By Pete Bennett, senior vice president of Global Logistics
June is Pride Month, a time for members of the LGBTQ+ community and our allies to reflect on our history as well as current social and political challenges. As co-chair of our PROUD employee resource group (ERG), it’s an especially meaningful time for me.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of participating in the Progress Pride flag-raising outside our headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. Our CEO Jason Hollar, CHRO Ola Snow, CFO Aaron Alt, Debbie Weitzman, CEO of our Pharmacy Segment, and Devray Kirkland, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) officer, participated in the ceremony in front of a large group of Dublin employees and a much larger audience of virtual attendees.
This is the second year we’ve flown the Progress Pride flag – a redesign of the 1978 rainbow flag – that honors the diversity and intersectionality of the LGBTQ+ community. It includes black and brown stripes to portray marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, and incorporates blue, pink and white from the transgender flag. (These additional stripes form an arrow shape, pointing to the right to suggest forward movement and aligned with the left edge of the flag to indicate the progress still to be made.) More than 65 Cardinal Health sites in the U.S., including facilities in Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Arizona and Texas, as well as our Dublin, Ireland, facility, are flying this flag throughout the month of June.
At Cardinal Health, we are committed to fostering a culture built upon understanding, compassion, and authenticity. I’m proud to be a leader in an organization that supports all employees, and encourages every one of us to be who we truly are, and to bring our authentic selves to work every day.
For 15 years in a row, we have earned a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, the country’s foremost benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ employees.
We actively advocate for the Equality Act, which includes “sexual orientation and gender identity” to ensure nondiscrimination protections, clarifies that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1994 does not allow for anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and limits the ability of future administrations to threaten or reverse anti-discrimination policies.
More than 6,000 Cardinal Health employees have signed our PROUD ERG Ally Pledge, committing to support the LGBTQ+ community publicly and privately.
I wanted to hear directly how all of this impacts my LGBTQ+ colleagues, so I asked them to share their thoughts. Here’s what they had to say about Cardinal Health’s inclusive culture.
I’m grateful to all of my colleagues who shared their reflections. Even more, I’m grateful that our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion really has an impact. I believe that the hardest and bravest thing anyone can do is to be their authentic self. And at Cardinal Health, we work to create a space where that is possible for everyone. All of us have the power to learn from one another, to lean in, and to stand up for others. When we understand that we all belong, that there is strength in our differences, we can change the world.
As Senior Vice President of Global Logistics, Pete Bennett is accountable for international logistics, global trade, global replenishment center operations, global demand planning, supply planning, field inventory management/deployment, and key customer collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment teams. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a master of science from Central Michigan University. He serves as a lieutenant colonel, J4 Logistics Officer, in the U.S. Army Reserve in support of the European Command’s J4 Logistics Section. He is a member of APICS, serves as co-chair of Healthcare Industry Distributor Association supply chain visibility council, and is on the board of the Healthcare Industry Resilience Collaborative.