The Windsor Star – Sept. 20, 2010
LGBT initiatives applauded
By Kim Covert, Postmedia News
Ed Clark hates getting awards, and he’ll tell you that he tries to stay out of the position of having to accept them. In that sense, the president and CEO of TD Bank Financial Group is an abject failure, because – for the second time this year – a national group has singled him out for praise for the bank’s diversity initiatives. Earlier this year, Clark accepted an award from Catalyst for the bank’s efforts in promoting women in the workplace, and now Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is recognizing TD’s efforts to create a safe and accepting workplace for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Clark says his awareness of the issue started at Canada Trust, which was one of the first banks to give same-sex benefits. He was astounded when he found out that just 50 people, out of the bank’s approximately 55,000 Canadian employees, had signed up. “What does that tell you?” Clark asks. “It tells you that they are terrified of coming out of the closet, even to claim their benefits…. Holy cow, we have thousands of employees that were imprisoned in the organization, that felt when they came in Monday morning and people were chatting about what they did on the weekend, they could not tell people what they did. “We created that atmosphere, we tolerated that atmosphere, that’s just terrible. That’s not acceptable.”
The bank has come a long way since then.