Medica is creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. To help guide employees along this journey, the organization has developed employee resource groups (ERGs). These are groups of employees who share a common diversity characteristic or life experience (e.g., gender, disability status, religion or belief system, ethnicity or race, sexual orientation, generation) or are supporters (which we call Allies) of an ERG.
For our employees, being a part of the Medica Pride ERG means that Medica is taking steps to be a more inclusive and diverse work environment where individuals who may have felt alone, left out, or uncomfortable now have a place to share who they are and bring their whole self to work. It’s a step toward improving as a company, not only for our employees, but also for our members and the community.
Medica Pride has a monthly meeting with discussions in a very informal, open environment. For example, we might discuss questions and concerns that come to the Medica Pride mailbox or through other internal channels. Often, the questioner requests anonymity, which we always respect. We also have “Educational Moments,” where we discuss such things as mental health and the LGBTQ+ community, what LGBTQ+ means and what other gender identities or sexualities are included in the community, and what it means to be an Ally.
We also end our meetings with “What’s on your mind?” discussions, where we give space to discuss topics, good or bad, that may be weighing on individuals.
Instilling Community Pride
Medica Pride also is a driving force behind how the organization engages with the community in which we all live, work, play and build relationships. This summer, the group’s efforts helped ensure Medica had a large presence at this year’s Pride festival. In August we will host a panel of young adults from YouthLink who will speak on youth homelessness, which is a real problem especially in the LGBTQ+ community. And in October we are planning activities for a coming out day.
Benefit to business
There also is a business benefit to Medica Pride. Medica Pride has helped create broader awareness about what it means to be more inclusive. It comes through in the communications about our activities to all employees, the educational opportunities we provide, which are open to all, and the events we take part in. Because of its focus on the whole person, Medica Pride helps the organization attract people who want to work here. It also helps employees feel more invested, and instills a desire to see the organization be successful.
Our efforts set an example for other businesses and help lead change outside of Medica. We are building something that hopefully other businesses want to emulate. Many of our customers and potential customers ask what we’re doing in the DEI field when they are considering our insurance plans – and Medica Pride is a source of pride for how we are creating a more inclusive environment.