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From pronouns to planning: Special considerations for LGBTQ+ clients

May 31, 2022

Planning conversations

When it comes to insurance needs, LGBTQ+ clients have similar needs, but there are important differences to recognize when helping your clients make decisions around insurance.

Despite progress towards equality, discrimination remains a reality for LGBTQ+ individuals. Some is ongoing and some is a shadow from the past. LGBTQ+ individuals have formed communities primarily in places most welcoming to them. These areas are most commonly large metropolitan cities where non-discrimination ordinances offer protections around housing, employment, and essential services. As it often happens, maintaining primary residences in large cities comes with higher costs of living. Higher expenses for housing, health care, insurance and other essentials.

It was only in June 2020 that the U.S. Supreme Court finally confirmed that federal protection against workplace discrimination applies to all LGBTQ+ individuals under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[1] Although discrimination affecting LGBTQ+ people, and its impacts, is hard to map and quantify, workplace discrimination often means LGBTQ+ clients have inconsistent employment histories and limited opportunities for professional advancement and benefits coverage. According to Forbes, only 42% of the LGBTQ population have life insurance.[2] Therefore, your clients likely lean on you for advice regarding life insurance, asking questions such as:

Learn more about important distinctions that may impact financial planning for LGBTQ+ clients from the Nationwide Retirement Institute.

Sharing your pronouns–whether in an email, a meeting or in person provides others with an understanding of how you identify and creates a safe space for them to do the same.

Using someone’s pronouns correctly shows that you respect that person and accept how they identify. For both clients and employees, normalizing the conversation around pronouns can make people feel comfortable being their authentic selves.

In practice
Next time you host or attend a webinar, meeting, or community event, set a good example by sharing your pronouns. This could be in your introduction, “Hi, my name is Jane Smith, and my pronouns are ‘she’ and ‘her’,” or through one of the additional examples below.

  • Email signature: include after your name
  • Name badge: Add pronouns under your name
  • Screen name for online meetings: Add to the name field
  • Social media: Sites, including LinkedIn have added a field in your profile to include pronouns

If you make a mistake using pronouns or someone corrects you, apologize and restate using the correct pronouns. Kindness and humility go a long way while you’re learning.

Nationwide’s diversity, equity and inclusion philosophy

At Nationwide, a diverse and inclusive workforce is critical to our success. Bringing together the unique characteristics of each of our associates – gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, nationality, disability, veteran status, ethnicity, race, religion, as well as many other differences such as thinking styles, personalities and work experience – is an integral part of who we are and how we operate as a company. We are proud of Nationwide’s inclusive culture that supports every associate’s success and encourages an environment where they can feel challenged, appreciated, respected and engaged. We’ve been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality. Learn more about Nationwide’s Diversity, equity and inclusion philosophy.