How LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits contribute to positive work culture

Group of diverse employees working together in a conference room. Group of diverse employees working together in a conference room. Group of diverse employees working together in a conference room. Group of diverse employees working together in a conference room.

Key takeaways

Learn about five LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits and how they contribute to a positive work culture.

Every June many businesses celebrate Pride Month with rainbow logos, supportive social media posts, and participation in community parades. And while these efforts are certainly appreciated, it’s important to ensure your business shows Pride year-round, not just one month a year.

One of the best ways to show ongoing support for your LGBTQ+ employees is through inclusive benefits. Some may think that LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits will help only a fraction of employees, but the truth is, these benefits can help contribute to a positive work culture that improves the experience of all employees and betters the business as a whole.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation:

  • 72% of LGBTQ+ allies say they’re more likely to accept a job at a business that supports LGBTQ+ employees
  • Firms with LGBTQ+ inclusive practices show positive impact on profitability and market valuation
  • Businesses that are more inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees have recorded productivity levels 3% higher than less inclusive ones

In celebration of Pride Month, let’s cover five examples of LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits and how they contribute to a positive work culture.

1. Gender affirmative health care

Gender-affirming care is a supportive form of health care consisting of an array of services that help transgender people align their physical appearance with their gender identity. These services are often financially inaccessible for people, but you can help by offering health insurance plans with good gender-affirming coverage.

By offering this benefit, you can help reduce the financial and emotional stress of transgender employees, while fostering loyalty from allies who appreciate your support for their colleagues.

2. Family building benefits

LGBTQ+ people often face challenges when starting families, but you can offer employee benefits that may help:

  • Assisted reproductive technology costs are often unaffordable, but by offering financial assistance for services like IVF, surrogacy, sperm and egg donation, and egg freezing, you can help make parenthood possible for LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Adoption assistance benefits can help LGBTQ+ employees face the financial and legal burdens that come with adopting.

Not only will these benefits support your LGBTQ+ employees, but they can also help other employees who are struggling with fertility. They also show that you’re creating a family-first culture.

Related: 6 ways employers can support nursing parents and 7 benefits for expectant parents

3. Inclusive mental health support

LGBTQ+ people are more than twice as likely than heterosexual people to experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. They are also less likely to receive effective, compassionate care that addresses the unique experiences, discrimination and stigma they face.

By ensuring your mental health benefit providers are LGBTQ+ knowledgeable, you’ll help your employees access the care they need, while also demonstrating that you genuinely care about the wellbeing of all your employees.

4.  Career development

LGBTQ+ workers have faced discrimination over the years, which has created a leadership gap in the community. According to Investopedia, LGBTQ+ women account for just 1.6% of managers, while men account for 2.8%.

You can support your LGBTQ+ employees and help them advance their careers within your organization through professional development benefits, such as continuing education, skill-based training, boot camp classes, leadership courses, and more. This will help you not only retain talent, but also help you recruit ambitious LGBTQ+ professionals who will advance your business.

5. Voluntary benefits

Voluntary benefits, such as critical illness insurancehospital indemnity, disability income and accident insurance, allow LGBTQ+ employees to choose benefits that align with the diversity of their needs. For example, LGBTQ+ people may have a higher chance of getting cancer or cardiovascular disease than their heterosexual peers. Voluntary benefits can help LGBTQ+ employees get the care they need, when they need it.

Unlike major medical insurance, voluntary benefits are paid directly to employees, not doctors or hospitals. This means employees can use the benefits for ANY purpose, including out-of-pocket medical bills and living expenses.

Want more? Check out our blog, 5 employee benefits that help support diversity.

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Optavise is a trusted partner, guiding employers and their employees through healthcare choices including voluntary benefits, benefits administration, and year-round advocacy services that reduce costs and increase benefits engagement.