Being gay can be especially tough in some conservative Asian cultures, but supportive workplaces can make all the difference.
This video posted by HSBC Bank in Taiwan tells the story of one of its employees, Jennifer. In an interview segment in the video, she reveals that her parents don’t acknowledge her relationship with her partner, and refused to attend their wedding.
So the bank’s country CEO, John Li, walked her down the aisle on her big day.
The touching video also talks about Jennifer’s 11-year relationship with her partner, Sam.
“My parents are strongly against it,” says Jennifer. “Whenever my father sees Sam, he will push her out and tell her to get lost.”
Jennifer adds that her biggest worry about coming out was that it would affect her work. “I was concerned that it would stop clients banking with [us]. So I considered it very carefully,” she says.
However, her colleagues have come out in full support of her.
“CEO John was willing to walk me down the aisle, [he even] told us not to be nervous and to walk slowly,” she says.
Taiwan has not legalised same-sex marriages, so the couple’s wedding is ceremonial. But Jennifer notes that she hopes her story will encourage others LGBTQ couples facing the same pressures.
“This wedding is really for the LGBTQ community,” says Jennifer. “We hope our actions will encourage people and create respect among different communities.”
This is not the first time HSBC has made a big show of support for LGBTQ couples.
Earlier last year, it unveiled a pair of rainbow lions in front of its Hong Kong office as part of its “Celebrate Pride, Celebrate Unity” campaign.
“This campaign demonstrates our commitment to achieving a truly open and diverse working environment,” said HSBC Group general Kevin Martin in a statement.