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Working Towards More Inclusive Benefits

Working Towards More Inclusive Benefits

“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. Over the last five years, they’ve been on a journey to become the person they dreamed of being, from confirming their pronouns, to undergoing gender confirmation surgery in 2021. With the help of Netflix’s benefits, B. was also able to pursue IVF and will hopefully welcome their first child later this year. 

The inclusion lens is something we think about a lot at Netflix, whether we’re applying this lens to our employees, the creative teams making our series and films or our members all over the world. We want our employees to see themselves reflected in everything we do, from what makes it onscreen to the benefits and support we provide. 

As the video above shows, there are examples from across the globe of how an inclusive approach to benefits can impact and change lives. And how there is always room to improve.  A few years ago, we started hearing from our parenting group and trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming and Active Reserve colleagues about some limitations and gaps in our benefits. We learned that:

  • Barriers to family forming support services like fertility, adoption and surrogacy varied based on gender, marital status, age and sexual orientation. 

  • While trans care services like gender confirmation surgery and hormone replacement therapy were covered under Netflix’s health plan, services like voice therapy, voice lessons, electrolysis, and tracheal shave were not.

  • Trans healthcare was difficult to access due to multiple roadblocks like administrative processes and a lack of state and federal protections in the US. 

  • Our Active Reserve employees were concerned about their income while on active duty.

We were challenged to rethink the status quo. So we implemented new benefits for family forming, trans coverage and paid military leave that made it easy for our employees to access their benefits:

  • No matter our employees’ gender, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or where they live in the world, we cover up to $75,000 in family forming support. This can be applied to a wide range of needs from medical procedures to legal fees.

  • In the US, we cover a full range of trans healthcare benefits, in addition to those set by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). This includes medical operations as well as mental health support, voice therapy and more.

  • Around the world, we cover employees’ full pay during periods of reserve and active duty military service.

There’s more for us to learn. For example, we’re currently looking into how we can better support our employees when it comes to mental health.  As part of this, we’ve spent time discussing mental health with our Employee Resource Groups and are looking at how we can make access to quality mental health care easier and more affordable. 

We look for inspiration everywhere and similarly hope our work can extend beyond Netflix.  We’ve found the best way to learn and grow is to:

  • Listen to employees’ stories and advocate on their behalf to incite change.

  • Partner with benefit providers with an inclusive mindset.

  • Deliver feedback and push back on the traditional standards of care.

Benefits should work for everyone, regardless of how they identify. The more companies offer inclusive benefits, the more people like B. can show up to work everyday as their best selves.