In A Year of Distance, LGBTQ+ Advocates at Nestlé Focus on Change and Connection

From healthcare to virtual celebrations, the Nestlé Pride Alliance is helping drive progress

Harrison Allen
Jun 8 · 4 min read

This month, for the second year in a row, Nestlé’s Pride events will be hosted virtually. As a member of the Nestlé Pride Alliance, the pandemic has reminded me of the importance of staying connected with the people and communities that mean the most to us — including at work. Even as Pride events across the country are being scaled back, we’ve found ways to bring people together and continue to collectively advocate for progress.

From legislative advocacy to improved healthcare policies, see how Nestlé, along with the Nestlé Pride Alliance, are working together to build an inclusive workplace for all.

Flexible policies that reflect lived experiences

To build a diverse and inclusive workforce, companies need policies that provide employees with equal opportunity to thrive. Nestlé has long been committed to policies that support LGBTQ+ employees — from equal marriage and parental benefits for same sex couples, to healthcare coverage for gender affirmative surgery.

Providing equal benefits is all about walking the walk on supporting people from all backgrounds at work. As my colleague Andrea puts it, “What we’ve all realized this past year more than ever is that what matters is people. It’s good to know that your company cares about you — that’s what keeps people fulfilled and resilient.”

This Pride Month, we’re happy to announce the launch of Included Health — an addition to our existing healthcare benefits that elevates care for LGBTQ+ employees across the country. Included Health is a healthcare navigation platform and concierge service that connects employees and family members with high quality, affirming care.

For example, if an employee needs to find an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist, or a local doctor who is knowledgeable about PrEP, Included Health will connect the employee with a provider who can help. By providing employees with the resources they need to live healthy, happy lives, we believe we’re also creating an environment that develops strong and effective teams.

Standing up for what’s right in our communities and workplaces

This year has been challenging for the LGBTQ+ community with a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills sweeping through state legislatures across the country. As a member of the Government Affairs team at Nestlé, I’m extremely close to the work we’re doing to advocate for fair and equal legislation that supports the wellbeing of all Americans.

Through our partners at the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance (SFPA), we’ve supported legislation that makes a difference in our employees’ and our consumers’ lives. As a core part of our business principles, we firmly believe that all people are equal and that every person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. Advocating for change in our communities is one way we’re putting this principle into action.

We know it’s important to be clear on our position — and do our part to drive meaningful change. That’s why, through SFPA, we joined with Danone North America, Mars Incorporated, and Unilever U.S. to advocate for the Equality Act.

We employ 30,000 people in 150 communities across the country. Building a diverse workforce and fostering a culture of inclusion are principles that guide the way we work, and how we engage with our employees and communities.

Staying connected during a year of disconnection

The Nestlé Pride Alliance is all about bringing together LGBTQ+ employees to build a community of support and acceptance. As Pride moved from in-person parades to remote events through web calls, what we’ve discovered is an increased sense of unity.

Derek — an Minnesota-based communications lead for the Pride Alliance — put it best. “We’re an optimistic group, and we saw the upside of being remote. Pride parades in several different cities are great, but being online allowed us to bring employees from all of our offices together in a more connected way than ever. We’re taking a more national approach to Pride, which includes everyone.”

Pride month should be a celebration, but it’s also a time to reflect on where we’ve come from and how we can continue to drive change in the future. At Nestlé, there is a deep commitment to building inclusive policies, driving advocacy, and fostering community. As we celebrate our work this year, I look forward to helping drive progress in the next.

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