Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) recently released its 2022 Community Investment and Social Impact Report, which shows a positive trend in the percentage of employees who agree the company encourages diversity and inclusion.
In 2020, BCBSNE started publicly sharing workforce demographics, including the generational breakdown of employees and the number of women and people of color in the company. The annual measurement process includes gauging employee feelings toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The percentage of BCBSNE employees who agreed the company values diversity and inclusion has increased steadily from 85% in 2020 to 93% in 2023.
Wanting to evolve and grow BCBSNE’s commitment to DEI and continue to nurture an environment where employees feel they belong, the company hired Jessica “Jay” Warren-Teamer in 2020 as director of diversity and inclusion.
In her role, Warren-Teamer collaborates with the company’s employee resource groups (ERGs), which support the internal workforce and promote community engagement. “In 1995, far before this work was formalized with my role, the Diversity Club was started by employees who cared about cultural education and building an inclusive environment. This helped pave the way for the ERGs we have today,” Warren-Teamer said. “Our ERGs are organized around a shared identity and experience, creating a space for people to come together to support each other.”
Today, BCBSNE has six ERGs, which host events throughout the year to encourage and inspire DEI. In 2022, ERG activities included marching in the Heartland Pride Parade, hosting a career day for local students in partnership with Siembra Nebraska, the Latino Center of the Midlands’ internship program, and more.
In addition to BCBSNE’s ERGs, the company supports DEI initiatives by offering learning opportunities to employees. Diversity training sessions have been available to BCBSNE employees since 2020, covering subjects from shared elements of identity to the understanding of implicit bias and avoiding microaggressions. These training courses have helped establish and maintain DEI throughout the company.
In addition to sharing workforce demographics and highlighting the company’s ERGs, BCBSNE’s 2022 Community Investment Report also showcases the different ways BCBSNE is there for Nebraskans, including United Way’s Day of Caring, donating to and volunteering at Foodbank for the Heartland and partnering with YMCAs and Hy-Vees across the state for flu shot clinics.
“As a health insurance company, we want to lift up our state’s health and wellness goals. Supporting people along their health journeys is what we do,” Kathy Nellor, BCBSNE’s health transformation leader, said. “The sponsorships we have with impactful organizations like CHAD, Project Fit America and the YMCA, have enabled us to help communities across Nebraska.”