Blue Cross/Blue Shield Michigan is “committed to ensuring a workforce as diverse as the communities we serve,” according to CEO Daniel J. Loepp. He continues: “This assurance creates a high-performing and inclusive culture that impacts positive business results. Our goal is to encourage and support multiple perspectives and to respect the talent and input of all employees. This will prove to be our greatest strength.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan embraces the approach that change, engagement, promoting a culture of inclusion, and a focus on cultural competency comes from the top down. Diversity and Inclusion is considered a cornerstone of the company’s corporate beliefs and is strongly embraced by our board of directors, president and CEO and executives.
It is also strongly integrated into the culture of the organization through employee engagement that includes a Diversity Leadership Council, Division Diversity Employee Committees, Diversity Champions, experiential volunteer learning opportunities that encourage one on one interaction with individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences and goals for each division across the company. The company focuses on communicating a broad definition of diversity and that each and every person brings diversity to our workplace and communities through our individual uniqueness.
The CEO established a focus on diversity more than 14 years ago and has set a road map for women and other employees to rise in the organization. On the senior executive leadership team, there are three women out of seven top executives. The company’s focus on diversity is emphasized as part of its annual report and reported to board members annually.
BCBSM, as a service company, has a goal of enhancing the cultural competency of employees so that the company can better serve its members. There are four strategic priorities — recruiting and retaining a culturally competent workforce, integrating diversity and inclusion into the company (so that it is not an afterthought), promoting a culture of inclusion, and helping to address health disparities. In 2019, we had more than 200 sessions aimed at fostering diversity and inclusion with more than 6,000 employees attending at least one session.
The company has 10 active employee resource networks with an overall membership at the end of 2019 of 4,275. BCBSM has 100 percent engagement of its divisions across the company with the divisions identifying diversity and inclusion goals and achieving them.
The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency recognized Blue Cross as a silver-level employer. Blue Cross also received the Champion Award for 2019 Outstanding Business Partner from Michigan Rehabilitation services for the commitment to partnering to achieve quality employment outcomes and independence for people with disabilities.
BCBSM’s employee resource networks have supported and aligned with community partners. Its Equally Blue ERN supported events as part of the two major Pride festivals in the state of Michigan. The Azul Employee Resource Network is its Hispanic/Latinx network. Blue Cross also supports a local program called the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program under which, for 6 weeks on Saturday, 25 students visited Blue Cross to learn about careers in health care or at health plans. In 2019, the focus of the program was around cybersecurity and other “hidden” jobs in health care.