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Header How TD aims to drive meaningful change through TD Pathways to Economic Inclusion
• Mar. 14, 2024

Hamida Sachedina, AVP of Social Strategy & Advice shares how she found a meaningful career at TD and reflects on how TD Pathways to Economic Inclusion, the Bank's Social Framework, aims to contribute to a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future.

My father, Salim Sachedina, was in his twenties when he immigrated from Tanzania to Toronto in 1966.

After arriving in Toronto, my father fully embraced his new country. While he was a pillar in the local Muslim community, helping to establish the city’s first mosque, he was also immediately drawn to Canadian music, sports, and culture. He always thought of issues related to culture and values as a glass of water filled to the rim. He believed you couldn’t add anything fresh to it unless you were willing to dump out some of the existing contents.

Far from a traditionalist, my father was a guiding light for me when it came to the values of inclusion. He was the best kind of troublemaker – never one to do things just because that's the way they'd always been done, he liked to push the boundaries of tradition to create a more inclusive environment for those around him.

He once led the controversial charge to install a video system at his local mosque, so that the women who attended services could not only hear, but see, the mullah. He would also bring people of different faiths, races, and sexual orientations to the community to speak and share ideas.

My father understood the power of inclusion and that translated to his personal life as well. He met my mother, Honey Steiner, in Toronto. My mother is Jewish and was born and raised in Toronto. Their love and deep bond helped them overcome scrutiny and create a welcoming and loving environment for their kids and wider family. I am fortunate to have grown up in a household where I got to see firsthand the benefits of inclusion. Our house was filled with people of different beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences, which greatly enriched my life.

My parents’ belief in the beauty and benefit of uniting differences inspired me to embark on a career where I could help people feel included so they could flourish.

I found that opportunity at TD. Today I'm proud to lead a team that is responsible for helping the organization improve economic inclusion through the Bank's Social Framework, TD Pathways to Economic Inclusion.

Driving meaningful change

At TD, we believe that when our customers, colleagues and communities thrive, so does TD. This value is deeply embedded in the culture at the Bank and is a key reason why I wanted to build my career here.

This belief is evidenced in Deloitte's 2024 Global Human Capital Trends report, which notes that when an organization's focus includes creating a better future for all the people connected to it, key business indicators like revenue, innovation, retention, productivity, and brand relevance and more are positively impacted.

Helping to improve economic inclusion is one way that TD can help our customers, colleagues and communities thrive, as well as help build a better society and economy. This is something TD recognized early on. Back in the 1990s, TD was one of the founders of the First Nations Bank of Canada. In the early 2000s, we deepened our commitment to the 2SLGBTQ+ community with the establishment of the TD Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Allies Working Group. And, in 2018, we launched the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank's corporate citizenship platform, through which the Bank strives to help build a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.

TD Pathways to Economic Inclusion

Building on this long history of seeking to improve economic inclusion, last year, we launched TD Pathways to Economic Inclusion, our Social Framework which focuses our efforts on three areas where we believe we have the knowledge and resources to make a meaningful impact: employment access, financial access, and housing access. This Framework is designed to support our existing business and philanthropic efforts and is focused on creating a foundation for deepening our contributions to financial and economic inclusion both inside and outside of TD.

There are three core pillars to the TD Pathways to Economic framework:

Employment Access: We are focused on providing equitable access to training, development, and critical work experience for the long-term success and growth of our colleagues and communities. We are also focused on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout the organization and across our supply chain.

Financial Access: We are seeking to improve access to banking with a focus on financial education and advice as well as enhancing or developing products, services, and processes to remove barriers and help build financial health and resilience for our customers, communities, and colleagues.

Housing Access: We are focused on providing tools and advice to help people access and remain in homes that meet their needs, supporting organizations that increase access to secure housing and provide related supports, and contributing to the supply and refurbishment of affordable housing through financing and philanthropy.

    When developing this strategy we were intentional about identifying opportunities to build on our established programs and initiatives, including the TD Ready Commitment, the TD Ready Challenge, and the recently launched Community Impact Plan in the United States. These programs and initiatives complement and help bolster our efforts, offering the opportunity for TD to work towards deepening the outcomes for our customers, colleagues, and the communities we serve.

    Over the past year, the Bank has launched and advanced several initiatives to help improve economic inclusion. From creating the Black Entrepreneur Credit Access Program to provide more equitable access to credit for Black entrepreneurs, to announcing the first 25 recipients of the TD Scholarship for Indigenous Peoples, and providing support for key housing and homeownership initiatives in Philadelphia, TD has been focused on improving employment, financial and housing access. In addition to the progress we have made, we have also set new targets to support the delivery of TD Pathways to Economic Inclusion.

    If you'd like to dig a bit deeper into our sustainability priorities including the progress we have made on our efforts to help drive forward economic inclusion, I'd encourage you to check out the 2023 TD Sustainability Reporting Suite which was published today. Included in the suite are the 2023 Sustainability Report, the 2023 TD Ready Commitment Report, and the 2023 Climate Action Report.

    Even after more than 10 years at TD, I still feel privileged to work for an organization that embodies the inclusive values my parents taught me and has given me opportunities to turn my passion into action. I am excited to continue to contribute to the Bank’s efforts to improve economic inclusion through the Social Framework.

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