The LGBTQ community has made a lot of progress since The Stonewall Riots of 1969. It’s important that we express gratitude for those who have helped us get to where we are today. We have many people and organizations to thank, starting with the LGBTQ individuals and allies who took the courageous first steps towards equality during the last three decades of the 20th century. We also owe many thanks to the American businesses that risked boycotts and sales for our equal treatment.
The next stages of LGBTQ equality will take place in the boardroom, not the House floor of Congress. A majority of LBGTQ workers prefer to work at a company that supports equal rights for its LBGTQ employees, according to Prudential’s 2016-2017 LGBT Financial Experience Research Report. Supporting LGBTQ employees will promote safer workplaces, diverse talent and specialized expertise.
Here are 8 financial institutions best supporting the LGBTQ community.
Few companies have put themselves out there as supporters of the LGBTQ community and taken such interest in our financial security as MassMutual. MassMutual offers life insurance, retirement, and investment services. It consistently advocates for the equal treatment of its LGBTQ clients and employees.
For example, MassMutual was an original signatory on the 2013 amicus brief to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Shortly after the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, MassMutual debuted its Vow to Protect, a video campaign featuring same-sex couples sharing what marriage equality means to them. Vow to Protect was a fascinating internal, grassroots effort simply to show MassMutual’s support of marriage equality.
In 2017, MassMutual took another brave stand for LGBTQ equality by becoming the only financial services firm to feature a same-sex couple picture on the upper fold of its homepage. Today, MassMutual has LGBTQ couples and content throughout its page. While many financial services companies struggle to feature LGBTQ people in marketing or collateral at all, MassMutual calls out insurance for the LGBTQ community on their homepage.
2. Prudential Financial
Prudential provides insurance, investment management, and other financial products, and services to both retail and institutional customers around the world.
As an LGBTQ personal finance writer, the research of financial wellness within LGBTQ community is invaluable. Prudential not only includes the LGBTQ community in its surveys, it also independently explores the financial wellness of our community with its LGBTQ Financial Experience Survey. These studies provide snapshots in time as to where LGBTQ individuals stand with their money and financial trends.
To build a stronger LGBTQ community, we need financially stronger individuals and allies who can afford the time and money to continue to push our community to get master our money. We can only improve our financial future by knowing where we stand today. Prudential’s services and surveys can help us do both.
3. Capital One
Capital One is a bank holding company that specializes in providing loans, banking and saving accounts. Capital One lives up to the adage of putting their money where their mouth is.
Employment equality is critical for the LGBTQ community’s financial security. One of the biggest events it sponsors is the Out & Equal’s Workplace Summit, a virtual event and networking opportunity for LGBTQ professionals. This year’s event is scheduled for Oct. 6 through 8, 2021.
The bank also focuses on local projects. In 2016, Capital One donated $10.3 million to help provide much-needed renovations to San Francisco’s LGBTQ Center. The San Francisco LGBTQ Center provides services like small business assistance, a trans employment program, youth services, and general financial services. These are critical services, especially around money, for an underserved population.
Lastly, spokespeople cost money, and many businesses are hesitant to use an LGBTQ spokesperson for fear of corporate backlash. Despite the risks, Capital One proudly used Ross Matthews, television personality and Jay Leno’s former Tonight show correspondent, as a spokesperson. With Matthews, Capital One created a series of Facebook videos about money for all people in 2016. It sends a powerful message that Capital One is willing to use a well-known LGBTQ host to spread the money message.
4. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is a bank and financial services firm. Long before same-sex marriage was legal, Wells Fargo was helping same-sex couples get their finances in order.
In 2009, Wells Fargo co-created the Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor (ADPA) designation with the College of Financial Planning, best known for its Certified Financial Planning (CFP). The ADPA gave valuable weight to providing same-sex couples the individual financial advice we needed, especially before marriage equality. It also educates advisors on wealth transfers, federal taxation, retirement planning, and planning for financial and medical end-of-life needs. Much of this has normalized with marriage equality, but nuances still exist. The ADPA designation is a good designation for any LGBTQ person to look for when seeking a financial advisor.
Wells Fargo promotes financial needs for the LGBTQ community on several platforms. In 2015, Wells Fargo took the brave step and the public heat by producing a commercial featuring a lesbian couple adopting a little girl. This commercial is in addition to Wells Fargo being ever-present at LGBTQ Pride Parades around the country.
5. JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is a banking and financial services holding firm. In 2018, the company earned a 100% score on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), earning the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.
The company is also a long-time supporter of the Out & Equal workplace summit. This year, JPMorgan made a $1 million donation to the Out & Equal — the largest gift the non-profit has ever received.
Taking further steps to support and serving the LGBTQ community, JPMorgan Chase featured yours truly in a well-received article on its website to celebrate Pride Month 2017. With 44 million hits on its homepage a day when it was published, JPMorgan Chase knew it was taking a vocal and visible stand to support LGBTQ people.
There’s a good chance you know this already, given you’re on its blog, but Policygenius is an online insurance marketplace that helps you compare policies and find the right coverage based on your needs. As a regular contributor to Policygenius’ blog, I’m proud to say that Policygenius openly discusses LGBTQ finance. After marriage equality was legalized in June 2015, many financial services firms and publications stopped talking about the financial nuances of the LGBTQ community, like life and health insurance. Just because we have marriage equality doesn’t mean we don’t still have different financial risks and concerns. Companies such as Policygenius are helping our community address those unique risks and concerns.
7. XY Planning Network
XY Planning Network is a resource of fee-only financial advisors who specialize in financial advice for Generation X and Generation Y. XY Planning makes it a point to highlight which advisors are a member of the LGBTQ community. As Wells Fargo’s ADPA designation shows, understanding the LGBTQ community is critical in helping us address its unique financial needs.
If you don’t have a financial planner, it’s important to find one that aligns with your needs and goals. According to Prudential’s Financial Experience Surveys, fewer queer people use a financial planner (29%) than the general population (39%). However, an HSBC study showed that individuals with a financial planner have nearly 29% more in retirement income wealth than those without an advisor. Therefore, it’s important to connect with professionals who are or understand the LGBTQ community.
Similar to XY Planning Network, GuideVine acts as a search engine to connect prospective clients with a financial advisor. It allows customers to search for advisors who are a member of or understand the LGBTQ community. GuideVine lets its clients get detailed profiles, including videos of its advisors, so you can get familiar and comfortable with a prospective advisor before meeting face-to-face.
Services like this go a long way to bridge the gap between LGBTQ people and the general population who have financial advisors. One of the concerns highlighted in Prudential’s LGBTQ Financial Experience Surveys is that many LGBTQ people say they don’t know where to turn to for financial advice.
The above financial services companies are helping our community address that concern in numerous ways.
Disclosure: The author of this article is a former freelance writer for Policygenius. Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.
Image: Getty | Pekic