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In Good Company

Valuing LGBT employees: good for workers and business

Mar 03 2015

A strong, diverse company ensures that its employees can realize their full potential and aspire to be all that they can be. Recently, one of Aetna’s employees told his story to the Hartford Business Journal, for an article about the inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) individuals in Connecticut and its businesses.

In the article, Robert Udell, a program manager in Aetna’s Innovation, Technology, and Service Operations department, describes how he chose to work at Aetna after graduating from college nine years ago. He ranked employers on two criteria – the ability to apply his education and rise in the management ranks, and the employer’s inclusion of the LGBT community. “Aetna was at the top of that short list,” Udell said.

 “People in the LGBT community will consider how inclusive companies are, even when less-friendly companies offer better deals,” said Grace Figueredo, Aetna’s head of diversity and inclusion, in the article. “That is a competitive advantage.”

Aetna has long been recognized as a top employer in diversity and inclusion by organizations such as Diversity Inc. Most recently, Aetna received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.