Companies That Are Inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ Community
During Pride Month, many organizations make a point of publicizing the ways that they are supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community. But being friendly to the community is not just about getting attention for one month—it’s a long-term strategy that is beneficial for companies to adopt all year long. First and foremost, being inclusive to LGBTQIA+ talent can attract the best employees—whether they are members of the community or not. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that 72% of people who consider themselves allies are more likely to accept a position from a company that is friendly to the community than one that isn’t. In addition, LGBTQIA+ workers and allies are more likely to go above and beyond in their jobs when they work for a company that has inclusive practices.
And how does this inclusivity manifest itself? The following are examples of nine companies that have demonstrated their commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community in a variety of ways in order to create an environment that is welcoming to all employees.
9 Companies That are Creating Inclusive Workplaces for the LGBTQIA+ Community
1. Asana: Support and Learning Through Employee Resource Group
Asana, a tech company that creates web and mobile apps to simplify team-based work management, created an employee resource group (ERG) called Team Rainbow for members of the community and allies to support each other and learn from one another. Through this ERG, employees are able to express themselves freely and know they will be supported. In addition, the group contributes ideas on ways to make the workplace more inclusive and organizes educational events so employees can learn more about the community and celebrate the accomplishments of LGBTQIA+ trailblazers.
2. Prudential Financial: Fighting the Good Fight in Court
Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community is nothing new for Prudential Financial: Back in 1996, the company updated its discrimination policy to include “sexual orientation,” and went on to provide domestic partnership benefits to its employees four years later. In order to extend its support of the community and ensure that workers all over the country are able to enjoy protections from discrimination, in 2019 Prudential joined 205 other companies in filing a brief arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which was already protecting workers from discrimination based on race, sex, religion, color, and national origin—should also apply to LGBTQIA+ workers. In 2020, the Supreme Court agreed with this argument and extended Title VII to include protections for gay and transgender employees.
3. Uber: Support and Education About Transitioning
To help transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming employees, Uber released guidelines designed to support those who are currently going through the gender transition process, or are planning to transition in the future. In addition, the company's guidance provides information to help management and human resources representatives support transitioning employees and ensure that they are treated fairly.
4. A Cloud Guru: Demonstrating Pride Virtually
Last year, A Cloud Guru, a company that offers cloud certification and training classes, allowed employees to celebrate Pride Month virtually by offering a digital event that included a week of education covering topics like the Stonewall riots and prominent LGBTQIA+ figures. In addition, the company hosted a happy hour that had activities like trivia and a sing-along.
5. Baker McKenzie: Providing Free Legal Services to Further LGBTQIA+ Rights
Law firm Baker McKenzie not only has an inclusive culture that includes an ERG for its LGBTQIA+ employees, it also uses its attorneys’ legal expertise to fight for the cause on the ground by providing pro bono legal services that advance LGBTQIA+ protection policies. For example, Baker McKenzie partnered with the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic to produce the Trans Youth Handbook, which is a resource to help transgender youth understand their rights at home and school, as well as when they go to work or seek medical care.
6. PayPal: Protesting Discriminatory Laws + Offering Comprehensive Transgender Healthcare
PayPal is another company that supports the LGBTQIA+ community both internally and externally. To help employees, the company created an ERG, PayPal Pride, which has 16 chapters in six countries. Outside of the company, PayPal’s dedication to equality caused CEO Dan Schulman to cancel plans to build a $3.6 million operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina after the state passed a law that limits legal protections of LGBTQIA+ individuals. PayPal’s protest amounted to the loss of about 400 jobs and $20 million of annual state payroll taxes.
To support workers in being their authentic selves, PayPal provides comprehensive benefits for its transgender workers, which includes coverage for surgeries, such as mastectomies and breast implants, as well as sex reassignment, facial feminization, and voice modification surgeries. Also, employees receive coverage for hormone replacement therapy, lab work, and mental health assistance.
There are numerous ways that companies can support the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and beyond. In order to find the right solutions for your employees, assess what they need and what’s most important to them and develop initiatives that address their concerns.
7. American Airlines: Supporting LGBTQIA+ Businesses
In order to increase supplier diversity, American Airlines is committed to partnering with businesses owned by members of underepresented communities, including LGBTQIA+ suppliers. The company regularly participates in supplier diversity events to network with business owners and provide new opportunities for underrepresented groups. Also, American Airlines was the first major airline in the United States to adopt policies that protect LGBTQIA+ workers from discrimination.
8. Bain & Company: Providing Levels of Support
Management consulting firm Bain & Company has an LGBTQIA+ employee resource group, BGLAD, which allows workers to participate in a way that makes them most at ease. Recognizing that some members of the community may not feel comfortable disclosing their identity to the entire group, the ERG has four levels of participation: (1) completely open and out; (2) out only to Level 1–3 members; (3) out only to BGLAD administrator; and (4) straight allies.
9. Coca-Cola: Addressing Inequities
In addition to helping LGBTQIA+ employees, Coca-Cola has a history of supporting their partners. In 2015, the company started offering help with the cost of taxes for same-sex spouses and partners enrolled in the health care plan if they lived in a state that didn’t recognize gay marriage. Also, Coca-Cola has spent years fighting against anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation around the country.
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