Today kicks off the start of Pride month and the Autodesk Pride Network (APN) employee resource group has once again planned a fantastic series of global and chapter events celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
Adrien Semail, long-standing APN board member, recently shared more about this year’s theme, “Celebrating Authenticity.” He noted, “Bringing your best, authentic self is your superpower. This year, we celebrate the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community in the face of forces that try to deny our identities and self-expression. We also celebrate the wins across the globe bringing us closer to full equality.”
The celebrations start with a global event featuring the incredible Asia O’Hara, a star from season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Local chapters will also host virtual and in-person events throughout the month. We have two guest speakers from Autodesk who will participate in Power to Fly’s “Pride Summit.” And APN members will be featured on our social channels and Autodesk Life blog throughout the month.
In addition to our programming, we’ll join many other organizations in making minor aesthetic changes like switching to a special Pride logo on our Brand social media channels for the month. We do this because we know being seen matters. But it’s important to me that we reiterate our support of LGBTQ+ employees doesn’t end there.
At Autodesk, we are focused on fostering a culture of belonging where all employees have equitable opportunities to succeed and contribute. We strive to create an environment where everyone, everywhere, can fully optimize their talents. And this belief doesn’t end when June does.
Since 2017, we’ve received a perfect 100 on Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) annual Corporate Equality Index. With anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on the rise globally, we’ve also taken steps to support the HRC’s efforts. For example, over the summer, we aligned with more than 170 businesses urging the Senate to safeguard marriage equality nationwide and we’ve joined the list of companies to oppose state level legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community.
Learn more about what makes Autodesk one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity 2023.
We have a history of standing up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and have long supported flexibility and choice in the healthcare options available to our employees and their families. Here are some of the ways we’re supporting our LGBTQ+ employees and their families:
- Autodesk is proud to offer medical plan coverage that recognizes the unique health care needs and challenges LGBTQ+ members may face, and we’re proud to partner with medical plan providers who are committed to treating all members with respect and dignity, including gender-affirmation benefits.
- Through Autodesk’s Make a Family program, employees and their families can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per calendar year for adoption, IVF or co-maternity, surrogacy, and egg or sperm freezing services.
- Lyra provides care for emotional and mental health, how, when, and where it’s needed, at no cost to employees. Services include 20 free coaching or therapy visits a year, per covered family member. Providers who specialize in LGBTQ+ issues can be requested.
- The ARAG legal insurance plan helps enrolled members pay for routine legal matters, such as adopting a child, guardianships, and more. ARAG can also help with matters like gender-identity changes on government-issued documents, hospital-visitation authorizations, and funeral directives.
APN also takes active steps to support LGBTQ+ rights. For example, last fall, every Autodesk ERG selected two nonprofit organizations to receive a donation through a grantmaking pilot. APN selected the Transgender Law Center and Rainbow Railroad to each receive $10,000. This year, APN is encouraging Autodeskers to donate to these two organizations during Pride month. Through the Autodesk Foundation, donations to eligible organizations will be matched up to $5,000 per employee annually.
Jared Cassier, global lead for APN, shared more about this work, “Being a member of APN provides the opportunity to drive meaningful change for the LGBTQ+ community, from guiding donations that support organizations aligned with our mission to partnering with Autodesk’s Diversity & Belonging team to influence company policies for employees globally. This is my first Pride month as the global lead for APN and I’m incredibly inspired by our momentum.”
At Autodesk, we believe in embracing what makes us different, as well as what unites us, to foster a culture of belonging. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits and resources Autodesk provides to its LGBTQ+ employees and their families, head here.