Employees Share Commitment to Advancing Inclusion During Pride Month
As Centene recognizes LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, it shines the spotlight on its employees’ commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion where they live, work and serve.
Centene’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Inclusion Group, cPRIDE, provides guidance on how to further support LGBTQIA+ employees. Explore employee perspectives on Pride Month and how they work to advance inclusion within our workplace and communities,
“Pride Month celebrates our successes in working to ensure equal rights and gaining a seat at any table for the LGBTQIA+ community,” said cPRIDE Co-President and Enhanced Care Management Delegation Oversight Manager, Randy VonFeldt. “Personally, Pride Month means visibility and the opportunity to see members of our community stand up proudly in all levels of the organization. I grew up in a small town in Wyoming where I could not see myself represented in leaders. Seeing leaders in our organization who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community reminds me that I can do anything.”
“Pride was born at a protest march in 1970 following the Stonewall Riots in New York City,” said ‘Ohana Health Plan Vice President of Population Health & Clinical Operations Eva Williams. “Pride Month today is a joyful tribute to our community, history and families. Festivities like Pride parades celebrate the splendor and sparkle of our wonderfully diverse community. We also host Pride parties to connect with our created families and our found families — the people whom we consider family because they have been there with us through it all.”
“Pride Month celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and the fight through the years of acceptance and being able to be who we are today,” said Provider Data Management Business Analyst Raheem Robinson. “It also shows that we are a community of love, justice and peace, and that we accept all for who they are and what they are becoming. Pride Month celebrates our independence of being free to be who we are.”
Employees also describe how they advance inclusion by building trusted partnerships in the workplace and our communities.
“As a cPRIDE leader, I listen to feedback to ensure our group is responsive,” said Randy. “This can be pushing for more member or employee-facing materials for LGBTQIA+ benefits, scheduling programming on mental health and other topics, or getting supportive messages out quickly following tragedy in our communities. I do my best to bring my true self to work. It is the sum of our characteristics — the whole person — which contributes to our success. If there is someone out there who grew up like me, without seeing LGBTQIA+ representation in leadership, I want to be that role model.”
“I advance inclusion by being out,” said Eva. “Coming out — to make your identity as a LGBTQIA+ person known to others — is a very personal decision. For the past 30 years, I’ve chosen to be out at work. I speak about my wife and children during job interviews and when meeting colleagues. I also extend space and grace to colleagues who may need time to get to know me. I hope I model the way for others who seek the courage to share their truth.”
“In my role, I include everyone to join and reassure them it’s a safe place to be you and express yourself,” Raheem said. “I also provide materials and background about the LGBTQIA+ community, and I am always available to answer questions.”