Inclusion – It’s more than the workplace

In my last blog, I discussed Vanguard’s high score on The HRC Corporate Equality Index survey. This score reflects our dedication to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies. But these endeavors extend beyond just creating an inclusive workplace – they can alleviate challenges in our personal lives as well.

“I specifically asked whether Vanguard provided same-sex domestic partner benefits before I joined in November 2011. My partner, Julie, and I had just gotten married in August and I had covered Julie under my benefits plan at my previous employer. At the time, I knew that Pennsylvania and the Federal government would not recognize our marriage. However, because I could cover Julie under the Vanguard health and welfare plans, I knew we would be okay.” – Kathleen R.

“When I came out to my parents, one of the things they were concerned with was the possibility of losing my job because I am gay.  A few months later when I joined Vanguard, I could point to Vanguard’s non-discrimination policy to reassure them that members of the LGBT community were valued here. Years later, there was a time when my husband’s company was going through bankruptcy. We weren’t sure the company would survive and he could have been out of work.  It was a comfort to know Vanguard offered domestic partner benefits, which we could take advantage of if necessary.  Luckily, things worked out fine and it wasn’t necessary, but it was good to know we had it if we needed it.” – Mark O.

“I am extremely thankful for the ability to enroll my partner Jon in Vanguard’s medical plan coverage.  In fact, he works for a health insurance company, and our plan is more comprehensive than the one his employer offers!” – Brian F.

As for me, I began my Vanguard career in the fall of 1999, and I had not come out to anyone during the recruiting stage or onboarding process. This was a purposeful decision. I wanted time to acclimate to my new job, and to learn more about Vanguard’s culture. After six months, I felt very comfortable with my team, and completely aligned to Vanguard’s mission. So I made the decision to come out to my leader and colleagues at work in early 2000. My manager and leadership team were fully supportive, and they treated me with the same level of respect, encouragement, and inclusiveness as everyone else. The way they treated me was a welcomed change, as my experience with leadership at another employer was hesitant and timid, at best.

I’m now in my 19th year at Vanguard, and in many respects, this is home for me. My experiences and professional connections at Vanguard have been similar to my personal relationships with my family – welcoming, nurturing, and supportive. At Vanguard I am empowered to focus on meaningful work and career development without the burdens of guardedness and discretion that many in the LGBTQ+ community often confront. For this I feel most blessed, and so very grateful, and I am inspired to help ensure that all crew members feel just as welcomed.

Consider learning more about the 2018 Corporate Equality Indexthe report is free and available to anyone.  (Vanguard is mentioned on pages 54, 89, and 98 of the report.)

-Chris H.

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