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Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week is an important time for Capital One UK, its associates and many other people and businesses across the UK. Every year on 13th - 19th November Transgender Awareness Week helps to raise visibility about transgender people and address issues members of the community face.

This all leads to Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on 20th November. This day is observed annually to memorialise the lives lost to anti-transgender violence and prejudice, and to shine a light on the persistence of that anti-transgender violence. Capital One UK is proud to be hosting its remembrance vigils for the third year.

“Transgender Awareness Week is a really important time in our OutFront Business Resource Group calendar. Across the year we aim to celebrate as many LGBTQIA+ identities as possible, but taking a pause to learn and focus on the transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming people in our community always feels poignant. This is especially felt as we hold our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial, where we remember lives lost and how we must continue working to create a more inclusive world for our trans+ community.” - Dave Richards, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Co-Chair of OutFront (LGBTQIA+ network)

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester's death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Capital One UK and its support for Transgender employees

Capital One UK is proud to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion, the leading employers’ programme for ensuring all LGBTQIA+ staff are free to be themselves in the workplace. In 2022 Capital One UK received the prestigious Stonewall Gold award in recognition of its status as an LGBTQIA+ friendly employer.

Capital One UK also supported Nottingham Pride in July 2022 for the third time, highlighting its commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.

Transitioning to affirm your gender identity can be both an exciting and challenging experience. Capital One UK understands that there’s more to transition than any medical or surgical interventions you may choose. That’s why it has introduced a Transition Leave policy which is in addition to any Sickness Leave an associate may need for treatment. Partners and parents (including step-parents) of those who are transitioning can also use transition leave to get time off to support their loved one and to give practical and emotional help.

This Transition Leave policy is open to all associates (once they’ve passed their probation), who are either transitioning or who have a partner or child who is transitioning.

This policy was introduced during Capital One UK’s Pride month celebrations alongside Trans and Non-binary Inclusion guidance which outlines Capital One UK’s commitment to trans equality within its business and recruitment processes.

Both policies were developed in partnership with a steering group made up of experts from HR, OutFront members with diverse LGBTQIA+ identities and allies who have supported the work throughout.

It’s important to also make changes to current policies to support transgender associates. So all Capital One UK family leave policies have been updated to use gender neutral language and reflect the importance of chosen families. Along with this, its private medical insurance has dedicated resources to support transgender people - specifically, it covers: counselling for mental health conditions related to gender identity, assessment with a gender identity specialist and initiation and monitoring of hormone treatment.

The steering group also provided insights on how Capital One UK can make its organisation more welcoming and user-friendly for transgender customers. This includes signposting where to find information on the website or mobile app for customers wanting to change their information, as well as training agents to not make gender and pronoun assumptions when communicating with them. Capital One UK regularly conducts research on all its processes and customer interactions, and are constantly looking at how it can make things as best as it can be for Transgender customers.

Throughout the year, Capital One UK hosts a range of events with external speakers and associate-led 'conversations' which enable the sharing of trans and non-binary stories and lived experience. These have included personal blogs, a trans and non-binary 101 learning session and our annual Trans Day of Remembrance gathering.