QCrew Aiming to Highlight Intersectionality for Pride — and Beyond
In our most recent Employee Resource Group spotlight, we check in with QCrew and look at their renewed focus for the coming year.
Over the past year, our ERGs have had to reassess their programming to make sure they’re meeting the needs of their members and the communities they represent. Our LGBTQCrew, or QCrew for short, recently went through an expansion of their leadership to allow for more voices and representation from across the business, while also ensuring they’re keeping the needs of their members front and center.
Employee Resource Groups are voluntary, employee-led groups that aim to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the causes and passions they care about. Our ERGs help make CoverMyMeds the best place to work and grow for our employees. Other groups include Wellness, ACES, Women in Healthcare IT (WHIT) and Affinity Council.
We spoke with two of QCrew’s new leaders, Andy Orlando and Christine Horvath, about the ERG’s new leadership and philosophy, allyship and intersectionality, and their programming for the coming year. They both bring their passion for advocacy and education to their leadership of the ERG and help CoverMyMeds become a more inclusive place.
(Editor: Andy and Christine’s comments were lightly edited for length and clarity.)
Why did you want to join the expanded leadership team for QCrew?
Andy: I’m newly a co-chair, but I’ve been helping with QCrew for a little over two years now. My background is in nonprofits — I used to manage a food pantry for people affected by HIV — and when I moved into the technology space, I was excited to help a much larger group of people in a smaller way, but I really missed the direct interaction with the folks I was helping, so QCrew felt like a great way to bring in my background in advocacy and education.
Christine: I’m on the extended leadership team and QCrew really called to me because my queerness is such a big part of my life outside of work. Regarding our core values, Be Yourself is one of my favorites, and QCrew really enables me to bring my whole self to work.
What lessons have you learned from the past year and what can we expect in the year to come?
Andy: Every lap around the track you learn something new, and with an expanded leadership team, we can put on more programming, not only because we have more people to facilitate it, but also because we have more innovative ideas. A lot of our events, historically, were educational and social. We asked people what they were interested in seeing this year and the overwhelming majority said that they wanted to see more opportunities for education and advocacy. We’ll still have more social opportunities, but we’re definitely listening to our members and shifting focus a bit.
Christine: The leadership team has grown a lot and become a lot more diverse. As a team, we’re figuring out the voice of QCrew — we're a new leadership group, but we’ve got a lot of excitement behind us and we’re working really well together.
Andy: We’ve also started having more storytelling events recently — events that explored other people’s perspectives and experiences. Christine hosted a storytelling event a few months ago that was a huge success.
Christine: The storytelling event was an hour-long virtual program that was attended by about 50 CoverMyMeds’ employees. Three members from many parts of the business were asked to share stories regarding how their queerness interacts with our theme of “Anniversaries.” Raymond Weaver, Katrina Martin and Kelly Schoun shared their stories — from how visual art helped Raymond connect to his queerness, Katrina’s engagement story to her fiancée, Angie, and Kelly’s nomad lifestyle that helped her to feel safe in her queerness. It was incredible, and I hope we get to do it again!
Andy: We’re also hosting an event soon that will be a Q&A panel with a few CoverMyMeds employees where we’ll talk about intersectionality and identity. It’ll give people a safe space to ask all the questions about those topics.
Editor’s note: According to Merriam-Webster, intersectionality is “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.”1
Speaking of intersectionality, what does it mean to you, and how is QCrew trying to promote intersectionality?
Andy: I’d describe it as the overlap of various identities and that’s not necessarily always minority identities. I need to be cognizant of the privilege I carry, and one of everyone’s big learning points this past year was how much representation matters.
There’s always room for improvement and we can and should always strive to do better. There are a few things we can do. First, we can make sure people know what intersectionality is by showing how the intersection of different identities affects different people. Second, as a leadership team, we’re also making sure we’re being intersectional in how we’re representing being queer at CoverMyMeds.
Christine: All our events are going to be planned through the lens of intersectionality. We want to create events that make the entire QCrew community at CoverMyMeds feel seen and included.
How can the LGBTQ community be good allies to people of color?
Andy: We can first start by recognizing the contributions to LGBTQ rights from BIPOC people. We can’t separate the two movements because some of the catalyzing moments in the LGBTQ Rights movement, like the Stonewall Riots, were started by transgender women of color. Step two is learning that we have to be more than simply not racist; we must be actively anti-racist.
Christine: I think it’s important to do our best to center the most marginalized of us. When the most marginalized members of our community are liberated, we’ll all be liberated. I think that’s what we need to keep striving for and it’s something many in the LGTBQ movement have become more cognizant of, especially in the wake of the social justice movements of the last year.
How is QCrew celebrating Pride month this year?
Andy: We are fortunate enough to have some other amazing ERGs and community partners to collaborate with to bring opportunities to learn, volunteer and celebrate. Following the request of CoverMyMeds employees, we will be hosting a few lunch-and-learns for employees centered on current issues in the LGBTQ community and opportunities for advocacy.
As much as we want to provide opportunities to learn and grow as a community and as allies, we also want to make sure to take some time to celebrate the progress we have made with a virtual happy hour to connect with our community and allies.
To learn more about CoverMyMeds’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, and about the culture that makes this a best place to work, check out our experience site.