3 Innovative Ways Johnson & Johnson Proudly Supports the LGBTQIA+ Community
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ifty-one years ago this month, the first Pride marches took place in cities across the United States to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, giving rise to what’s now known as LGBTQ Pride Month, which is celebrated each June in support of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer citizens.
And for more than 25 years, Johnson & Johnson has been a leader in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community through its employee policies, business practices and public advocacy. In partnership with the Human Rights Campaign, Johnson & Johnson has joined hundreds of leading U.S. employers in supporting the federal Equality Act, and in opposing anti-LGBTQIA+ state legislation in the United States.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health Care With Pride program, which was created to openly champion love, equality and care for the LGBTQIA+ community. So far, it's raised more than $1 million for LGBTQIA+ advocacy organizations.
“To serve the healthcare needs of people everywhere, we need diverse perspectives and viewpoints," says COVID-19 pandemic will prevent us from celebrating Pride Month together in person, we are always together in our support for the LGBTQIA+ community.”, Worldwide Chairman, Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson and Executive Sponsor of the Open&Out employee resource group for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies. "The values of diversity, fairness and equality are central to who we are at Johnson & Johnson. I’m proud to be an ally for our LGBTQIA+ colleagues to make sure all employees can be their authentic selves and feel safe and supported at work. Every voice matters—and the more voices who speak up for diversity and speak out against discrimination, the more inclusive our culture becomes. While the
Read on to learn about some of the other pivotal ways Johnson & Johnson has been an ally and leader for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Open&Out Employee Resource Group
Johnson & Johnson has more than 130,000 employees across the world, and 12 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that help unite colleagues through their shared interests, identities, affinities and experiences.
Open&Out is one of the fastest-growing ERGs at the company, with nearly 5,000 LGBTQIA+ employee and ally members across 90+ chapters around the world.
The group’s goal: help foster an inclusive work environment where all employees feel safe, heard and embraced.
Open&Out’s members are crucial sources of new and diverse ideas that can help the company not only build a stronger employee community overall, but also enable the company to better serve diverse customers around the globe.
“When we can be our authentic selves in the workplace, we have greater energy and enthusiasm in the work we do,” explains Zack Langway, Communications Leader for the Johnson & Johnson Office of the Chief Medical Officer, and a global leadership team member for Open&Out. “Watching campuses raise rainbow Pride flags, seeing gender-inclusive 'Restroom for All' signs and having the opportunity to help our company address LGBTQIA+ health inequities through Open&Out—it all reminds me every day that I matter and I belong.”
Recent innovative initiatives the group has sponsored include a new partnership to support OnePULSE Foundation, a nonprofit started to honor the 49 people killed in the 2016 shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. This year, Open&Out has partnered with the organization to support its OutLove Hate campaign. With a $49 donation, supporters can upload a photo that will be part of the OutLove Hate website, as well as appear in a permanent display at the future National Pulse Museum in Orlando.
"When I was an intern at Johnson & Johnson, applying for other jobs, I would ask about affinity groups like Open&Out, and many companies didn't have any," says Andrew Whitten, now an IT Product Analyst for Procurement at Johnson & Johnson and co-lead for the corporate chapter of Open&Out. "What's kept me at the company is the mindset that learning about diverse backgrounds and groups is important—and the strong leadership support for that."
Johnson & Johnson has been honored for more than 15 years by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for our policies, such as transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage and same-sex partner benefits.ShareDid you like reading this story? Click the heart to show your love.
Johnson & Johnson Care With Pride
This ambitious volunteer initiative brings together more than 12 Johnson & Johnson brands and thousands of employees to champion love, equality and care for all people within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Care With Pride is the corporate sponsor for more than 40 Pride parades and events across the globe. Today, Care With Pride is sponsoring a Virtual Pride Kickoff to take the place of physical parades that couldn't go on as planned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last two years, Johnson & Johnson also began selling OGX, Listerine and Neutrogena products with special Pride-themed packaging in Target, Kroger, Amazon and Ulta. This year, Clean & Clear and Exuviance join the themed line.
“Launching our first-ever Clean & Clear Pride product was meaningful for me because as a gay man who came out during his teen years, I know how challenging it can be to navigate your teen years with the added pressure of exploring your sexuality," says Ethan Prizant, Associate Brand Manager, Clean & Clear. "I hope that, in whatever small way, it can signal that we as a brand are here to stand by queer teens on their journeys, because we celebrate all teens.”
One of the program's beneficiary partners is Family Equality, whose mission is to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQIA+ families and for people who wish to form them.
“They are doing very meaningful, powerful work,” Harris says. “The organization is on the smaller side, so our donation has the potential to really make an impact.”
Care With Pride is proud to serve as title sponsor of Family Equality Family Week, the largest gathering of LGBTQIA+ families in the world, held annually in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
“LGBTQIA+ families rely on this trip as a safe and fun event,” Harris says. “Since we can’t physically join together this year, we are sending Care With Pride care packages to families through Family Equality as a little way to bring enjoyment into their lives during this season of celebrating LGBTQIA+ people.”
Inclusive Johnson & Johnson Benefits
Recognizing the equality of all forms of families has long been a priority for Johnson & Johnson, dating back to when the company began granting domestic-partner benefits nearly 20 years ago.
Today, the company offers assistance with fertility treatments, adoption and surrogacy to heterosexual and same-sex spouses alike.
In the U.S., the company offers $35,000 in financial assistance for fertility treatments. Employees who adopt can receive $20,000 in reimbursement benefits per child, as can those who use surrogacy assistance.
And any new parent—maternal or paternal, adoptive or surrogacy-assisted—can take advantage of eight weeks of paid leave that can be used at any time during the first year of a new child’s arrival into a family.
Johnson & Johnson also offers health insurance benefits for transgender employees, including for transition surgery. There’s even an official company process that encompasses support from mentors across the company and a “trans liaison,” a dedicated person within the organization who can help you along the way.
“Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our culture and policies that enable all our people to feel valued and heard," says, Head of Human Resources, Global Total Rewards, Johnson & Johnson. "We have been honored for more than 15 years by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for our policies, such as transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage and same-sex partner benefits. We have an essential responsibility to provide equal opportunities and treatment, create a deep sense of belonging and allow our people to be themselves, so they can perform their best and bring fresh perspectives to deliver innovative healthcare solutions to patients, consumers and customers around the world.”
*** This story was updated on June 1, 2021