Let’s take a step back and understand that race and gender are social constructs that reflect cultural prejudices before we get into the entire perspective of this Netflix video on the importance of incorporating both race and gender. They both appear to be social constructs with biological roots. More importantly, both are utilized to credit, justify, and protect the supremacy of one group over another. In that sense, they are symptoms of the same desire to maintain an unequal system. When the desire is not met, it presents itself as a forceful retaliation.
“I don’t have to give up any part of me. Instead, I get to be all of me every single day.”
Senior Data Product Manager B. Pagels-Minor came out as trans nonbinary in 2016. They’ve spent the last five years pursuing their desire of becoming the person they’ve always wanted to be, from affirming their pronouns to getting gender confirmation surgery in 2021. With the help of Netflix’s benefits, B. was able to pursue IVF, and they are expecting their first child later this year.
We think about the inclusiveness aspect a lot at Netflix, whether we’re talking about our employees, the creative teams who create our shows and films, or our members all over the world. From what makes it onscreen to the benefits and support we provide, we want our employees to see themselves reflected in everything we do.
As the video above illustrates, there are examples from all across the world of how a broader inclusive approach to benefits can have a positive impact and impact lives. And the fact that there is always room for improvement. We began hearing about possible constraints and gaps in our benefits from our parenting group as well as trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming, and Active Reserve colleagues a few years ago. This is something we discovered.
Barriers to family-forming support services such as fertility, adoption, and surrogacy were influenced by gender, marital status, age, and sexual orientation. While Netflix’s health plan covered gender confirmation surgery and hormone replacement treatment, it did not cover voice therapy, vocal training, electrolysis, etc. Multiple barriers, including administrative processes and a lack of state and federal safeguards, end up making trans healthcare more difficult to get in the United States.
We still have a lot to learn. For instance, we’re now exploring how we can better support our employees’ mental health. We’ve spent time discussing mental health with our Employee Resource Groups as part of this, and we’re looking at options to achieve quality mental health care more accessible and affordable.
We look for inspiration everywhere and hope that our work will be able to go beyond Netflix. We’ve discovered that the most effective approach to learn and get better is to:
Listen to one’s employees’ stories and advocate for change on their behalf. Meet and engage with benefit providers who have an open mind. Provide feedback and challenge traditional care standards. Benefits and perks should be available to everyone, regardless of their gender identity. The more employers that provide inclusive benefits, the more people like B. will be able to show up to work as their best selves every day.