Cigna actively supports the LGBTQ community by striving to provide the understanding, acceptance and resources they need to take care of their health, well-being and peace of mind. This begins at home with our employees and extends to everyone we serve including our customers, clients and partners.
In our workplace, we strive to create an inclusive work environment where all people are treated with respect and dignity, and are empowered, supported and encouraged to bring their whole selves to work — inclusive of gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Cigna’s inclusive culture strengthens our ability to serve our customers and clients each day. We are proud of the work we’ve done to foster diversity, equity and inclusion at Cigna, but we also recognize there is still work to be done. Reflecting on some of the harrowing statistics around LGBTQ access to care, mental health and well-being and workplace stigma, it is clear that change must come.
In honor of Pride Month in June, we’ve highlighted just some of the ways we support the LGBTQ community in our workforce and in the communities we serve.
Health Disparities Among the LGBTQ Community
Research shows that the LGBTQ community is more likely to report a lack of cultural competence by healthcare providers, more likely to report poor quality of care and unfair treatment by healthcare providers, and more likely to experience delay getting care — especially in older adults.
In addition, research shows that LGBTQ adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to have a mental health condition.
We are taking action to help achieve health equity, and have made a long-term commitment to address disparities affected by social determinants of health (SDoH), which include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. We recently launched the Enterprise Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council to shape our organization’s ongoing DEI and health equity efforts, and launched our first Diversity Scorecard Report to track progress and communicate our health equity goals in a transparent way.
Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace for All
According to a striking survey from the Human Rights Campaign, 46% of LGBTQ workers are closeted at work. And, 13% of LGBTQ workers feel that if they were honest about their sexuality, they would be fired because their workplace feels unwelcoming of LGBTQ people. Additionally, 1 in 10 LGBTQ workers have actually left a job because the environment was not accepting of LGBTQ people.
The ability to bring your whole self to work — unabated by stigma, fear or bias — is a deep rooted part of our culture at Cigna. Our aim is to create an inclusive work environment where people are treated with respect and dignity, and celebrate the diverse experiences of each and every one of our employees.
One example of that is our Pride employee resource group (ERG). The purpose of Pride is to foster understanding and acceptance around the LGBTQ community, and empower employees through education and advocacy. Currently with more than 1,100 active members, Pride hosts events to engage all employees on crucial topics related to the LGBTQ community. Recent events, meant to encourage an open forum and dialogue, have included discussions around Transgender Day of Visibility, and understanding the perspective of LGBTQ seniors.
Building Cultural Competency and Educating the Communities We Serve
Cigna also recognizes the importance of providing cultural competency resources and education to health care providers in order to better equip them to understand and address disparities among customers and within our communities. Cigna engages providers on inclusivity and culturally competent care, providing them with access to LGBTQ-specific training and resources.
We recently took a step to improve the health care experience for LGBTQ customers by updating online directories on myCigna.com to display providers who identify with the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare as interested and experienced in caring for LGBTQ patients — providing confidence, trust and respect.
Through the Cigna Foundation, we will continue to work with partners to help drive progress, specifically to reduce health disparities and improve the health and well-being of everyone we serve. For example, Cigna provides philanthropic support to partners who focus on LGBTQ health, education and advocacy — on the ground in the community. The Cigna Foundation awarded a $125,000 grant to The Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide and crisis prevention for LGBTQ youth, and a $50,000 grant to OUTMaine, an organization that works to provide education, foster care and religious, community and housing solutions to LGBTQ youth.
More Work to Do
We will continue to work side by side with community partners, and internally within our workforce, to reduce barriers to health care and health disparities, improve access to mental health resources, and advocate for inclusive, equitable treatment, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.
“All people, including those who are LGBTQ, deserve health care that is effective and delivered by people who truly care and understand their needs,” said Dr. Renee McLaughlin, MD, National Medical Director at Cigna. “This is often a challenge for sexual and gender minorities and an area where we are working hard to close the gaps — in the end, we care about the health and well-being of our customers, no matter how they identify or who they love.”