Scotiabank Now First Canadian Bank to adopt the UN Global LGBTI Standards for Business, as well as UN Women's Empowerment Principles


Scotiabank Canada

Release Date

Thursday, May 30, 2019


Today, Scotiabank announced its signing of both the UN LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex) Standards for Business Conduct and the UN Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), further demonstrating the Bank's continued commitment to Diversity and Inclusion and the alignment to the Bank's Sustainable Business strategy, launched in its 2018 Sustainable Business report.

"Scotiabank is committed to being an inclusive employer and an advocate for women and members of the LGBTI community. We aspire to be the employer of choice for a globally diverse workforce," says Brian Porter, President and CEO, Scotiabank. "We are pleased to endorse these two initiatives."

The signing of these two UN initiatives provides Scotiabank the opportunity to showcase the great work already underway in Diversity and Inclusion. The UN LGBTI Standards, complements the efforts of Scotiabank Proud, our employee led group dedicated to ensuring everyone feels safe and open to be their true selves, free of discrimination. The principles outlined in the WEPs offer businesses like Scotiabank guidance on how to empower women throughout their daily lives, not only in the office, and aligns well with the initiatives offered at Scotiabank through our Employee Resource Groups and The Scotiabank Women Initiative.

In 2016, Scotiabank was the first Canadian bank to adopt its own Human Rights Statement at the highest level of our organization. Respect for human rights is fundamental to the way Scotiabank operates, and is part of our core values across all of our business activities. Consistent with that commitment, the signing of the UN WEPs and being the first Canadian bank to sign the UN Global LGBTI Standards for Business allows Scotiabank to continue our work around human rights, where we stand against violence, discrimination and harassment, and ultimately promote equality for LGBTI people.

"Scotiabank becomes the first Canadian Bank to join 253 early supporters of the UN Global LGBTI Standards for Business, showcasing its leadership role on human rights of LGBIT people," says Fabrice Houdart, United Nations Human Rights Officer and co-author of the Standards. "The private sector has a key role to play in respecting and protecting the human rights of LGBTI people and, as one of the leading global banks, Scotiabank's support sends a powerful signal."

The five standards of conduct that make up the UN Global LGBTI Standards for Business as well as the seven principles that make up WEPs, align well to Scotiabank's own Human Rights Statement and the efforts currently under way at the Bank:

UN Global LGBTI Standards for Business

  1. Respect Human Rights

  2. Eliminate discrimination

  3. Provide support

  4. Prevent other human rights violations

  5. Act in the public sphere

UN Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs)
Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality 
Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work — respect and support human rights and non-discrimination 
Principle 3: Ensure health, safety and well-being of all workers, regardless of gender 
Principle 4: Promote women's education, training and professional development 
Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women 
Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy 
Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality

"We wish to congratulate Scotiabank for signing onto the Women's Empowerment Principles and for their commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment in the workplace," says Anna Falth, Manager - Women's Empowerment Principles Secretariat and WE EMPOWER programme of UN Women, the European Union, and the International Labour Organization.

Learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Scotiabank here.

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