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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia receives equality award

Received top score in 2017 national index

PARKERSBURG — In recognition of a supportive and inclusive culture for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning employees, Highmark Inc. and its affiliated health plans, including Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, have earned distinction as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Highmark qualified for the award for the first time by receiving the top score of 100 points in the 2017 national Corporate Equality Index, which benchmarks corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees, helping businesses to compare themselves to those that are leaders in diversity and inclusion.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for our efforts to build an open, inclusive workplace that is respectful of the right to equality,” said Jim Fawcett, president, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia. “The ‘Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality’ designation reflects our commitment to our LGBTQ employees, who play a vital role in helping to ensure we can meet the needs of the many diverse customers and communities we serve.”

Among the practices that earned Highmark the “Best Place to Work” designation are equivalent spousal and domestic partner benefits related to health, dental and vision coverage and legal dependent coverage; yearly collaboration with human resources to educate leaders and the workforce about understanding the LGBTQ community; sponsorship of community activities that engage and include LGBTQ employees and that continue to build community partnerships; and a robust LGBTQ business resource group (BRG) that helped to establish a successful model for several subsequent BRGs and has supported the marketing and sales efforts to LGBTQ persons.

“These businesses know that LGBTQ equality isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes them stronger in the global economy,” said Chad Griffin, president, Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

More than 500 of America’s businesses earned the distinction announced by the Human Rights Campaign in December with more than 900 businesses opting to participate in the survey.

More information on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index is available at hrc.org/cei.

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