The new instruction includes aspects such as principles and guidelines for all employees at Danske Bank and a specific guide for managers and the purpose of the instruction is to support transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming employees and colleagues who are transitioning, as much as possible.
„As workplace for 4000 employees in Lithuania, we have a responsibility to make everyone feel welcome, respected and supported at Danske Bank"
Co-lead of Diversity & Inclusion at Danske Bank Lithuania
The implementation of this instruction, which provides support and acceptance for transgender colleagues, is one of many steps that Danske Bank will have to take in order to achieve greater inclusion. With this initiative, we try to ensure that colleagues going through a transition are supported. As workplace for 4000 employees in Lithuania, we have a responsibility to make everyone feel welcome, respected and supported at Danske Bank,” says Vytautas Aseris, Co-lead of Diversity & Inclusion at Danske Bank Lithuania.
The instruction specifically includes principles and guidelines for managers and colleagues concerning e.g. confidentiality, communication and physical facilities as well as awareness training. A specific guide for managers covers what to be aware of and how to be supportive if an employee is going through a gender transition.
Coming out as transgender at work
“Though Transgender Instruction, as an internal initiative, is aimed at all Danske Bank employees, we recognise that it will directly affect only very small number of colleagues, but the impact for them could be life-changing. On the other hand, indirectly it could affect many of us – as an organisation we are becoming more sensitive to our environment and gradually changing the established norms in the society,” – says V. Aseris.
In 2011, one of our colleagues transitioned going from man to woman, and in 2012, she legally changed her name and gender. The next step for her was to share the transition with her colleagues:
“Even though my manager and colleagues handled my transition very well, I still believe that an instruction is helpful – both for the manager and person coming out as it makes the process easier and ensures guidance and support for the employee as well as the manager,” she says.
While she feels respected by her colleagues and free to be herself coming to work in the bank, she prefers being anonymous in this article. Sadly, transgender people experience to be bullied and harassed on e.g. social media, which underlines the need for an increased focus on inclusion.
Danske Bank seeks to change society’s attitude towards Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion initiatives today are central to internal culture and employee well-being at Danske Bank.
“We understand that we are only at the beginning of a long journey toward a more inclusive work environment. However, as an organisation, we are committed to finding new ways to ensure that all of our employees, regardless of gender, background, appearance, physical abilities or religion, feel equally valued and respected at work,” – says V. Aseris.
With initiatives like this, Danske Bank also wants to support all members of society who experience exclusion because of their identity, as well as encourage other employers to collaborate in creating an inclusive workplace culture in Lithuania.