As we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community this month, our Pride ERG talks on the importance of authenticity, exposure and vulnerability.
Pride is one of our six employee resource groups (ERGs), that plays a vital role in supporting and creating a community for LGBTQ+ employees and allies.
Spotlight on Pride at Securian
Oftentimes, the LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination in their work and personal lives. That’s why the goal of our Pride ERG is to create a work culture where LGBTQ+ employees can feel comfortable being their authentic selves.
“What the Pride ERG tries to do is offer exposure opportunities for people to get more comfortable. We’re supposed to have differences,” said Rebecca Soucy, co-chair of the Pride ERG. “[We’re] trying to empower people to embrace vulnerability because in vulnerability, we do our best growing. Our differences are powerful.”
When Rebecca came out as a person of transgender experience, her bosses were able to learn how to better support her through events and learning opportunities hosted by our Pride ERG.
“When I came out as transgender, [my bosses] were really nervous for me. The week after I came out, Pride was having an event with [a transgender speaker], so my bosses were like ‘you know, I think I’m going to go to learn more so I can better support you.’ That was very powerful,” said Rebecca. “The fact that these types of events are available to help support people.”
Goals of Pride ERG
Each year, Pride aims to align its goals with the pillars of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council:
- Attract, develop, and retain diverse talent
- Foster an inclusive culture and associate engagement
- Meet the needs of our customers and channel partners
- Advance equity and economic empowerment in our communities
But this year is different. The past couple of years have been tough for all of us, so Pride wanted to focus on one thing – making sure employees felt supported. “As people are experiencing burnout, [we’re] just making sure that people can connect with people who they can be open and honest and real with,” said Chris Hoegh, co-chair of Pride. “Promoting that authenticity - that’s been our main focus this year.”
As one of the first ERGs, Pride has been able to positively impact, not only the culture at Securian Financial, but also our workplace policies. Pride recommended that Securian participate in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s leading benchmarking survey and report that measures corporate policies and practices for LGBTQ+ workplace equality.
Securian first participated in the survey in 2020 and received a score of 85 out of 100. “That was really affirming to see that we had already been taking strides to make sure that everyone felt included and accommodated at work,” said Chris. “And it helped us find places where we can improve that score.”
Since then, Securian has continued to improve its policies and practices to support LGBTQ+ employees, including joining the Business Coalition for the Equality Act. “There’s no nation-wide protections against discriminating against LGBTQ people,” said Chris. “In some states, someone could be fired for being gay or could lose their home for being transgender.” The Equality Act would provide the same basic protections to LGBTQ+ people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law.
The establishment of the Proud Parents group has been an important expansion of Pride. Proud Parents is a sub-group of Pride that builds connections, provides support, and answers questions for those who have LGBTQ+ people in their families.
Pride is committed to creating a culture that’s inclusive of everyone. We all deserve to feel comfortable bringing our authentic selves to work.