In the Spirit of Pride Month: How Healthcare Distributors Promote DEI
Each June, Pride Month recognizes the spirit and contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community. It also serves as an opportunity to reinforce our industry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and to ensure the health and vitality of the communities we serve.
For HDA and our members, cultivating an inclusive, welcoming workplace is critical to our ability to continuously innovate and deliver healthcare products safely, efficiently and reliably.
Promoting inclusion “really is about listening, learning and having an open heart so that you can understand others’ opportunities, but also their challenges along the way,” explains Ola Snow, Chief Human Resources Officer, for HDA member Cardinal Health. Snow spoke about the importance of allyship in HDA’s latest Faces of the Supply Chain video series.
As the month comes to a close, it is important to acknowledge the many ways HDA and its members have continued to commit to fostering a sense of belonging — during Pride Month and beyond.
Building an Inclusive Environment
Every year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases their Corporate Equality Index to benchmark corporate policies in support of LGBTQIA+ workplace equality. HDA is proud of our members who have consistently been recognized as Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, including AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, Henry Schein and McKesson.
The recognition reflects distributors’ longstanding commitment to creating an inclusive environment where all employees feel welcomed and valued.
Putting Employees First
Across the industry, DEI efforts are being driven in part through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These groups help foster an inclusive and engaged workforce and enhance workforce engagement, support community responsibility and provide career development opportunities for team members.
Many HDA member companies have developed and grown ERGs specifically to cultivate a more inclusive cultural environment that embraces equality for LGBTQIA+ employees, including:
- AmerisourceBergen LGBTAllies
- Cardinal Health PROUD
- Henry Schein PRIDE AND ALLIES
- McKesson Pride
- Medline LGBTQ+
HDA members are also on the forefront of building comprehensive employee benefits packages to meet the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. For example AmerisourceBergen, Henry Schein and McKesson offer expanded LGBTQIA+ benefits, including transgender-inclusive assistance to employees, coverage for HIV prevention medication and providing same-sex partners with family health and wellness benefits.
Amplifying LGBTQIA+ Voices
HDA member organizations and their employees are also making public statements in support of the LGBTQIA+ community online, sparking conversations about their organization’s DEI initiatives and sharing stories about welcoming individuals to bring their whole selves to work. These efforts include:
- AmerisourceBergen Foundation has partnered with SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, to host a virtual event for employees to better understand available support programs for seniors in the LGBTQ+ community.
- Cardinal Health joined more than 220 other companies in April to sign the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Freedom for All American’s Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation. They also released a video featuring employees talking about what Pride Month means to them and how they encourage employees to be themselves in the workplace.
- Henry Schein signed the United Nations Human Rights Office LGBTI Standards for Business, which aims to promote equal rights and fair treatment of the LGBTQIA+ community. The company also released a video that highlights Henry Schein’s commitment to LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace, which is best demonstrated by its employee resource group, PRIDE & ALLIES.
- McKesson also signed HRC’s Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation in March of 2022. Additionally, McKesson’s pride employee resource group (ERG) expanded its resources and support network to include employees across its corporate offices, distribution centers, administrative sites and subsidiary employee groups and is sponsoring more LGBTQIA+ organizations this year than ever. Finally, externally, the company is spotlighting on social media LGBTQIA+ employees as well as their investment in an inclusive company culture and is proudly flying the rainbow flag in support of Pride Month at its headquarters in Las Colinas, Texas.
- Medline released a video highlighting key milestones made in the Gay Rights Movement. The video also features their LGBTQIA+ employees and allies discussing their experiences and voicing their support for more action to protect people no matter who they love.
At HDA, employees are volunteering to add chosen pronouns to their email signatures, participating in an educational staff session on allyship and posting messages recognizing Pride Month online. Additionally, HDA is matching any donation made by employees to Whitman-Walker Clinic. HDA’s logo on LinkedIn and Twitter has also been updated with a Progress Pride flag overlay.
Further, following the association’s assessment of the DEI landscape across the healthcare distribution industry, HDA’s board-level Diversity & Inclusion Committee and member task force are leading the establishment of industry-wide employee resource groups. These groups will provide opportunities for HDA member company employees to collaborate with colleagues in the industry based on shared identities and allyship as well as interests, backgrounds and experiences.
This Pride Month and every month, HDA and our member companies are proud to advocate for LGBTQIA+ employees and others to help create a safe space for all.
To learn more about HDA’s commitment to DEI, click here.