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    5. Finance is 'pale, masculine and stale', says UK's first transgender ..


    Finance is 'pale, masculine and stale', says UK's first transgender investment director.

    Rhys Tomlinson thought entering this sector would be “career suicide.” Credit: Saône Capital

    The founder of the UK's first transgender-led investment firm says the financial industry continues to be dominated by 'old white males' and it's an intimidating environment for trans women.

    Rhys Tomlinson, the founder and CEO of Saône Capital, said the sector has historically not been considered a safe place for transgender people.

    She said: “Trans people continue to face obstacles. If you look at the financial world, you will see that it is still dominated by white men, and there are many older white men among them.”

    Ms. transphobia in the financial industry.


    “The appearance of transgender women is scary, and many people think that it is out of reach… I think that minorities, women and transgender people definitely face problems in the financial world, because that they tend to be underrepresented at the top.

    “We don't see many transgender women in business yet because transgender young people don't see it as a safe place.”

    Comments come from Ms Tomlinson plans to launch Saône in the UK in what is believed to be the first British investment a transgender-run company.

    Ms. Tomlinson's suggestion that the industry is dominated by “old white people” plays on the popular notion that the industry is “pale, masculine and stale.”

    < img src="/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/97cf4177b638e749c4e15c9d1902fd3d.jpg" />Banking and finance companies have come under pressure from regulators to do more to encourage gender diversity. Photo: Grant Faint

    The financial industry has long been dominated by male leadership positions, although that has changed in recent years.

    Companies are under increasing pressure from regulators to do more to promote gender diversity , and several leading banks are now run by women, including NatWest.

    However, major financial institutions have hired several transgender people in leadership positions. Peeps Bunce, chief executive of Credit Suisse who self-identifies as gender-fluid and has been cited as the inspiration behind the UK LGBT award, is one of the few non-binary people in leadership positions in the City of London.

    Other financial companies have made their own rules, to make them more inclusive.

    Several major banks, including NatWest, have tried out uniforms that can have optional pronouns printed on badges.

    The policy has drawn a backlash in some quarters. Halifax told customers last year, “If you don't agree with our values, you can close your account” after some people took offense at the list of favorite pronouns on employee badges.

    In another example of support for the trans community, PayPal froze the account of the Free Speech Union, an organization that protects gender-critical academics and people who have lost their jobs for speaking out.

    However, the payment company later reversed the decision after , as she was accused of a “planned politically motivated” ban.

    Ms Tomlinson said that before she made the transition, she thought being recognized as transgender would end her career.


    She said: “The thought of coming out of being transgender was terrifying, I thought it would be career suicide. I assumed that this would ruin my career.

    “But once I started to rely on my truth, I realized that I had no other choice. It was scary to do it at first, but it was also terrible in many small ways, like going to my first big meeting or walking into a room for the first time and walking through a client's office. It was all new and scary.”

    In a traditionally male-dominated financial industry, companies are implementing policies that encourage Diversity Photo: Philippe Hays/Alamy

    Prior to founding Saône, Ms Tomlinson, 37, founded several businesses, including the exclusive consulting firm RWT Growth.While she does not consider herself an “advocate” for transgender people, she said she hopes her profile will help attract more transgender people to the financial industry.

    Ms Tomlinson said: “One of the things that I really started to do is to make people realize that they can achieve this too, whether it's transgender or something like that, they can be truthful about someone who they are.

    “For me, there weren't very many people that I saw in the community that I could look up to as role models. I want to motivate and inspire people.”

    Ms Tomlinson said Saône would not be marketed as a transgender-run foundation, adding: “I don't like it when you hear people talking about foundations founded by women, or in my case, a foundation for transgender women.”< /p>

    “Me I don't care because our performance should be our number one priority. It doesn't have to be about who I am.

    “If we can use this to our advantage, it might help to normalize transgenderness in finance. But our number one goal is to make an impact, not that I'm a trans woman founder.”

    Rhys Tomlinson & Fund #39 currently manages $13m (£10.5m) but aims to have $1bn under management by 2027. /p>

    “Some founders come to us and say, 'You got what we need, we can talk to you.' They understand that we understand what they are going through, unlike older white male-led businesses that may not necessarily be connected. In a way, it gave us a competitive advantage.”

    Son invests in companies and gives advice. He specializes in financing and advising “ethical” companies and those founded by minorities.

    Ms. Tomlinson currently lives in London and Canada where she grew up and has her main base in Sona.

    The company, founded in 2022, is already operating in the US and Canada. Its new London office will be used as a base for expansion in Europe.

    The fund currently manages $13m (£10.5m) but aims to have $1bn under management by 2027.

    Ms Tomlinson said: “Our goal is to help companies that positively impact the planet, as well as companies created by underrepresented founders.”

    Son provides money to companies from various industries, including renewable energy. energy, batteries and clean water. Current investments include an e-scooter charging company and a second-hand clothing market.

    Ms Tomlinson said: “During my career, I had my own businesses and was obviously transgender. And when I discovered my truth, it dawned on me that I want to do something positive, and not just bring more money to the founding and executive teams.

    “We are looking for support for companies that can earn influence, but with it makes a lot of money, and I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.”

    The company's investments currently range from $250,000 to $5 million.

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