For Brenda Hartley, identity isn’t just about who she is. It’s also important to her professional well-being. “I think identity’s important in any field you are in. You’ve got to be who you’ve got to be.”

Hartley, the vice president/branch manager at BankUnited in Wilton Manors, said she’s lucky to be with a company that’s so accepting of her and her wife.

“I’ve been with my wife 20 years now. We were married a year ago in March. BankUnited is a great employer. They know my wife. They’re fully supportive.” But Hartley, also on the board of directors for Stonewall and The Pride Center, knows others who aren’t as confident in being out.

“I know a woman. She’s got a very prestigious job downtown and she is not able to come out. I think it affects them. Whenever you’re not able to be who you are, it affects your work. There’s always something holding them back. There’s got to be a lie there somewhere.”