Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) recently released statistics providing insight on the company’s workforce diversity.
Key statistics include the generational split of employees, the number of women and minorities in leadership and the percentage of employees who believe the organization values diversity.
BCBSNE’s executive leadership team is 60% women and 40% minorities. The senior leadership team includes 47% women and 21% minorities.
Joni Wheeler, BCBSNE’s chief talent and strategy officer, said the teams’ differences make the company stronger.
“Every person has their own unique experiences, perspective and insight to bring to the table,” Wheeler said. “At BCBSNE, we value diversity and believe everyone’s voice deserves to be heard.”
Gen X and Millennials are the majority of the company’s generational split, but Gen Z and Baby Boomers are also represented.
Some of BCBSNE’s youngest employees include the company’s interns, like Ciara-Lyn Lee, who works with the wellness team. Lee said she has enjoyed being a part of the company’s internship program. She recommends it to other students.
“This program has given me the opportunity to learn and further develop my skills in the areas that I am interested in,” Lee said. “I have been able to strengthen skills that I have learned throughout undergrad within my major and apply them to real-life tasks and situations.”
Lee had the opportunity to lead a fundraising activity for BCBSNE’s 2019 United Way campaign.
“I was able to work directly with the United Way fundraising leads and communicate important key points to effectively plan the company-wide event,” Lee said. “BCBSNE continuously strives to build a strong community both internally and externally, and I admire the care the company has shown to its employees and customers.”
BCBSNE’s Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG) plays a key role in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment within the company.
The group has been around for 20 years and includes six employee resource groups (ERGs). BCBSNE recently created the ERGs in collaboration with other local companies. The ERGs support employees and host educational and networking events, such as an annual Diwali celebration.
Matthew Pleggenkuhle, BCBSNE business process manager and former DIG board president, said the organization believes in the value of celebrating people’s differences without fear of judgement or unfair treatment.
“We are all connected,” Pleggenkuhle said. “When we forget this, potential collaboration can turn to fruitless indifference or harmful competition. At the heart of the DIG mission is the concept that each BCBSNE employee should be able to bring their whole self to work.”
All employees are welcome to join an ERG and the DIG, which currently has more than 200 members. ERGs include:
- Young Professionals (YP) Connect, supporting YPs and their advocates
- Fearlessly You @ Blue, supporting LGBTQ+ employees
- Military Families United Together, supporting veterans and military families
- Building Leaders Like US for Excellence (BLUE), supporting African American employees
- Latinos Empowered to Achieve Their Potential (LEAP), supporting Latino employees
- Possibilities, supporting disabled/abled employees
Eighty-five percent of BCBSNE employees surveyed agree the organization values diversity.
“We lead the way when it comes to women and minorities in leadership, and our employees recognize the value we place on diversity,” said Colin Hayworth, BCBSNE talent acquisition manager. “This reputation for diversity and inclusion is one of the many reasons that we are an employer of choice in Omaha.”
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