Scott Shay, chairman of the doomed Signature Bank, co-hosted a company seminar last October in which employees were instructed for more than an hour on using gender-neutral pronouns such as “Ze” and “Hir.”
Video circulating on social media shows Shay — whose New York-based bank was shut down by regulators over the weekend in a bid to stave off a US banking crisis — alongside Finn Brigham, a corporate consultant on gender issues.
The video of the Pride Council event presents Brigham, who works as director of project management for the Manhattan-based nonprofit Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, an LGBTQ health clinic, as a “genderqueer trans masculine person.”
In the hour-plus video, Shay and Brigham deliver a lecture titled “Know Your Pronouns,” part of the bank’s “Social Impact” series.
Shay begins the session by bragging that Signature Bank was “the first bank in the United States to have an openly gay man on our board.”
The chairman made a reference to Barney Frank, the former Massachusetts congressman who co-sponsored legislation regulating banks following the 2008 financial crisis — only to come under fire this week over his role on the board of Signature.
The clip then shows Brigham run down a list of pronouns.
“The most common pronouns folks are familiar with are ‘she’ and ‘he,’” Brigham says.
“I don’t know if there’s anyone in the Signature Bank world, but probably you have clients that use ‘they’/’them’ as pronouns,” he says. “They’re gender-neutral pronouns on purpose.”
Brigham then describes how “folks that are non-binary … that intentionally don’t identify as male or female.”
“‘Ze’ is another gender-neutral pronoun,” Brigham says. “The other part of that would be ‘hir’ — spelled H-I-R.”
“And there are some folks who say, ‘Don’t use any pronouns for me. Just use my name.’”
Brigham then runs down the list of pronouns with explanations on “how to use them.”
On social media, the reaction was scathing.
“And now their pronouns are was/were,” one social media user commented.
Another Twitter user wrote that the new pronouns should be “Has/Been.”
Follow The Post’s coverage of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse
Before the bank’s collapse over the weekend, it published an annual Social Impact Report that promotes “sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion, community engagement, employee development, employee health and safety, and any other environmental, social, or governance-related initiatives.”
A representative for Signature Bank declined to comment. The Post has reached out to Callen-Lorde Community Health Center seeking a response.
The collapse of Signature and Silicon Valley Bank has drawn scrutiny to financial institutions’ emphasis on ESG investment strategies.
Jay Ersapah, the boss of financial risk management at SVB’s UK branch, launched initiatives such as the company’s first month-long Pride campaign and a new blog emphasizing mental health awareness for LGBTQ+ youth.
The Biden administration’s move to backstop all depositors at both banks was met with criticism from those who allege favoritism toward Democrat-aligned tech workers.
In a Monday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy argued that instead of hedging for financial risks, “SVB’s real ‘hedge’ was to curry favor with the Biden administration.”
He noted that last year, the bank released its ESG report stating that it had committed $5 billion toward “sustainable finance and carbon neutral operations to support a healthier planet.”
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