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CorporateQueer – BNY Mellon Participants

Category: LGBTQ+, BNY Mellon, LGBTQ+ Ally, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, LGBTQ+ Community, CorporateQueer


Ming-Yang Tong

Ming-Yang TongPhoto by Fiona Freund, #CorporateQueer

I was surprised to see the Confucius statue when I visited the King's College Maughan Library for the very first time as an overseas student many years ago. The statue gave me a sense of familiarity, comfort and reassurance immediately. Confucius was my ally in this Terra Incognita I now call home. A few years later, I experienced a similar sentiment after I came out at work. I was hiding my sexuality at work for many years, and I wasn’t sure how my colleagues were going to react to the news. I was astonished by the kind words and supports I received from my colleagues and our Employee Resource Groups. I felt supported and reassured and I knew that I was not alone as I adventure into this uncharted territory. 

Since then, I have been involved in BNY Mellon’s LGBTQI+ initiatives to create a working environment and help others to bring their authentic selves to work. 

Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. -Confucius


Yvette Forrester and Lucinda Wakefield

Yvette and LucindaPhoto by Fiona Freund, #CorporateQueer

Yvette: The word ally always seemed strange to me mainly because the notion of acting together, protecting one another, and allowing you to be yourself has come naturally to me. Each of us shares responsibility and ownership in building an environment where we can be authentic and thrive, where we can leverage our differences to make a difference, where our diverse perspectives challenge the status quo and where we could proudly say we belong. 

With LGBT+ Inclusion as with the motorcycle, we are free and unencumbered. I will always champion each and every one of us to be authentic, true to ourselves and have the freedom to just be.

 Lucinda: For many of us, motorcycles symbolise freedom, independence and defying convention. Similarly PRIDE and LGBT+ inclusion is about celebrating freedom of expression, independent thought and authenticity. 

Allyship and a sense of belonging are the outcomes of getting inclusion right. Yvette and I have often partnered on programmes to access and develop more diverse talent pools. I appreciate Yvette’s ideas and energy and her dedication to inspiring young people from challenging backgrounds to work in Financial Services. I’m proud of the collaboration between our Employee and Business Resource groups, and the work we’ve done at BNY Mellon to actively strengthen a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging, both inside and outside of the company. The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index named us a Best Place to Work for LGBT+ Equality. But we acknowledge we have much more work to do to better reflect the wonderful diversity of our society.


Paul Matherne


Photo by Fiona Freund, #CorporateQueer

I am an Ally because everyone struggles to develop themselves and move their career forward, but some face additional barriers that others may not be aware of.  I think about this a lot now that I am a parent, and imagine my daughters’ future.  I’d like everyone, my daughters included, to work in an environment where discrimination doesn’t exist, careers progress based on merit and self-actualisation is the norm.   I want to look back on my career and see that I made a difference by helping to move the culture of the workplace in a positive direction and as a result, I am motivated to support this progress by being an Ally and taking an active leadership role in BNY Mellon’s LGBT+ network to increase our external outreach initiatives. I chose to be photographed in this spot in Richmond Park where my daughters and I go walking regularly. We refer to the expanse behind me as the ‘dinosaur patch’, which is a product of the make-believe that we indulge in.  We often rest under this solitary tree, which is split in several directions at the base, and makes me think of the various paths our lives take as we grow. 


Jonathan Stubbs, Yvonne Waldron and Nuno Da Silva

Jonathan, Yvonne and NunoPhoto by Fiona Freund, #CorporateQueer

We are three committed colleagues:

But who are we?  One is married to a man, two are partnered to a man, one will hit the big 50 next year, two passed it a few years ago!

One is an ally, two are part of the LGBT+ community, one works in Human Resources, two work in revenue generating teams.  One is Chair of our global LGBT+ network two are regional Co-Chairs of the LGBT+ network. One is Irish, one is Portuguese, one is British……one is female, two are male.  

Three believe in the power of inclusion and actively lead across our region, and whilst not their whole being, the hint in our portrait to Pride and to our great City of London, to the hope in the next Millennium represented by the Bridge, the steadfastness and courage represented by St Paul’s and the freedom of expression and freedom to ‘just be us’ was truly a taste of the freedom we know some don’t yet enjoy. And, if you look really closely you can see a ‘nod’ to our employer BNY Mellon with their logo arrow taking a careful and yet intentional place in our picture as they enable us to be our true authentic selves – whatever that may be. 


Beth Dowling-Jones and family

Beth and familyPhoto by Fiona Freund, #CorporateQueer

I’ve worked in banking for over two decades now – many of these years have been in the City.  When I started my career, I was firmly padlocked inside my closet.  It was difficult enough to fit in as a woman, let alone to muddy the waters by coming out as lesbian too.  I wasn’t good enough at golf or cricket, to feel like I could fit in around my cis, heterosexual, predominantly white male colleagues.

I’ve seen so many barriers removed in that time.  Gradually we have crept towards a more thoughtful, more inclusive and empathetic agenda, allowing a far broader and diverse workforce to join us here in our wonderful square mile.  The balance of people is still visibly unequal – men to women, white to people of colour, able-bodied to those with disabilities, and invisibly too, for those of us in the LGBTQ+ community - but the willingness for change is there, and that’s significant.

It’s hugely important for both my wife and I that, in our industries (TV and banking), and in our London, we really see diversity and we keep on challenging what is ‘normal’.  Our kids may end up working in London (or France, or America, or Space) – and we need to ensure that our daughter and our youngest child have every opportunity available to them to celebrate exactly who they were born to be, without constraint or hesitation around sexual preference or gender conformity.  We have come a long way.  May our city continue to thrive and may the rivers of people who flow through it, grow increasingly rich in their diversity.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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