‘There’s too few LGBTQ founders’: A day in the life of Billie Simmons, co-founder of Daylight
- Billie Simmons is the co-founder and chief of staff at Daylight, a digital bank for LGBTQ consumers in the U.S.
- Billie takes a step back from her demanding work schedule to reflect on the bigger picture. Here’s a day in her life.
After Billie Simmons changed her legal name, her bank failed to fully acknowledge her identity as a transwoman by deadnaming her across their online bank account and credit scoring process. Trans and non-binary people are often neglected or discriminated against in their banking experiences. Insensitive customer service, outdated systems and security risks are some of the realities that LGBTQ customers have to reckon with on a regular basis.
Simmons decided to take matters into her own hands by co-founding Daylight, America’s first LGBTQ digital bank. The startup offers Visa cards to consumers in their preferred names, financial coaching, a personalized feed of educational content and opportunities to donate to LGBTQ charities.
“This is the best job that I’ve ever had and it feels like the most important work that I’ve ever done, because we’re solving a problem for a community that I am part of and a problem that I myself have experienced. It’s not some vague, abstract concept; it feels really tangible. I often have calls with different people on our waitlist and just to be able to listen to their thoughts and experiences navigating banking as an LGBT person and to be able to tell them that we’re solving those problems is just so rewarding,” said Simmons.
In her earlier work, Simmons founded a startup for transgender and non-binary people to have access to safe service providers and businesses. With a background in software engineering and marketing, she thrived in the fintech sector working with companies such as Techstars and Anthemis Group. As an advocate for LGBTQ initiatives in mental health and technology, Simmons has given talks at Google and WeWork.
Here is typical a day in her life:
This content is available exclusively to Tearsheet Outlier members.
Missing out? Subscribe today and you’ll receive unlimited access to all Tearsheet content, original research, exclusive webinars and events, member-only newsletters from Tearsheet editors and reporters and much more. Join Outlier now — $59/mo Already an Outlier member? Sign in to your account