Innovative Ways Johnson & Johnson Proudly Supports the LGBTQIA+ Community
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ore than 50 years ago this month, the first Pride marches took place in cities across the United States to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City. These marches gave rise to what’s now known as LGBTQ Pride Month, which is celebrated each June in support of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer citizens.
And for more than 30 years, Johnson & Johnson has been a leader in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community through its employee policies, business practices and public advocacy. In partnership with the Human Rights Campaign, Johnson & Johnson has joined hundreds of leading U.S. employers in supporting the federal Equality Act and in opposing anti-LGBTQIA+ state legislation in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson also strives to create a workplace where LGBTQIA+ employees feel they can show up authentically—and that supports each individual and their families with inclusive policies and benefits.
“As an LGBTQIA+ ally for many years, I’ve learned the importance of supporting and advocating for the rights, equality and well-being of the community,” said Liz Forminard, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Executive Sponsor of the Open&Out employee resource group for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies. “We have made significant progress in the fight for equality, but we all know there is more that needs to be done to address basic rights globally, including addressing community health disparities, hate crimes and violence, the lack of visibility and representation for the community, as well as attacks on LGBTQIA+ rights.”
Read on to learn about some of the other pivotal ways Johnson & Johnson has been an ally and leader for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Open&Out Employee Resource Group
Johnson & Johnson has more than 130,000 employees across the world and 12 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that help unite colleagues through their shared interests, identities, affinities and experiences.
Open&Out is one of the fastest-growing ERGs at the company, with nearly 4,000 LGBTQIA+ employee and ally members across 100-plus chapters around the world.
The group’s goal: help foster an inclusive work environment where all employees feel safe, heard and embraced.
Open&Out’s members are crucial sources of new and diverse ideas that can help the company not only build a stronger employee community overall but also enable the company to better serve diverse customers around the globe.
In 2023, Open&Out is commemorating its 30th anniversary. As part of the theme “30 Years Strong,” the group is paying homage to the efforts of thousands of employees who were pioneers in ensuring that meaningful inclusion remains at the forefront of Johnson & Johnson's company culture.
Johnson & Johnson became a signatory of the Human Rights Campaign’s business statement on anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation to demonstrate its commitment to supporting transgender and gender-diverse individuals in the U.S.ShareDid you like reading this story? Click the heart to show your love.
Recent Open & Out initiatives and partnerships include:
· Joining Out Leadership, a global LGBTQIA+ business network, in 2022 and participating in its annual leadership development summit.
· Collaborating with True Colors United, a foundation working to elevate awareness of LGBTQIA+ youth homelessness and highlight its intersection with health. Research, training and regional activations between Open&Out and True Colors will continue in the coming years.
· Becoming a signatory of the Human Rights Campaign’s business statement on anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation to demonstrate its commitment to supporting transgender and gender-diverse individuals in the U.S.
"When I was an intern at Johnson & Johnson and applying for other jobs, I would ask about affinity groups like Open&Out, and many companies didn't have any," says Andrew Whitten, now IT Manager, Technical Product Owner, Healthcare Compliance, Johnson & Johnson and co-lead for the corporate chapter of Open&Out. "What's kept me at the company is the mindset that learning about diverse backgrounds and groups is important—and the strong leadership support for that."
Inclusive Johnson & Johnson Benefits
Recognizing the equality of all forms of families has long been a priority for Johnson & Johnson, dating back to when the company began granting domestic-partner benefits nearly 20 years ago.
Today, the company offers assistance with fertility treatments as well as adoption and surrogacy to heterosexual and same-sex spouses alike.
In the U.S., the company offers $35,000 in financial assistance for fertility treatments. Employees who adopt can receive $20,000 in reimbursement benefits per child, as can those who use surrogacy assistance.
And any new parent—maternal or paternal, adoptive or surrogacy-assisted—can take advantage of 12 weeks of paid leave that can be used at any time during the first year of a new child’s arrival into a family.
Johnson & Johnson also covers travel expenses for eligible medical services not available from any in-network or out-of-network provider within 100 miles of an employee’s home. This benefit applies to U.S. company employees and to their families, as well.
Additionally, the company offers health insurance benefits for transgender employees, including for transition surgery. There’s even an official company process that encompasses support from mentors across the company and a "trans liaison," a dedicated person within the organization who can help you along the way. Outside the U.S., coverage for gender-affirming care varies by country.
“The moment that you’re perceived as trans can be scary, and the fact that Johnson & Johnson is aware of that made me feel safe,” said Clark Musto, External Engagement Lead for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Clinical Trials. “Transgender people consistently receive discriminatory messaging that we do not belong, but Johnson & Johnson makes transgender employees feel like we have a place on Earth like everyone else. I was provided with a safe and affirming workplace environment that supported my transition, which allowed me to authentically exist as my true self in every facet of my life.”
Johnson & Johnson has been honored for more than 15 years by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for our policies, such as transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage and same-sex partner benefits.ShareDid you like reading this story? Click the heart to show your love.
Recognition for Advocacy and Inclusive Practices
Because of the company’s focus on elevating LGBTQIA+ issues, Johnson & Johnson has been honored for more than 15 years by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.
“Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our culture and policies, which enables all our people to feel valued and heard," says Kristen Mulholland, Head of Human Resources, Global Total Rewards & Enterprise HR Functions. "We have been honored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for our policies, such as transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage and same-sex partner benefits. We have an essential responsibility to provide equal opportunities and treatment, create a deep sense of belonging and allow our people to be themselves so they can perform their best and bring fresh perspectives to deliver innovative healthcare solutions to patients, consumers and customers around the world.”
And in the past two years, Johnson & Johnson has received multiple recognitions around the world, including:
· In Mexico and Argentina: HRC, Mejores Lugares Para Trabajar Por Equidad LGBTQ+ (2022)
· In Spain: FELGTB, named one of the top five most inclusive companies in Spain (2022)
· In EMEA: European Diversity Awards, Outstanding Employee Network (2022)
· In South Africa: South African Workplace Equality Index, LGBTQIA+ Employer of Choice (2021)
· In New Zealand: Rainbow Tick Certification (2021)
·In Japan: PRIDE Index, Gold Award (five consecutive years)
As these recognitions show, Johnson & Johnson believes in leading by example, proudly investing in all aspects of LGBTQIA+ advocacy, inside and outside its workplace.
*** This story was originally published on June 11, 2020 and was last updated on June 1, 2023
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