Giselle Velazquez

Specialist, Bilingual Translator - Resolution Services

Phoenix, AZ

LGBTQ Employees Have a Home at Synchrony

Every workplace should strive to support their LGBTQ staff. Not nearly enough do.

A year ago, Synchrony employee Giselle learned that the company would be releasing the second edition of its Transgender Reference Guide, designed to help managers and Human Resources staff better serve their transgender colleagues. Giselle immediately volunteered to help with its production.

“As soon as I heard about this project I raised my hand to share my story,” Giselle says.

Giselle was born outside the United States. She came here years ago to both pursue a career and live her life freely as a [trans] woman. Her journey took incredible strength and courage, and she wasn’t always met with open arms. Prior to joining Synchrony, Giselle didn’t always feel welcome at work and sometimes struggled to receive equal treatment.

Synchrony was different. Here, Giselle says, she was treated like any other Synchrony employee. Her coworkers made her feel at home. It wasn’t long before Giselle sprung into action, joining the company’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender+ Network and becoming one of its most active members. One of the Giselle’s proudest accomplishments is the professional relationship she built with one ‘n’ ten, a nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ youth in the Phoenix area. One ‘n’ ten promotes self‐expression, self‐acceptance, and leadership development — values Giselle has always held close to her heart.

She wanted to build a bridge.

“Throughout my life, there has been someone to lend me a hand, so I always try to give back,” Giselle explains.

The support Giselle received at Synchrony made it easier for her to grow professionally. Giselle started as a bilingual Customer Service Representative in 2013, before being offered a role in the Translations department in 2015. In 2017, Giselle was named Empowerment Ambassador for Phoenix. At the company’s Annual Diversity Symposium that year, Giselle was awarded the LGBT+ Network Diversity Leadership award. Just recently, the second edition Transgender Reference Guide Giselle worked on for Synchrony was published.

Of course, Giselle has done more than advocate for the LGBTQ community at work. Professionally, Giselle is working forward to becoming a manager or project manager at Synchrony. She’s found a community where she feels accepted – and now she wants to make that community even larger, and more embracing.

“I couldn’t be happier to be at Synchrony,” she said. “By sharing my story, if I can change at least one person’s mindset and perception about transgender people, I will be very happy knowing I have accomplished my goal.”