A core ideal of company culture is inclusivity. To be included as an individual by a company is more than just being offered the same cookie-cutter benefit package. There is power to having diversity in the workplace, so why wouldn’t an employer offer the benefits to match?
Inclusion requires understanding, communicating and providing in a manner unique and tailored to a community and the challenges they face—both in and out of the workplace.
Employees should feel comfortable in their workplace environments—that’s table stakes.
However, over 40% of LGBT workers reported experiencing unfair treatment at work, including being fired, not hired, or harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity at some point in their lives.The Williams Institute
Members of the LGTBQ+ community face the same challenges in the healthcare system when searching for providers and resources. This is largely due to the fact that there is such limited medical education regarding marginalized communities. Because of this, the healthcare system can be challenging for LGBTQ+ individuals to navigate, resulting in a lack of preventative care and increased healthcare costs over time. LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to have a negative experience with their provider, including blaming them for their health problems and dismissing their concerns about their medical conditions.Kaiser Family Foundation
Traditional barriers to healthcare that have been exacerbated in recent years, such as access to quality healthcare providers. Currently, there are about 223,000 practicing primary care physicians (PCP), but the country needs approximately 15,000 more, with that number expected to grow to 20-50,000 physicians over the next decade.Association of American Medical Colleges Even with these shortages, there is a drastic disparity in access to behavioral health providers. An estimated 122 million Americans, or 37% of the population, lived in 5,833 mental health professional shortage areas as of March 31, 2021. The nation needs an additional 6,398 mental health providers to fill these shortage gaps.USAFacts.org These challenges are compounded when searching for physicians educated and specializing in providing care for varying identities within the LGBTQ+ community as well as other racial and ethnic minority patients.
Steps employers can take to give LGBTQ+ employees support
- Sharing pronouns and encouraging employees to self-identify
- Encouraging LGBTQ+ employees to lead company wide discussion(s) of identity in the workplace
- Promoting allyship at work
- Offering LGBTQ+-inclusive benefits to employees and covered dependents
There is a connection between providing resources in the everyday life of minority individuals and their feeling of inclusiveness in the workplace. Organizations can greatly benefit from understanding and providing for the needs of their diverse groups of employees.
Implementing measures like these ensures a strong connection between human resources, benefits and supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB). Providing equitable benefits and tailored solutions can increase workplace productivity and individual performance, but most importantly supports health outcomes for your employees, all of them.
At Included Health, our LGBTQ+ Member Hub helps LGBTQ+ employees and dependents obtain access to vetted, affirming, culturally-competent care to address their unique needs. Our mission is to raise the standard of healthcare for everyone. We do this by matching employees with in-network providers that can address their specific needs and provide compassionate care. Our dedicated, queer- and trans-led care team supports LGBTQ+ members and provides personalized recommendations to close gaps in care, including guidance and support on advocating for claims, network, and legal support.
Learn how Included Health can help your organization provide better care to employees. Request a demo.