employer like Westpac.

“Some people have a preconception that you have to look, act and think a certain way to fit in, and at Westpac that’s really not the case.”

Mr Gove says Westpac has a big focus on “you being you”, which means employees shouldn’t feel they need to hide any element of their personal life while in the workplace.

Attendees at Trans Youth Day took part in a range of activities, including a self-guided tour of the Westpac building.

They also took part in a panel discussion that looked at some of the barriers trans people encounter when looking for employment.

Mr Gove says it would be great if more businesses took time to address the alienation felt by some members of the LGBTI+ community.

“More and more companies are celebrating diversity and we think that’s fantastic. The trick is to make sure those messages are also reaching the people outside the business who may benefit from them most.”