Diversity & Inclusion

Pride at TD Securities: Charlie He and Laura Laing

June 16, 2022 - 3 Minutes 30 Seconds
Headshot images of Charlie He and Laura Laing
It's not always easy being yourself at work. At TD Securities, we strive to create an environment where our colleagues feel comfortable expressing their authentic selves. As Pride Month continues in North America, we catch up with some of our 2SLGBTQ+ colleagues to learn about the importance of leading with pride, what being a part of the community means to them, and what advice they would give to other 2SLGBTQ+ colleagues and industry professionals.

In the second of our three profiles, we speak to Charlie He, Vice President on our Corporate & Investment Banking team in New York City covering the healthcare sector, and Laura Laing, Head of Client Management in Europe.

What has been the most rewarding part of being involved with TD Securities' 2SLGBTQ+ community?

CH: Being involved with TD Securities' 2SLGBTQ+ community not only facilitates making connections with colleagues from other teams, but also gives me the opportunity to contribute to the various initiatives we are taking. I recently attended a recruiting event for 2SLGBTQ+ students looking to get into banking. When I was younger, I didn't have many professionals I could point to who were out at work and committed to inclusion, and I am proud to represent our organization.

LL: Everything! It's fantastic to be able to work with a group of people so dedicated to educating and raising awareness. Creating our employee resource pillar in Europe and getting involved with the global team has given me the opportunity to truly feel open and safe to be myself in the workplace.
Quote from Charlie He

How has the TD Securities 2SLGBTQ+ community (both members and allies) supported or impacted your journey, either personal or professional?

CH: Prior to working at TD Securities, I was not out at work and preferred to separate that part of my personal life from my professional life. After witnessing all the initiatives, events and inclusive culture of my team, my mindset shifted from wanting to separate that part of my life to actively engaging with the 2SLGBTQ+ community at our organization. It felt effortless and natural. It makes me feel that TD Securities is a place where I would like to plant my professional roots and connect with my colleagues on a more personal level.

LL: It sounds cliché, but as soon as I helped develop this pillar with some of my colleagues, it made my journey so much easier. We're committed to improving the experience of our 2SLGBTQ+ colleagues, and the work we and our allies do together is a step forward. Before this, I would often struggle to speak openly about my partner and home life. Having this support has changed that immensely. Being honest has given me a huge platform for growth – both personally and professionally.

At TD Securities, we strive to foster an inclusive environment where people can be their authentic selves. What does being your "authentic self" mean to you?

CH: Being authentic removes the ever-present burden of hiding your true self, which often can take up capacity and limit confidence. Authenticity gives you the extra time to focus on your career in a more meaningful way and establish a deeper relationship with colleagues, clients and the community.

LL: Authenticity gives me a sense of freedom. In the past, while I never lied about my personal life, I would omit details to make it easier. I wouldn’t correct colleagues' assumptions and, honestly, it was exhausting. Being authentic has given me freedom.
Image of Laura Laing with Quote

What advice would you give (professional or personal) to 2SLGBTQ+ community members new to the capital markets and finance workforce?

CH: Everyone has their own journey and being authentic at work is not easy; a team with great culture makes a significant difference. It is always important to find a platform that respects you and pushes you to flourish, recognizing that success isn't always just limited to succeeding professionally.

LL: Get involved, join networks, and find out more about all the amazing things we do globally to raise awareness and educate. We are stronger as a team with other community members and our allies. The internal networks and busines resource groups are a safe space to seek advice, find like-minded folks and help encourage new colleagues to know that, at TD Securities, you can be yourself!

Looking to join our team? Learn more by visiting our Careers Page

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