Companies should strive to create a welcoming environment for LQBTQ+ employees that goes beyond putting a rainbow design on a corporate logo or making donations once a year.
Much like Pride Month itself took decades to gain full influence — it originally commemorated the Stonewall Uprising in New York City in 1969 — building a supportive community at ZoomInfo has taken years of hard work and investment.
Creating LGBTQ benefits and other resources was not accomplished by any one employee, executive, or initiative. Here at ZoomInfo, we embarked on a multiyear campaign to develop health benefits that resonate with LGBTQ+ employees, fostered a culture that champions the community’s values, and worked to raise cultural awareness across the company. We hope that all of these efforts allow our employees to live their true lives more fully.
“What I could tell you from my personal experience is authenticity translates, and people connect with people who are being authentic,” says Jim Donovan, vice president of sales at ZoomInfo. “So, live your true life.”
Championing LGBTQ-Friendly Benefits at Work
It’s easy for a company to state its support for corporate diversity and inclusion. But it takes persistence to translate that support into real change, such as establishing LGBTQ-friendly benefits.
At ZoomInfo, these benefits include:
- Medical coverage for all spouses and domestic partners regardless of sexual orientation.
- An employee assistance program that all members of a worker’s family can access for help.
- Coverage of gender reassignment procedures and related treatments.
“Gender reassignment benefits, which formally rolled out in our 2021 benefits package, grew out of a years-long effort to establish coverage for these procedures,” says Michelle Brewer, vice president of human resources at ZoomInfo.
The concern first came up four years ago when an employee approached Brewer seeking information about gender reassignment. In researching the available coverage, Brewer discovered many associated procedures that were excluded and classified as “cosmetic,” such as trachea shave (removal or reduction of the Adam’s apple), voice lessons, and voice therapy. These obstacles seemed unreasonable to her.
“I fought to make sure everything was covered,” she said.
Raising Cultural Awareness from Within
Support for LGBTQ+ employees goes beyond formal benefits and weaves in social aspects of the community, too.
Formed in spring 2019, ZoomInclusion is a broad effort to boost understanding and equity across the organization. ZoomInclusion supports several employee resource groups, including ZoomInfo Pride, which promotes acceptance and understanding of LGBTQ+ employees. For example, we recently held a company-wide presentation on queer verbiage.
One of ZoomInfo’s Pride’s milestones was holding Drag History Night in December 2020. The event was open to all employees and featured a chronicle of drag, how it reflects LGBTQ+ culture, and performances.
A drag act is “really just a way of showing your art to the world and how you want to have a persona to show onstage in front of everyone,” says Nicole Bolden, manager of customer requests at ZoomInfo.
Diverse Employees Lead to Success
Pride Month is an important recognition of the progress made by people who identify as LGBTQ+.
From executives on down, ZoomInfo supports its LGBTQ+ employees with benefits and other resources that reflect an awareness of the community. Hiring workers from all backgrounds has been a key to ZoomInfo’s success, and likewise, having a diverse workforce brings greater social and cultural understanding to all of our employees.