"Phillip/Pippa would not have made it this far in the world of finance had they been born a woman."
A gender-fluid businessman has caused outrage among women groups and the transgender community after accepting an honor meant to celebrate British women in business.
Philip Bunce, a
The self-described "Gender Fluid, Non-Binary & Trans" executive was ranked 32nd on the Financial Times and HERoes Champions of Women in Business list. According to the Evening Standard, women are nominated by peers and colleagues and the nominations are reviewed by the newspaper and a "judging panel of senior City executives."
Bunce told the Financial Times last year that while he has always been open about his gender-fluidity at home, he began cross-dressing at work four years ago, when he felt "established" enough to be accepted.
"I’d reached a point in my life where I thought, it’s really silly me hiding this, why am I putting on this facade and keeping all this hidden at work?" he said. "I knew that I had a supportive firm and an amazing manager, and I had the feeling that it wasn’t going to be an issue."
For Bunce, his inclusion on the list signified a win for
"I am truly honored and humbled by this award and am proud of the progress we are making towards all forms of gender diversity & equality," he said.
Women's March London organizer Aisha Ali-Khan argued that Bunce's career would have been different if he hadn't worked his way up the business ladder as a man.
Very wrong decision by @heroesinB handing @CreditSuisse director@PippaBunce an award recognising contributions to finance made by women. Philip/Pippa Bunce would not have made it this far in the world of finance in first place had they been born a womanhttps://t.co/zBbzi9Jfp5— aisha ali-khan (@aak1880) September 22, 2018
"[It also] begs the question does Bunce simultaneously feature in top 100 male executives and if not, what were his particular achievements as a woman to merit inclusion in the female list?”
Many in the transgender community were also offended. India Willoughby, an English transgender newscaster, said the list's featuring of Bunce is offensive to trans people, who don't get to choose which gender they feel like identifying with every day.
As a transsexual woman with a recognised medical condition, who fights for credibility every day, who fights myths every day, who’s undergone lengthy surgery, who’s life was unbearable in the wrong body, I find this story an insult. Transgender has become totally meaningless.— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) September 21, 2018
“Our gender pay gap, like that of many other financial services firms, reflects the imbalance in the number of men in senior and higher paid roles compared to the number of women,"
Germania is a staff writer at Pluralist.
You can reach her on Twitter.