Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia gets high marks for LGBTQ equality

PARKERSBURG — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has been named a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

The foundation recognized Highmark for its supportive and inclusive culture for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning employees,

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for the work we do around creating an inclusive workplace,” said Jim Fawcett, president, Highmark West Virginia. “We are committed to having a culture where all team members feel safe, valued and encouraged to contribute their best thinking, and we will continue to find ways to promote inclusion and diversity as a way to help our team members grow and succeed.”

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people. The campaign envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in communities.

Highmark West Virginia qualified for the award for the first time this year and received the top score of 100 points. It is one of two organizations in West Virginia to make the list and receive the award.

The 2020 national Corporate Equality Index benchmarks corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBTQ employees, helping businesses to compare themselves to those that are leaders in diversity and inclusion.

This year, three Highmark Health companies have received perfect scores, with Highmark West Virginia and Highmark Delaware making the list for the first time, joining Highmark Inc., which has earned the designation since 2017.

“Highmark Inc. strives to honor its many diverse employees and customers by being an inclusive, respectful and safe place to work and do business,” said Dr. Lonie Haynes, vice president of diversity and inclusion for Highmark Health. “We are proud that Highmark West Virginia and Highmark Delaware are joining Highmark Inc. in being recognized as leaders within the LGBTQ communities they serve.”

Among the practices that earned Highmark West Virginia the designation are equivalent spousal and domestic partner benefits related to health, dental and vision coverage and legal dependent coverage; transgender-inclusive benefits and workplace transition guidelines, 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 involvement with the corporate LGBTQ business resource group (BRG), which acts as a vital resource and partner to our business, enhancing our capabilities and knowledge in workforce inclusivity and marketplace excellence, and helping us to connect with the communities we serve.

The full report is available at www.hrc.org/cei.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves about 325,000 members and has holds the largest share of the commercial market.