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WorkPride: Panel: How to be Inclusive of Trans Peers in the Workplace

Creating a diverse and inclusive culture will not only attract high-caliber applicants and increase your talent pool but could have many other advantages. Your business will grow alongside your customers and clients. A diverse and inclusive culture increases employee satisfaction, thus resulting in increased productivity. 

This panel aims to cover what the reality is for of trans peers when trying to find and secure a job. Additionally, it will give organisations strategies on how to welcome trans people into their workforce and give them the necessary ground to be their true selves, thus generating positive results for the organisation as a whole. 

In Partnership With


  • Cyrielle Collignon
    Cyrielle Collignon
  • Rachel Reese
    Rachel Reese
    Global Butterflies
    Rachel Reese is an experienced and engaging (and often humorous) facilitator and consultant who specialises in helping companies create a trans and non-binary inclusive workplace. She supports organisations through a number of ways, from coaching senior level decision makers, to delivering general training sessions, to supporting HR teams. In 2019, Rachel wrote (alongside Emma Cusdin) the Lloyds of London Trans & Non-binary Guide which has hit the City of London with great acclaim. Rachel has spoken in front of audiences all over the UK, US and Canada and has worked with many large and small businesses in regard to their trans and non-binary initiatives. Having started her career in avionics as a software engineer, Rachel later moved into the legal sector after retraining as a lawyer. She passed The Law Society Solicitors Final Exams in the 90s. During this time she was diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, and later while she was working at The College of Law, she transitioned her gender expression from male to female; this at a time when it was difficult to be out and trans in the City. She worked in a number of senior operational roles, eventually rising up to Production Director. In 2015, Rachel founded Global Butterflies, a trans and non-binary inclusion training company that comprises of trans only staff. Global Butterflies donates a percentage of its profits to LGBT+ causes. Rachel gives up much of her free time as a trans and non-binary inclusion advocate to many orgainations which include; Vice-chair of the Law Society’s LGBT Lawyers Division Committee, Trustee for GiveOut ,Judging the People In Law Awards, Mentor to Aspiring Solicitors LGBT+ Scholarship candidates, Judge for the OUTvertising Awards. Rachel addressed the Pride In London Gala Dinner in regard to trans and non-binary rights in the UK and the Pride In London breakfast for CMS (Pride In London sponsor).
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    Emma Cusdin
    Emma Cusdin
    Global Butterflies
    Emma Cusdin has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources having worked for global financial services organisations. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. Emma is an openly trans woman, having transitioned in 2009, and she is passionate about raising awareness of trans & non-binary issues. Emma has spoken at many trans & non-binary events organised by leading private sector companies. She has been featured in the Financial Times and has written a number of blogs including for the Huffington Post and HR Zone. Emma was a Trustee for the Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES) and she chaired the National Trans Youth Conference for 2 years in succession. She also was a co-founder for Trans*formation. She was delighted to receive the Positive LGBT Role Model Award at the National Diversity Awards and she appeared in the OUT at work top 50 UK LGBT Executives. In 2019, Emma was delighted to receive the Prime Minister’s Office Point of Light award in recognition for her tireless work in trans & non-binary inclusion. Emma is a Director at Global Butterflies, a company that has been extremely successful in bringing about trans & non-binary inclusion and acceptence within corporate organisations in the UK, US and Canada.
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    Preston Taylor
    Preston Taylor
    Head of Supplier Content Programmes
    RS Components
    Preston is Chairman of the employee-led, SPECTRUM LGBTQ+ community within RS Components, in his own words "I believe everyone should be able to bring their true selves to work. We have created an open and honest environment, whilst shining a light on diversity and inclusion through our campaigns and events. As a proud transman, I am always willing to answer questions, provide insight, mentor, guide, or just listen." Preston is currently Head of Supplier Content Programmes and divides his time between digital transformation and his tireless work for the community. "Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Already Taken" - Oscar Wilde
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    Emily Hamilton
    Emily Hamilton
    VP Strategic Change
    RS Components
    I have 20+ years in the delivery of strategic change within a diverse group of industry sectors, both public and private. I have contributed to industry standard texts on project management with a particular interest in project risk management. I am also a trans woman who came out later in life; and this has sparked a real passion for workplace mental health support to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Raven Gill
    Raven Gill
    Founder & Executive Director
    Butterfly Barbados
    Founder and Director of Butterfly Trans Barbados. An advocate who relentlessly targets key issues of the transgender, non-binary community in Barbados, as well as working with other civil society organizations throughout the Caribbean. My start in activism/advocacy came after an unfortunate event where I was in police custody for verbal self-defense and treated inhumanely while in custody. After that incident, I realized, even more, the abuse of authority and failure of the system to protect and fairly treat all of Barbados’ citizens & residents. I then firmly decided to be a visible reference to create change in the country with grand efforts working the media to get my messages circulated across the country and region. Being the current Executive Director of an LGBTQ organization, I saw that funders mainly focused on the MSM leaving transgender persons out or subsequently an afterthought to then be forced into the same target pool as MSMs. These funders' main focus is HIV. Understanding comprehensive general healthcare as well as mental health and wellness is necessary, it is not the only challenge my community faces. From needs assessment focus groups I facilitated, other Trans & non-binary persons want legislation reform & policy change is more important for gender marker amendment, gender identity recognition, social services, employment without fear of harassment and wrongful termination, and education with fear of public safety.
  • Alaina Kupec
    Alaina Kupec
    Senior Director, Portfolio Strategy & Analytics
    Gilead Sciences
    Alaina currently serves as a Senior Director, Portfolio Strategy & Analytics at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. She works across Gilead to enable asset and portfolio optimization for the Company’s development of new therapies. Prior to that she was in Global Value and Access and focused on new medicines the company is developing to treat inflammatory conditions. During this unprecedented pandemic time, she also led the value and access work in the US and all ex-EU countries for Remdesivir, Gilead’s treatment for COVID 19. Her work ensured new medicines will fit an unmet need for patients in a way that improves upon existing medicines already on the market, while ensuring it is affordable and accessible for patients and governments around the world. When first joining Gilead, Alaina was the head of Market Access for the Inflammation therapeutic area at Gilead. She was responsible for coordinating the access strategy in the US for all inflammation products. She led across a matrix environment to include brand Physician and Patient marketing, Payer marketing, Patient Support, HEOR, Trade & Distribution, and Contracting in addition to leading field sales planning and pull through. Before coming to Gilead in 2018, Alaina spent a long career with Pfizer, where she had roles in Access, Sales Leadership, Public Affairs and Communications. Over the course of her career she has used her strategic and tactical skills to analyze complex challenges with variables across different markets to make assessments, develop strategy and tactics then lead the implementation of her work. She is a collaborative leader who focuses ways to engage and meet stakeholder needs. Outside of the workplace Alaina is a tireless advocate for the transgender community. In 2016 Alaina was living very quietly in NC with her spouse when the NC Legislature passed the now infamous bathroom bill, HB2. It was then Alaina made the decision to be public about her status as a woman who happens to be transgender, helping to bring awareness and education about what it means for one to be transgender. Since that time, she has been a visible leader within the transgender community where she was an active advocate for the repeal of HB2 along with raising awareness of the military ban on transgender service men and women. In 2016 Alaina appeared in the first nationally aired transgender awareness ad, depicting her being denied the use of a women’s room. The ad was viewed by over 15 million people online, and millions more when it aired on Fox News immediately before Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. Alaina has also appeared in articles for Rolling Stone and Salon and was featured in a video Out Leadership used at their 2016 Summit in New York City, as well as an online Video for the Raleigh News and Observer. She also spoke at multiple press events . In 2016 Alaina was recognized during the Logo Channel Trailblazer Awards for her advocacy work and was named the 2016 Transwoman of the Year by Transwomen National, in addition to being recognized as by the Human Rights Campaign as one of North Carolina’s People of the Year. In addition, Alaina worked with the US Department of Justice, serving as one of only two named witnesses in the United States vs State of North Carolina “Bathroom Bill” case. In the aftermath of HB2 Alaina relocated to New Jersey to work in New York City and again lived a quiet life until July 2017 when the President announced his ban on transgender military service. Alaina then appeared on ABC Nightline, in addition to being featured in AP News story on the transgender military ban. Alaina also wrote an op-ed featured in the NY Daily News and appeared on the local New York City Fox channel and WPIX. In October of 2018 Alaina once again spoke out against potentially harmful policies affecting the transgender community as they relate to potential policy changes within the Department of Health and Human Services, appearing on National Public Radio via WNYC in New York City and writing an opinion piece published in Newsday. In March of 2019 her opinion piece on the transgender military ban was published in the Navy Times. Believing in giving back to her community in meaningful ways, Alaina serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, a national non-profit committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression. She also speaks to organizations interested in learning about what it means to be transgender along with challenges faced by members of the transgender community. Alaina’s professional career began after graduating Cum Laude from NC State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Political Science, where she was honored as the 1992 Naval ROTC Honor Graduate. Upon her graduation she served in the US Navy as an Intelligence Officer in a FA-18 squadron, where she was recognized as the 1994 Ground Officer of the Year and received two Navy Achievement Medals for her leadership. Alaina is currently living the pandemic dream, working remote while travelling the eastern US with her wife their two small dogs and cat in their Airstream travel trailer. She has three sons, a Junior and Senior at Clemson University and the other in High School in Greenville, SC. In her spare time Alaina is an a competitive trail runner.
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