Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. is providing employees and their dependants with $10,000 in lifetime gender affirmation coverage.

The additional coverage complements existing benefits that support transitioning employees, including prescription drug coverage for hormone therapy, mental-health coverage, disability insurance and medical leaves for employees who are recovering from surgeries. The new coverage is also extended to the organization’s survivor benefits to ensure continuity of care for employees’ dependants.

Jes Crawford, TMMC’s senior analyst of compensation and benefits, says the coverage was added following the company’s latest benefits benchmarking analysis and subsequent research that found while gender-affirming care can be lifesaving, provincial coverage is unlikely to cover all medically necessary procedures.

Read: A look at Accenture’s pioneering gender affirmation coverage, DEI evolution

To introduce the new benefit, TMMC’s total rewards group and LGBTQ2S+ employee resource group hosted a webinar to educate employees on the coverage, which also featured individuals who shared their own stories of transitioning.

One of TMMC’s core values is ‘Act for Others,’ which reminds employees to always put themselves in others’ shoes. In order to walk the talk, Crawford says the company aims to make its benefits package as robust and inclusive as possible. “When you consider all team members, retirees and their dependants, [more than] 27,000 diverse people are impacted by our health and dental offerings and we recognize that a group of this size has a broad range of needs.”

Read: U of T supporting employee well-being with enhanced gender affirmation coverage

In 2022, the company also updated its benefits plan booklets by removing references to gendered pronouns. Its LGBTQ2S+ employee resource group, which has more than 370 members, is active year round providing opportunities for employees to learn, honour, network and demonstrate allyship. Indeed, each day team members and visitors walk into the main entrances of its plants, they do so alongside rainbow sidewalk borders.

“This isn’t just a June initiative. . . . We raise the Progress Pride flag for the month, but celebrating Pride is all year round,” says Crawford, noting on every ‘T-shirt Tuesday,’ employees are encouraged to wear company shirts that say ‘Proud Ally.’

“When it comes to our values, respect for people is . . . an over-arching value. It’s at the core of what we do. We really live the commitment every day [and] we aim to create an environment where all feel welcome and safe and heard, so everyone can contribute their best.”

Read: Pride Month: How employers can create a more inclusive work culture