“Pride is about being kind”

Presented by TD

“Pride is about being kind” – A Vancouver banking professional’s take on celebrating inclusion and diversity

A big part of the unique employee culture at TD is a shared commitment to inclusion and diversity. TD is committed to building an environment in which every customer and colleague feels valued, respected and supported. 

That means valuing our differences and ensuring everyone can bring their whole self to work. Kara Dubniak-Green is a leader at a TD branch in downtown Vancouver. In an interview, she shares her thoughts on what Pride means to her. 

How did you get your first start at TD?

Not many of my colleagues know this about me, but when I applied to a TD branch more than 10 years ago in Alberta, I was effectively homeless. I grew up in the foster care system in Ontario, living in group homes until I was old enough to live on my own. I saw a job posting for a teller position after moving out West, went in for the interview and was eventually offered the job. I’ve worked my way up since then (with a long break in between to travel), and today, I am the assistant branch manager at the Davie and Bidwell TD branch in Vancouver.

How has TD supported you throughout your career?

I felt supported from my first day on the job. My colleagues and manager had a sense I was couch-surfing, and they took it upon themselves to help. They even purchased clothes for me. TD colleagues have been amazing, and they are enabled and empowered to help others through an inclusive and caring culture. When I came out as queer a few years ago, I received lots of support from my peers and leaders, and I feel fortunate that I don’t have to hide that part of me at work. In fact, it’s embraced. 

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What are your thoughts on how TD supports the LGBTQ2+ community?

Personally, I work at TD because the organization’s values algin with mine and I am thrilled to see the bank’s support for the community through sponsorships and just creating an accepting and inclusive work environment overall. In many respects, TD has led the way in the LGBTQ2+ space being the first bank in Canada to introduce same-sex spousal benefits in 1994, and in 2008, became the first bank in Canada to provide gender affirmation surgery benefits support to employees and their families. TD also became the first major bank in Canada to support a Pride festival in 2005. There are more examples like this on the TD record and that’s something to be proud of.

What does Pride mean to you?

It’s a party and a celebration, for sure, but for me Pride is also about being kind any day of the year. This is important, especially in today’s world where we need to be more understanding of how individual experiences are shaped. I have been on the receiving end of kindness growing up in the banking industry, and I always ensure I’m paying that forward. Things like acceptance, inclusiveness, encouragement, and support all flow from kindness and have the power to make all things in this world good.