In the LGBT Workplace

Why Should Companies Offer LGBT Benefits?

By Daryl C. Hannah, DiversityInc
June 02, 2009

Ann-Marie Yap never planned to stay at Cisco Systems for a decade. She initially viewed her job as vice president of information technology as a career steppingstone. So when the San Jose--based tech company asked her to relocate from Atlanta to California, she saw it merely as an opportunity to make a lot of money.

"Cisco [employees] had a reputation of working a lot of hours, and I knew I didn't want that," says Yap. "I never wanted to work in Silicon Valley because of the culture. But I figured I would suck it up for a few years after the company moved me to California, and then I'd do something else."

But Yap's desire to start a family with her partner prevented her from making a swift career move. "After we realized that we wanted to start a family, we knew we couldn't afford the nearly $30,000 [in-vitro fertilization] procedure," says Yap. "I began looking into the benefits Cisco offered and found out that Cisco would pay a significant portion of the costs."

Thanks to Cisco's comprehensive benefits package, which includes medical insurance for in-vitro fertilization, Amy, Yap's wife, was able to give birth to Anneke--which cost the couple only a $10 copay five years ago, despite the need for an emergency C-section. Anneke was then followed by Arie, the couple's now-six-month-old. Total cost of the birth of Arie (including medical complications for the baby): $1,500. Why the significant increase to give birth five years later? California laws for same-sex couples who want children had changed, which reclassified the procedures covered under Cisco's adoption and medical benefis for LGBT employees.

"Cisco's benefits … have kept me here longer than I expected," says Yap. "This is the most comfortable I've ever felt with a company."

Read the full story at DiversityINC.