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ANZ changes Wardrobe Policy to support diverse identities

For release 12 February 2018

ANZ changes Corporate Wardrobe Policy to support diverse gender identities

ANZ has changed its Corporate Wardrobe Policy so uniformed staff can wear corporate clothes that best fits their gender identity.

The move was welcomed by ANZ Institutional and Commercial Bank Lending Consultant Alex Whisman, who transitioned from female to male while working at the bank in 2005.

“It seems like such a little thing, but a wardrobe can be a big deal to someone transitioning,” Mr Whisman said.

“I remember seeing an email in 2004 about the then Corporate Attire Policy. For women you had to wear a blouse, slacks, dress or skirt. For men it was slacks, a button down shirt, tie and suit jacket.

“At that point I didn’t identify as transgender, but it panicked me. I realised I didn’t want to choose a female uniform because that’s not who I am.

“This wardrobe policy change normalises gender diversity and supports people. It says to me and others at the bank ‘your experience is as valid as my experience’, which is important.”

ANZ made the change following feedback from its staff Pride network of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Asexual and other diverse orientations (LGBTIQA+) people. Review of The Australian Workplace Equality Index list of initiatives to promote diversity inclusion also promoted the change.

The policy applies to uniformed staff, which includes roles in ANZ’s branch network and specialists in areas such as Business Banking, Commercial and Agri and Wealth.

“Building a culture of diversity, inclusion and respect is important to our staff and customers,” said Felicity Evans, ANZ General Manager Talent and Culture.

“We want our staff to be true to themselves at work, so this is a step we hope helps them feel comfortable.”

ANZ is also celebrating 10 years supporting the LGBTIQA+ community and has again sponsored the Big Gay Out and the Auckland and Wellington Pride Festivals. The successful #HOLDTIGHT campaign launched in 2017 is also continuing, supporting the LGBTIQA+ community to ‘when you feel like letting go, hold tight’ on social media.

A DropBox link of Alex discussing the policy change and his experience can be used and downloaded from here.


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