TransUnion proudly celebrated Pride Month in June as an opportunity to recognize our LGBTQ+ associates and the diverse identities, experiences and knowledge they bring to our organization. There’s still so much important work needed to support this community, and we’re committed to creating a truly inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and empowered to live authentically. To learn more about how TransUnion is mobilizing in support of our LGBTQ+ associates, consumers and customers, we sat down with Heather Russell, EVP and Chief Legal Officer.
Why is supporting the LGBTQ+ community a priority for TransUnion?
Heather: Some of us may take for granted how we show up at work. Maybe we haven’t had to think much about how we present ourselves, or perhaps we’ve always had the privilege of speaking openly about ourselves and our families with colleagues. However, as crucial as bringing your authentic self is for work culture, it’s not that simple for everyone — including members of the LGBTQ+ community who’ve faced discrimination around their sexuality and gender expression for generations.
At TransUnion, our diversity makes us stronger, and we strive to build a vibrant, inclusive culture where our LGBTQ+ associates feel empowered to succeed. An integral part of this goal is ensuring everyone feels welcome, heard and respected for who they are. That’s why we’re committed to championing policies, attitudes and behaviors that uplift all underrepresented groups.
Personally, I’m proud to have LGBTQ+ loved ones in my life — but I’m also disheartened by the many challenges we’re facing on the journey toward acceptance and justice. While we’ve seen remarkable progress over the past decade, there are still urgent policy barriers facing this community at the federal and state levels, especially for transgender and non-binary people. Now more than ever, it’s important that we stay strong, continue standing up for the LGBTQ+ community and advance inclusive policies.
How is TransUnion empowering its LGBTQ+ associates, both during Pride Month and throughout the year?
Heather: We’ve done some great work this year to equip our associates with resources for LGBTQ+ education and connection. Most recently, I was pleased to moderate a special “Policy with Purpose” event with Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley and the Human Rights Campaign’s State Legislative Director and Senior Legal Counsel, Cathryn Oakley. The event highlighted the essential work our guests are doing in their fields, whether through policies advocating for LGBTQ+ protections or stakeholder education. It was a truly enlightening opportunity for our associates!
Also in June, Pride @ TU — our Networking Resource Group promoting the talents of our LGBTQ+ associates and their allies — hosted a powerful workshop about common microaggressions in the LGBTQ+ community, other social groups and corporate culture. The group is an excellent collaborator and resource for our associates, having also hosted a reverse book club in recognition of International Transgender Day of Visibility in March. By hosting events and managing campaigns for our associates, Pride @ TU is doing a remarkable job sharing tools to discuss gender, inclusive language and identity.
I feel fortunate to be working for a company where this is possible. But let’s be clear: making strides toward inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community can’t end after Pride Month. Supporting our associates and doing the needed work to advance equity is an ongoing process that requires continuous attention.
Can you share a highlight of how TransUnion is supporting LGBTQ+ consumers?
Heather: I’m especially proud of the work we’ve done this year to support transgender and non-binary consumers. Completing a legal name change is an incredibly important and gender-affirming milestone for members of this community, and we’re doing our part to ensure these consumers can maintain the integrity of their credit report during transitions and avoid misunderstandings with creditors or lenders.
For more information about the name change process with TransUnion, please see this blog post.
Are there other ways TransUnion is advancing equitable policies toward the LGBTQ+ community?
Heather: We’re always looking for ways to amplify our support for LGBTQ+ rights, inside and outside our organization. Take, for example, the Equality Act. If passed, it would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — the landmark legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin — to also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. This would go a long way toward positive treatment for the LGBTQ+ community in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, jury service and more.
We support the Equality Act and are proud to work alongside the Human Rights Campaign to champion protections for the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone should be able to live free of discrimination.
Learn more about how we’re advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in our 2021 Diversity Report.