OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

Employer Support Has a Direct Impact on the Health and Resilience of Employees, According to a Mercer Survey

  • The pandemic has had a material impact on the mental, financial and physical health of employees.

    • Over half of US employees report feeling some level of stress in the last year, nearly one fourth say they experienced mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, a fifth are financially worse off, and nearly a fifth feel less physically healthy or fit.
  • However, 53% of employees feel their employer has provided good support during the pandemic – and, compared to those who have received little support, they are less likely to have experienced the pandemic’s impact as mostly or entirely negative.
  • 45% of employees who feel they have received good support from their employers during the pandemic say they are less likely to leave their company as a result.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the pandemic continues to unfold, the ability of employers to have a positive impact on employee health and resiliency cannot be understated and is one of the most important findings of the latest Mercer “Health on Demand” survey released today. Since the onset of COVID-19, when employers stepped up to provide essential support, it made a difference. Employees who say they received good support from their employers are much less likely to view their personal experience of the pandemic as mostly or entirely negative compared to those who received little or no support – 25% vs. 49%. And almost half (45%) of those receiving good support say they are less likely to leave their job as a result.

Survey results confirm that the pandemic has had a material impact on the mental, physical and financial health of employees. Over half of US employees feel some level of stress in the last year; nearly a fourth of US employees say they experienced mental health issues such as depression or anxiety; a fifth are financially worse off; and nearly a fifth feel less physically healthy or fit. Low-wage earners were more likely to experience each of these negative impacts – and less likely to feel supported by their employers during the pandemic. These findings reinforce that employers have room for improvement when it comes to understanding the diverse needs of their employees and providing resources to support the well-being of the entire workforce.

“There is nothing more important to the health of a business than the health of its people and the communities in which that business operates. COVID-19 challenged our global healthcare system, but the ability of employers to have a positive impact on employee health and resiliency is one of the most important findings from our 2021 Health on Demand survey,” said Martine Ferland, President and CEO, Mercer. “The research is clear – employers that place health and humanity at the center of business transformation will build a more energized and adaptable workforce that is better able to persevere through periods of crisis.”

The 2021 report lays out several key findings and implications for supporting employee health and well-being:

Provide varied and valued benefits: Well-being is at the core of an employee’s relationship with their employer. The amount of support, type of support, and ability to personalize that support matters. The ability to customize a package of benefits to meet individual needs is highly or extremely valued by 55% of employees. Variety matters as well: the more benefits and resources that are offered, the more likely it is that each employee finds something of value. Of employees offered 10 or more health and well-being benefits or resources by their employer, 52% say that their benefits are a reason to stay with their company, compared to only 32% of those offered 1-5 benefits or resources. In addition, employees receiving 10 or more benefits are more confident that they can afford the healthcare they need – and more likely to agree that their employer cares about their health and well-being.

Enable digital access to healthcare: COVID-19 necessitated that healthcare be delivered in different and innovative ways. One-fifth of employees used telemedicine for the first time during the pandemic, and another 23% increased their usage. Of those trying telemedicine for the first time, the great majority – 72% – intend to keep using it. The survey also registered a sharp increase in employee interest in other digital health solutions, ranging from apps that help find healthcare providers to virtual reality tools for self-care. Compared to the 2019 Health on Demand survey, a greater percentage of employees in the 2021 survey found digital solutions to be highly or extremely valuable. The ability to access care virtually has gained momentum and become a valued option for employees. Survey results reinforce that employers need to plan for a future in which most healthcare journeys include virtual visits and digital healthcare supports.

Reduce stress and anxiety: Notably, US employees are more stressed than those in many other countries. While 59% of US employees say they feel some level of stress, one-quarter report being highly or extremely stressed. That’s the highest percentage of the 13 countries included in the survey. In the UK, for example, only 16% of employees feel highly or extremely stressed. With 48% of US employees rating employer support for mental health as highly or extremely valuable, employers that provide robust mental health and counselling benefits will foster greater loyalty and create a stronger bond with their employees. However, 40% of employees say it is difficult to find and access quality mental health care. It’s even harder for some employees: among low wage earners, that number rises to 47%. Employees identifying as LGBTQ+ place the highest value on employer support for mental health – 61% say it is highly or extremely valuable, but nearly as many (58%) say quality mental health care is difficult to find and access.

Clearly, employees have unmet needs when it comes to mental health care. Half (49%) of all US employees say that programs that reduce the cost of mental health treatment are highly or extremely valuable. Employers looking to provide affordable mental health care support should note that many employees would highly value virtual counselling via video chat with a therapist (42%), virtual counselling via text with a therapist (38%), and even virtual mental health advice via AI-powered text chats, with no human involved (31%).

Tackle healthcare inequities: Healthcare inequality persists, with higher-earners better able to access medical coverage, income protection and mental health counselling than low-earners. Participants with household income (HHI) at or below the US median are significantly less likely to feel confident they can afford the healthcare their family needs (60%) than those with HHI above the median (83%).

Unfortunately, the people who need support the most are the least likely to receive it. Those with HHI above the median reported having better access to benefits through their employers: the survey revealed a gap of 21 percentage points in access to employer-sponsored medical coverage between those with HHI at or below the median and those with HHI above the median and a 19-point gap in access to life insurance. Employers should consider a strategy that targets benefits to the groups that need them most. In a time of labor shortages, a strategy for achieving greater equity may also give employers a competitive advantage.

“Every good leader knows that when employees feel they are treated well they are more likely to stay, be engaged, and flourish,” said Kate Brown, Mercer’s Center for Health Innovation Leader, “With significant shifts in attitudes towards mental health, sustainability and digital healthcare over the last year, employers must evolve their health strategy to reflect a modern workforce that prioritizes flexibility, choice, a caring culture, and digital access to support their health and well-being.”

About the survey

The 2021 Mercer Health on Demand survey asked 14,000 employees across 13 countries across the globe about what they want when it comes to their health and well-being. Country and regional results were weighted to the true sample, with 2,000 in the US. The resulting report captures the voice of the employee to inform debate about employee health and wellbeing preferences, digital delivery of benefits, inclusive and environmentally-friendly solutions that meet ESG agendas and mental health solutions.

About Mercer

Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 78,000 colleagues and annual revenue of over $18 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit mercer.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Contacts

Micaela McPadden
201-694-9719

[email protected]cer.com

LGBT Individuals Experience More Severe Eating Disorders New Study Finds - OutBuro - LGBTQ Professional Entrepreneur Community Gay Lesbian Transgender Queer

LGBT Individuals Experience More Severe Eating Disorders New Study Finds

LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders finds that eating disorder patients who identify as LGBT have more severe eating disorder symptoms, higher rates of trauma history, and longer delays between diagnosis and treatment than heterosexual, cisgender patients.

Discovery Behavioral Health - New Study Finds LGBTQ Persons Experience More Eating Disorders - LGBT Professional Entrepreneur Gay Lesbian Transgender - OutBuro

“While we know there is a higher prevalence of eating disorders among LGBTQ folks, particularly trans and non-binary folks (with rates estimated to be anywhere from 40% to 70%), our field is in its infancy with researching this health disparity, so I believe research like ours is especially important,” said clinical psychologist Jennifer Henretty PhD, CEDS, one of the study’s co-authors who serves as the Executive Director of Clinical Outcomes for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery.

Eating disorders are a serious mental health concern: At least 30 million people—of all ages, sexual orientations, and gender-identities—experience an eating disorder in the U.S. alone, and every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder. In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. (Source: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders)

The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time; bulimia nervosa, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time and then try to offset the food using harmful behaviors (like vomiting); and anorexia nervosa, where people regularly eat too little due to a fear of gaining weight and thus are malnourished. The causes of eating disorders are not clear but both biological and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Eating disorders typically begin in adolescence but it appears that the rate of the disorder may be on the rise in middle-aged and even older adults.

The peer-reviewed academic study analyzed data from 2,818 individuals treated in residential (RTC), partial hospitalization (PHP), and/or intensive outpatient (IOP) levels-of-care at a large eating disorder treatment organization; 471 (17%) of the participants identified as LGBT. The facilities were operated by Center for Discovery, a U.S. healthcare provider specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.

Research shows that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other non-heterosexual/non-cisgender identities have significantly higher rates of mental and physical health conditions compared to their heterosexual, cisgender peers.

“LGBT individuals are more likely to experience housing and employment discrimination, and to struggle with multiple mental health challenges related to minority stress; this perfect storm of barriers means eating behaviors are often overlooked,” said Vaughn Darst, RD, who serves as Operations Advisor for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery and who also discussed in a TedX talk the complex issue at the intersection of gender, body image, food and identity.

Center For Discovery, which opened in 1997, is a leading provider of eating disorder treatment in the U.S. Weekly residential programming includes two to three individual sessions; one to two family sessions; dietary, medical, and psychiatric sessions; and between 35 and 40 therapeutic groups. Modalities such as Exposure Response Prevention, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and a Family Systems Approach are utilized. Importantly, Center For Discovery is trans/gender-affirming and trauma informed.

The study found a full 12-month delay in treatment for LGBT patients compared to non-LGBT patients. “Delays in accessing treatment are especially widespread for transgender and nonbinary individuals with eating disorders. Some of the causes include delayed diagnosis by providers who fail to assess non-cisgender female patients for disordered eating, as well as limited access to trans-affirming treatment options, particularly at the residential level of care” said Darst. Center For Discovery hopes to reduce this delay by being a trans-affirming treatment center and by providing trainings for staff and community providers on best practices for addressing eating concerns within LGBT communities.

For the full research article, please visit  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/eat.23257

About Discovery Behavioral Health

Discovery Behavioral Health is a leading, in-network, U.S. healthcare provider delivering accessible, evidence-based community care for substance use, eating disorders, and behavioral health.  Discovery’s programs include residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care for teens and adults. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Orange County, California. More: https://discoverybehavioralhealth.com

Press Contact:
Greg Ptacek
PR| Communications
323-841-8002 mobile
[email protected]

SOURCE Discovery Behavioral Health

Same-Sex Partners 73 percent Discriminated Against by Mortgage Lenders - LGBT Study Iowa State University - OutBuro - Gay Lesbian Business News Professional Netowrk Information

Same-Sex Partners 73% Discriminated Against by Mortgage Lenders

Purchasing a home is a significant life event for most. The process is both exciting and stressful To add to that stress a new study suggests home mortgage lenders are less likely to approve gay and lesbian same-sex couples.

Same-sex borrowers may perform better – Gao

The study, by researchers at Iowa State University’s Ive’s
Ivy College of Business, focused on national mortgage data from 1990 to 2015 and found the approval rate for same-sex couples was 3 to 8 percent lower. The research also included more detail dive about applicants’ work history and creditworthiness analyzed from a smaller dataset. Based on this data, same-sex applicants were 73 percent more likely to be denied than heterosexual couples.

Hua Sun portrait

Hua Sun

Gay and lesbian same-gender couples who were approved paid higher interest and fees. Co-authors Hua Sun (pictured right) and Lei Gao (pictured in featured image), associate and assistant professors of finance, respectively, say the difference in finance fees averaged less than .5 %, but combined added up as much as $86 million annually.

Another research study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found no evidence that gay and lesbian couples had a higher risk of mortgage default.

“Lenders can justify higher fees, if there is greater risk,” Gao said. “We found nothing to indicate that’s the case. In fact, our findings weakly suggest same-sex borrowers may perform better.”

Protection needed

While mortgage applicants are not required to disclose their sexual orientation, however when two women or two men walk in for a home loan through information causally shared while the couple is just being themselves can lead to discrimination. As indicated in another study by the University of Surrey, indicating that during an employment hiring process, LGBT people are discriminated against based solely on their appearance and/or speech. The Surrey study found that person who may or may not be LGBT but are preceived as being so are less likely to be hired, promoted and paid less than their heterosexual counterparts. This perception is just as damaging in terms of discrimination in the mortgage lending process the researchers say.

Check out this related study by Prudential on the financial health of American by gender, race and sexual orientation.

Sun and Gao say the findings of their Mortgage Lending study illustrate a need for change to make the lending laws fair for everyone. Loan decisions should be not be based on, not skin color, sexual orientation or gender. Lending should be based only on fundamental economic factors. Sun says making sexual orientation a protected class would limit potential discrimination.

The Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity acts prohibit discrimination based on a borrower’s race, gender, marital status or religion, however, neither specifically, list sexual orientation.S

“Policymakers need to guarantee same-sex couples have equal access to credit,” Sun said. “Using our framework, credit monitoring agencies also can take steps to investigate unfair lending practices.”

Mortgage lenders though can move ahead of government and as a business ensure their company polices include being open, welcoming and fair to the LGBT community in their lending practices.

Sun and Gao used data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Fannie Mae Loan Performance to test whether perceived sexual orientation affected mortgage approval, cost and performance. Utilizing these datasets allowed researchers to validate their findings and control for factors such as income, variations in lenders’ underwriting standards and property type, which may influence approval rates.

Co-applicants with the same gender were identified as same-sex couples for the study. The researchers used Gallup and Census Bureau data of geographic distributions of LGBT adults to verify their identification strategy and reported a good matching quality.

Location, location, location

Previous research has shown that recent home purchases or refinancing in a neighborhood can predict defaults, which influences mortgage lending approval and interest rates. To determine if the percentage of LGBT individuals living in a neighborhood contributed to the disparity in approval rates, Sun and Gao looked at county-level percentages of same-sex applicants each year.

What they found was somewhat surprising. In neighborhoods with more same-sex couples, both same-sex and different-sex borrowers seem to experience more unfavorable lending outcomes overall. The researchers say the findings should raise enough concern to warrant further investigation.

OutBuro - 10 LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Reviews Monitoring Workplace Diversity Inclusion Recruitment Marketing Branding LGBT Professionals Entrepreneurs Community

Prudential study explores financial lives of Americans by race, gender, sexual identity, caregiver status

Prudential Financial - OutBuro LGBTQ Corporate Equality Employer Branding Employer Ratings Reviews Monitoring LGBT Professionals Employees Gay Lesbian Entrepreneurs Workplace Inclusion

Bright spots and areas of optimism exist within traditionally underserved groups in the face of income inequality, retirement insecurity and household debt, new data from Prudential Financial reveals. The in-depth exploration of data from Prudential’s Financial Wellness Census™ highlights the dramatic differences in the experiences of diverse populations within the U.S., many of whom were disproportionately impacted by the 2008 financial crisis.

The report, “The Cut – Exploring Financial Wellness Within Diverse Populations,” is based on a survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults and examines the financial lives of a diverse group of Americans: women, black Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, caregivers, and the LGBTQ community.

“Resilient and diverse communities are the foundation of a stable and strong economy. Their progress enables our progress,” said Judy Dougherty, Prudential’s financial wellness officer. “This new analysis presents a layered portrait of the financial lives of Americans and exposes factors that underlie and sometimes impede our ability to achieve financial security. These insights are critically important to Prudential’s businesses, informing our efforts to develop products and services that help more Americans improve their financial health.”

The data highlights challenges and opportunities

The research details the wide range of outcomes, experiences and attitudes among traditionally underserved communities. For example:

  • By significant margins, black Americans at all income levels are more likely than the general population to prioritize helping others financially: taking care of parents or other family members, providing college tuition for their children, helping children with a down payment on a home, leaving an inheritance to their heirs, and giving to charity.
  • The average annual income for women in the survey was $52,521, compared with $84,006 for men—women reported earning about 63 cents for every dollar earned by men. Additionally, 54 percent of all women reported being the primary breadwinner in their household, irrespective of its makeup.
  • Thirty-eight percent of caregivers in the study do not think they will ever be able to retire versus only 25 percent of non-caregivers. Although caregivers for children with special needs were as likely as other caregivers and non-caregivers to have a defined contribution retirement plan, they were also the most likely to have taken a loan or hardship withdrawal.

“The journey to financial wellness is deeply personal,” said Lata Reddy, Prudential’s senior vice president, Diversity, Inclusion & Impact. “While there are common experiences that tie us all together, there are also distinct factors that are unique to our individual journeys that impact the ultimate destination. These factors need to be clearly understood for true progress to be made. The first step is to actively listen to the voices in our communities, and it is in this spirit that this research was conducted.”

For more information, view the full report, “The Cut – Exploring Financial Wellness Within Diverse Populations.” Prudential has also created a three-minute self-assessment to enable individuals to discover where they stand on their own personal path to financial wellness. To take the financial wellness assessment and to explore a visualization of its data, visit prudential.com/stateofus.

Prudential Financial Wellness Census methodology

The original Financial Wellness CensusTM was conducted by Prudential’s Decision Insights Group and Chadwick Martin Bailey within the United States between Sept. 20 and Oct. 9, 2017, among a nationally representative sample of 3,013 U.S. adults ages 25-70. For the complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact [email protected].

About Prudential Financial, Inc.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACT:
Prudential Financial, Inc.
Yemi Rose
973-802-7641
[email protected]

Sharp Communications
Beverly Basiga
212-829-0002 ext.113
[email protected]

Know of a business news tip affecting the LGBTQ community?  Contact us so we can spread the word.

OutBuro where you belong lgbtq entrprenuers out gay business owers lesbian startups queer professionals employer ratings customer reviews bisexual transgender equality community 1