22
June
2021
|
12:57 PM
America/New_York

How Nationwide celebrates Pride Month and supports LGBTQ employees and communities all year long

Bringing our authentic selves to work—year-round

Dionne Miller had never felt like she could bring her true self to work. After spending more than a decade at her previous employer, she had learned to hide the parts of herself that didn’t feel safe or accepted by her coworkers. She made sure to use “typical” male pronouns when she talked about her partner. And bringing a picture of her partner to keep on her desk was unfathomable.  

That is, until she started her career at Nationwide.  

Early in her Nationwide journey, she noticed her coworkers had pictures of their partners – of all colors and creeds – on their desks. Seeing her fellow lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) Nationwiders bringing their authentic selves to work empowered her to do the same.  

“I found my tribe,” said Miller. “In that moment, I knew I belonged, and I was very proud to be an employee in a company that allowed me to be my true self every single day and minute of the year.”

For Miller and many other LGBTQ employees, the impact of that feeling of belonging has been profound.  

“When I can bring my whole self to work, I can do my best work,” said Miller, who is a manager of Learning Operations and VP of the Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Nationwide.  

Other employees agree.  

“I've been an out gay man at Nationwide since I started, and I've never once felt like I needed to hide that,” said Tim Kasper, digital communication product manager at Nationwide. “Pride Month is a unique time to celebrate in the victories of brave individuals who have dedicated their lives to the goal of full equity for the LGBTQ community.”  

“But,” added Kasper, “Nationwide is committed to inclusivity year-round.”  

This Pride Month, Nationwide is celebrating and recognizing the impact LGBTQ individuals have had throughout history.

Nationwide’s culture of inclusion  
Nationwide’s support of LGBTQ communities begins in the workplace, where a thriving Pride ERG hosts educational events, innovative discussions and is a safe space for building community throughout the year.  

“It’s amazing and reassuring to know I can be my authentic self at work,” says Miller. “People have also asked me about ways to become a better ally — and knowing I can help others learn more about the LGBTQ community is a step toward making our company an even better place to work and our world a better place to live.”  

The Columbus, Ohio-based company was one of the first in the state to offer same-sex domestic partner benefits and to add the LGTBQ employee information into its health surveys. Nationwide also offers gender-neutral bathrooms throughout its campuses and provides meaningful ways for employees to self-identify as a member of—or ally to—the LGBTQ community.

“Our number one value, valuing people, is reflected in the programs we’ve implemented over the years,” said Vinita Clements, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer at Nationwide. “Pride Month is the perfect time to honor the LGBTQ community by celebrating the qualities that make us unique. As a company that values people, Nationwide’s inclusion efforts are reinforced through programs and community partnerships that promote equity.”  

Nationwide has been recognized for its commitment to inclusivity.  

  • Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality (100% Corporate Equality Index rating for 17 consecutive years)
  • Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award (9 years)
  • Fortune’s Best Companies for Diversity (5 years)
  • Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For (six consecutive years)
  • Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Financial Services & Insurance (5 years)

Miller says, “We don’t just talk about it, we are about it,” as she reflects on Nationwide executives showing support of the LGBTQ community by participating alongside them in Pride parades.  

“At Nationwide, we want all employees to feel valued, respected, and able to bring their best selves to work every day,” said Nationwide CEO Kirt Walker. “Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion runs deep, and it’s a commitment that continues to evolve and grow stronger. This month, I’m proud to join Nationwide in celebrating and recognizing the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had throughout history.”  

Supporting employees in communities where they live and work  
Nationwide’s commitment to inclusion doesn’t stop with its employees. The company has pledged support, time and resources to organizations doing impactful work to champion LGBTQ rights in communities where thy live and work.  

“Nationwide supports Pride events across the country,” said Kasper, who is also president of the Pride ERG. “The way we show our support is really meaningful. Seeing my employer sponsor and attend these events and be vocal is exciting.”  

Nationwide’s support of the LGBTQ community remains as strong as ever – from inviting and supporting national and local organizations like:

  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
  • Equitas Health, whose mission is to be the gateway to good health for those at risk of or affected by HIV, for the LGBTQ community, and for those seeking a welcoming healthcare home in Columbus.
  • Stonewall Columbus, which works to increase visibility, inclusion, and connection for the LGBTQ community in Columbus.
  • OneIowa, which has a mission to advance, empower, and improve the lives of LGBTQ Iowans statewide.
  • Iowa Safe Schools, whose mission is to provide safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environments and communities for LGBTQ and allied youth through education, outreach, advocacy, and direct services in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • One*n*Ten, which serves LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24 in Scottsdale.