Freddie Mac's Commitment to the LGBTQ+ Community in Our Work and in Our Culture
In my 19 years with Freddie Mac, I am fortunate to have worked in several different roles, including my current role as the company’s Chief Administrative Officer. Over the years, I have witnessed this organization respond to some of the most serious challenges facing our economy, all while delivering on our mission of making home possible for millions of owners and renters across the nation.
Our commitment to that mission has never wavered, nor has it ever been more inclusive. Today, our commitment to serving the housing needs of all communities is as strong as ever, and we continue to take steps to ensure Freddie Mac does business with diverse and inclusive people and partners.
In June each year, the United States celebrates Pride Month, which is dedicated to the celebration and commemoration of pride among the LGBTQ+ community. At Freddie Mac, the month presents a time to reflect on the role we play in support of the LGBTQ+ community — both in the housing market and, just as importantly, as an employer.
We recognize that creating a “home” where our employees can bring their authentic selves to work is not just better for the well-being of our teams, it’s better for business, too.
With that in mind, I’d like to share how Freddie Mac is working hard to build a more inclusive and, as a result, successful organization.
Building an Inclusive Culture
As a company created to support the American housing system, we need a workforce, suppliers and business partners who reflect the diverse community of people we are chartered to serve. To that end, more than 20 years ago, we founded our employee-led Pride Business Resource Group (BRG) that works across the organization to support and draw insights from the LGBTQ+ community. Through Pride and our other BRGs, we seek to create a culture of non-discrimination, support a safe work environment and ensure that Freddie Mac is an employer of choice. I am proud to serve as Pride’s executive sponsor and encourage all employees to join, listen and learn from their LGBTQ+ colleagues.
This is important because it is our employees who ultimately foster an inclusive culture. Supportive actions can include self-identifying as LGBTQ+ in our internal intranet, signing an ally pledge or adding pronouns to their email signatures to promote a more inclusive community. Employees can also show their support by displaying a Safe Space card in their workspaces, identifying them as an LGBTQ+ ally. Employees can also reference our award-winning Inclusive Content Guide, which features a chapter on LGBTQ+ terms and how to properly use them in business. Looking ahead, we will continue to create a safe space for our employees to self-identify and include more gender identities.
In recent years, we’ve collaborated with Human Resources to implement enhanced benefits for our LGBTQ+ colleagues. These include offering 12-week paid parental leave, as well as financial assistance for adoption and eligible surrogacy-related expenses. Employees can also receive $30,000 toward fertility and IVF benefits and $15,000, per year, toward infertility prescription drugs. In addition, we have created gender transition guidelines to help foster dialog and understanding of transgender issues.
Taken together, these benefits have helped Freddie Mac receive a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Equality Index and earn a place on the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality each year since 2009. This commitment to inclusion is what makes Freddie Mac stand out as an employer of choice and is among the many reasons why I am so proud to serve in senior leadership at this company.
Inclusivity in How We Do Business
Freddie Mac is also committed to inclusivity and equal opportunity in how we do business. We believe diverse representation matters and will continue to cultivate a culture where all employees, suppliers and business partners feel welcome to contribute to our mission of making home possible. And while we are proud of what we have accomplished in this space, we recognize there is more work we can do.
Through our Supplier Diversity Policy we encourage diverse suppliers to submit bids in response to our requests for proposals to provide various goods and services to Freddie Mac. These include LGBTQ+-owned businesses that are at least 51% owned, operated, managed and controlled by an LGBTQ+ individual.
In June 2021, Freddie Mac updated its Seller/Servicer Guide to highlight recent legal developments concerning sex discrimination, as applied to sexual orientation and gender identity. The inclusion in this critical policy manual is significant and reflects some of the work we’ve done to promote inclusion among our partners and broader housing industry.
In our own business, we have taken steps to ensure that home is a place where you can be yourself and still feel safe. Through a recent partnership with Homeward NYC and KeyBank, we celebrated the opening of a new LGBTQ+ affirming supportive housing site in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Featuring 50 affordable housing units and built-in supportive services, the landmark development empowers youth by helping them build critical life skills and map out their futures through education and job placement.
Although Pride Month provides every employer an opportunity to reflect on how well it serves the LGBTQ+ community, awareness and action are not confined to a single month of the year. As an influential player in the housing market and an employer of choice, Freddie Mac has an obligation to ensure there is always space for inclusivity in our mission, no matter the month.
©2023 by Freddie Mac.
Making Home Possible – and Sustainable
Carol Khalil, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability
Making Good on Our Duty to Serve
Corey Aber, Vice President of Multifamily Mission, Policy and Strategy
Simone Beaty, Senior Director, Product Owner, Single-Family Acquisitions Division