Humana’s Susan Connor-Kirshbaum on LGBTQ Pride Month

Originally published at humananews.com. Humana ranked No. 13 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.

 

This month we are celebrating our LGBTQ+ associates and allies. Throughout June we will be spotlighting our LGBTQ+ associates and leaders who help make Humana the inclusive organization that we are. Humana has won numerous awards for our inclusion efforts including receiving a perfect score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index eight times, being named a Top 50 Employer by DiversityInc for four years running and one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity by Forbes.

To the LGTBQ+ associates and leaders who make Humana a great place to be and work, we thank you for your commitment to inclusivity and your courage to bring your whole self to work every day. Also, a special thank you to the PRIDE Network Resource Group (NRG), which just celebrated its tenth anniversary, for helping to inform this campaign.

 

 

 

Meet Susan Connor-Kirshbaum, Associate Vice President, Organizational Effectiveness.

 

 

 

What is your ‘why’? 
At the end of the day, everything we focus on translates to our members and providers knowing they are seen and valued. Overall, that’s my why — to make sure my team, my colleagues and our members and providers feel seen, heard and understood.

 

What is the biggest barrier you have faced when taking on leadership roles? 
In the early days, I struggled to get to know my team. As I began my pivot to leadership, the actual words to bring my authentic self to work did not exist. Words matter! Thanks to so many of you reading this, we have made progress. Now, I talk about my wife without having to explain she’s not my “business partner” and I talk about my daughter without having to explain she was not the result of a “first marriage”. I’m so grateful to each person that continues playing a part in making sure all are represented.

 

How does Humana support members of the LGBTQ+ and Ally community?  
Humana is transparent and open about supporting the LGBTQ community. The actions include PRIDE NRG events, visible PRIDE celebrations and so much more. The internal Humana site has non-stop representation and profiles focused on inclusion are typically front and center. Humana and the PRIDE NRG truly raise the bar through focused sessions, a place to virtually network, and a fantastic approach to including and empowering allies. A small gesture that went a long way was the roll-out of the Humana PRIDE email signature logo. I was proud to display it and thrilled to see how many fellow LBGTQ associates and allies felt the same.

 

What is your advice to LGBTQ+ professionals today? 
No matter where you are on your journey, love who you are each step of the way and surround yourself with those who do the same. You are not alone! In addition, take the time to understand how we got here – it’s critical to acknowledge, honor and learn from the past as we continue building to the future.

 

What would you tell your younger self as it relates to LGBTQ+ in the workplace?  
I would tell my younger self that you were unknowingly brave for coming out and it was worth the struggle as you joined in on paving the way for all to bring their authentic self to the work every day!

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