Mosaic was one of the first ERGs formed at Altria in 2013. When Mosaic started, Altria’s IT filters would block any content listed as “Gay, or Lesbian, or Bisexual Interest, Society and Lifestyles.” The Pride flag flying at HQ was merely a dream, and we did not provide benefits to same-sex couples seeking to create families through surrogacy or IVF. We couldn’t even get executives to say the actual words—Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer. Slowly, things started changing. Yet in 2017, a survey of salaried employees showed an experience gap between LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ employees. The survey revealed a clearly 50 point gap between LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ employees who felt comfortable being themselves at work. Ouch. Yet the same survey showed that an overwhelming majority of Altria’s straight employees supported their LGBTQ colleagues. So Mosaic kicked it into gear. We published our first edition of Coming Out Stories-which also includes stories of Allies “coming out” to support their LGBTQ family and friends in more visible ways. We recently published Volume 4 this past October 11, on national Coming Out Day. We’ve created an empathy series named LGBTQ-101—a facilitated conversation of LGBTQ basics and the identity spectrum, and are currently piloting a 201 series about experiences of a non-binary person. We turned potentially uncomfortable topics into thought-provoking conversations-and continue to do so by partnering with Altria’s Central I&D to host our a conversation about being LGBTQ at Altria. Even with a significant number of Altria’s employees working remotely, Mosaic was very clear that Pride 2020 was not cancelled and hosted a virtual Pride event. All Pride content, along with podcasts and previous Coming Out Stories is all available on Mosaic’s intranet pages.
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