Bringing Diversity & Inclusivity Into Employee Benefits
By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday June 30, 2020Updated : Thursday June 9, 2022
Every June, the world celebrates Pride Month — a time of diversity, inclusion, and open-mindedness for the LGBTQ+ community.
At Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc., we embrace these values year-round. After all, our mission is to help working Canadians — and that means all working Canadians.
Using Benefits to Support Diversity and Inclusion
Today’s multi-generational workforce is the most diverse it’s ever been, with five different generations in the workforce, all with different wants and needs.
When it comes to employee benefits, supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion is key to a successful plan. Key elements to consider when it comes to fostering an inclusive workplace include:
- Providing choice and flexibility in benefits (like a Health Care Spending Account)
- Booklets, contracts, and forms, with inclusive language (more on that below)
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Communication to diverse audiences (consider different mediums for different demographics, for example)
- Re-evaluate your paid time off and leave policies to remove limitations and consider something like a vacation incentive to increase utilization
Language is Evolving — Insurers Must, too
Inclusive language is an important piece of the diversity puzzle.
The language around gender and sexual orientation has evolved in recent years to include gender neutrality and non-binary language. Traditionally, Insurers would capture information on an individual’s sex (that is, the one given at birth) rather than gender, which is much more about how a person self-identifies.
As the language around gender and sexual orientation changes, so too must Insurers: booklet wording, contracts, application and enrollment forms, and more. That’s why, as of June 2020, we made important improvements to honour our commitment to helping all working Canadians.
We’re happy to announce that all Canadians enrolling in their employee benefits plan will now have an ‘Undisclosed’ option for gender on their BBD forms.
It may be a small change, but to many Canadians out there, it makes all the difference in the world.
Happy Pride Month, Canada! It may be over for 2020, but the values of diversity, inclusion, and open-mindedness aren’t going anywhere.