The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) named Aetna (NYSE: AET) to its “2013 Best Places to Work” list for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. Aetna has earned this designation every year since the index was introduced in 2001.
According to the HRC, only 252 of the 889 businesses evaluated achieved a perfect score in the 2013 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rating. Aetna was among them. The CEI rates companies on policies and practices related to the LGBT community.
“Our LGBT employees have helped to make Aetna a stronger and better company to work for and do business with,” said Aetna Chairman, CEO and President Mark T. Bertolini, the executive sponsor of Aetna’s LGBT employee resource group (ERG). “I’m proud of the accomplishments Aetna has made as an organization to advance diversity in its broadest sense and serve the LGBT community as an employer and business partner.”
Aetna has long been committed to its LGBT employees and the greater LGBT community. In the mid-1990s, Aetna implemented changes to many policies affecting domestic partners. In early 2009, Aetna was the first major health benefits company to add gender reassignment surgery as a benefit for its employees and any contracted companies choosing to add it to their benefits package. According to HRC, only 42 percent of employers rated in the CEI offer transgender-inclusive health care coverage.Aetna’s LGBT employee resource group has chapters across the U.S., including a virtual chapter that engages employees regardless of their work location. The ERG helps to deliver on Aetna’s business and diversity strategies, and provides resources to the corporation and networking support and professional development to its members. In addition, Aetna is a founding corporate partner of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Mark. T. Bertolini is also a board member of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce – the board’s first straight ally. Aetna works closely with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a national organization committed to ending employment discrimination for LGBT employees.