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How Western's Pride ERG Brings Us Together

 How Western’s Pride ERG Brings Us Together

Wade Wiley, Team Lead, Premium Finance Collections at Western Financial Group, is a part of the Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG). Wade answers our questions about Western’s Pride ERG and how it brings people together so that no matter where they are in their life journey, they feel supported.

Q: What makes you proud to work for Western?

A: I am proud to work for Western for so many reasons. It really does feel like a big family, no matter what department or division someone works in, there’s always a warm welcome and a cheerful greeting. I feel valued as an employee and am treated more than fairly. There is generally a positive attitude amongst my colleagues.

Western’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a huge positive for me. I grew up in a community where we have a branch, and to have the company focused on inclusion and providing opportunities for education and awareness throughout our network is so exciting!

Q: Can you tell us about Western’s Pride Employee Resource Group? What did it mean to you to be able to join?

A: I first joined the Diversity and Inclusion council when it was launched and then when the ERGs were recently announced, I knew that I had to be part of Western’s Pride ERG. As a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community, I feel a sense of responsibility to make a difference wherever I can and being part of this group gives me the opportunity to do that.

Our group has grown from a small handful of folks to a group that is nearing 30 in number, with representation from all aspects of the company. 2SLGBTQI+ community members and allies work hand-in-hand to make a difference and bring awareness and education to all of our colleagues.

Q: How does the Pride ERG work at Western?

A: We officially formed in October 2021 and we work under the Diversity & Inclusion Council at Western. We work very closely with Avelia Stewart, Manager, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sustainability and now we will be working closely with Jenee Ebanks, Consultant, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability.

Q: What’s exciting about when the Pride ERG gets together?

A: Most of our gatherings are virtual, as we have members from Victoria through to Toronto. Any time we have had the opportunity to see fellow ERG members, it’s always been a fun time, full of laughter and joy.

We all have the same vision for making Western a better place to work every day, not just for ourselves and the 2SLGBTQI+ community, but for all of our colleagues, regardless of how they identify and whom they may love.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A: I love to sing in my spare time when I’m not working to support our front line teammates with their clients’ needs and Western Financial Group as a whole.

I grew up on a farm in Alberta. I love dogs and I do a lot of dog-sitting! I am a car fanatic and I loved going to car shows before the COVID-19 pandemic. I also enjoy biking and hiking.

I am pretty upbeat and I love to laugh and make jokes.

All of us share the same vision for making Western an even better place to work, not just for ourselves and the 2SLGBTQI+ community, but for all of our colleagues, no matter how they identify or who they love!

Significant milestones for LGBT2Q+ acceptance in Canada:

  • May 1969 – Decriminalization of Homosexuality
  • May 1995 – Same sex couples gain legal adoption rights in Ontario.
  • June 2005– Bill C-33 passed, which gives same-sex couples legal right to marry.