Rosheeka Parahoo, Interim Director & Julie Stinson, Manager, Research & Advocacy | June 5, 2023

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, honour its history, remember its protests, and promote inclusivity and acceptance. In the Canadian financial sector, this month holds particular significance as organizations strive to be impactful allies, promote inclusivity, and advance equity. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of allyship, address the concept of performative allyship, and discuss actionable items for meaningful support.

Allyship: A Foundation of Support

Allyship is crucial in creating an inclusive and accepting environment. It goes beyond passive support and requires active engagement, empathy, and advocacy. Allies within the financial sector play a vital role in standing up for the rights and well-being of 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.

WCM is committed to continue its work as allies of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. In March 2023, WCM proudly signed petition E-4268 which will “extend to transgender and nonbinary people the right to claim asylum in Canada by reason of eliminationist laws in their home countries” (1). The petition closed on May 26 with over 150,000 signatures, and was presented to the house of commons on May 29, 2023. As an organization committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion for all, WCM recognizes that there is a tremendous amount of work left to be done, and we are committed to taking actionable steps to support our 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues in the financial sector.

Authenticity: The Pitfall of Performative Allyship

Performative allyship refers to superficial or insincere acts of support that are more focused on optics than creating meaningful change. It is important to recognize that sincere allyship goes beyond symbolic gestures and requires ongoing education, self-reflection, and a commitment to challenging bias and systemic barriers.

WCM acknowledges that it is not immune to the consequences of performative allyship. We remain dedicated to creating tangible changes both within our organization, but also within our research practices. Our recent research report titled “The Future of Work in Finance,” provided insightful data on 2SLGBTQIA+ members’ unique perspectives and struggles in the workplace. Our research found discrimination against the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to be some of the most frequent forms of discrimination in the workplace (58% of 2SLGBTQIA+ participants said they experience discrimination). Further, we know offices have acted as grounds for microaggressions to take place, and 2SLGBTQIA+ employees have identified they prefer working from home (67%, compared to 42% of participants overall) (2). We continue to approach our research designs from an intersectional lens to provide data upon which we can recommend actionable goals.

To that end, we have compiled some actionable items that organizations can take right now to become better allies.

Actions: Steps Towards Allyship

  • Education: Allies can educate themselves about 2SLGBTQIA+ history, terminology, and current issues. This knowledge helps promote understanding and empathy, allowing for more effective allyship.
  • Amplify Voices: Use platforms and positions of influence to amplify the voices and experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals. Provide an inclusive and safe channel through which 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals can authentically express themselves in the workplace.
  • Advocacy and Support: Stand up against discrimination when you witness or hear it, and continually advocate for inclusive policies and practices within the workplace. This includes addressing biases, supporting 2SLGBTQIA+-related initiatives, and ensuring equal opportunities for career growth and advancement.
  • Representation Matters: Representation plays a crucial role in fostering an inclusive work environment. Encouraging diverse and inclusive leadership, mentorship programs, and employee resource groups can ensure that 2SLGBTQIA+ professionals have a seat at the table, allowing their perspectives and experiences to shape the decision-making process. Having robust policies in place with feedback loops built in provides accountability and opportunity to measure change in order to make sure you are staying on track, and identifying areas of improvement.

Beyond Pride Month

Pride Month in the Canadian financial sector serves as a reminder that allyship, authenticity, and actionable goals are integral to fostering a truly inclusive workplace. By being strong allies, moving beyond performative allyship and taking actionable steps to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community at all levels, the Canadian financial sector can contribute to creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered. This work takes courage and bravery, and WCM trusts that the financial community in Canada has the strength, compassion, and ardour to stand up with and for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Together, let us celebrate the diversity within the financial sector and continue to strive for equity, not just during Pride Month but throughout the year.


(1) Petition to the House of Commons e-4268

(2) WCM’s The Future of Work in Finance