In June, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), along with the rest of the 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, joined the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in pledging to make meaningful change in fighting racial injustice.

BCBSNE is acting on its pledge by hosting diversity and inclusion trainings for employees. The sessions, led by Inclusive Communities, a nonprofit fostering inclusion and diversity through its critical social justice work, are held virtually since the company’s workforce is currently remote due to the coronavirus pandemic.

BCBSNE hosted several sessions in October and more than 250 employees participated. During the 90-minute trainings, employees:

  • Discovered how visible and invisible identities shape people’s perspectives and interactions
  • Examined how ideas are taught and learned in society
  • Completed an activity on culture and diversity
  • Discussed ways to create a more inclusive workplace

BCBSNE will host more sessions in November and the new year.

Shannon Groves, senior administrative assistant at BCBSNE, said the training was “engaging” and “enlightening.”

“The session provided awareness around the use of pronouns and how day-to-day life looks different for each and every one of us,” Groves said. “It was an eye opener in some ways and in others just a great reminder to be kind to one another. I thoroughly enjoyed the training and would highly recommend it to others as well.”

Jessica “Jay” Warren-Teamer, BCBSNE’s director of diversity and inclusion, said the trainings help to create a shared framework for employees to learn from as the company continues to act on its pledge. These trainings will be the first of many opportunities to engage employees in diversity, equity and inclusion learning.

“Companies are a part of our communities and can help to drive change in real ways – educating employees, prioritizing supplier diversity and working toward equity in how we do business,” Warren-Teamer said. “I’m excited about what our collective learning journey will look like, and more importantly, the impact it will yield for our business, employees and community.”

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