Blue Cross Surpasses National Average for Women in Tech
Change is in the air. In an industry previously recognized as being virtually all male, there is a growing number of women in information technology. Employers nationwide are finally recognizing that gender diversity is good for business.
This change is nothing new to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. We have a longstanding commitment to growing and empowering a diverse workforce, ensuring our employees have a mix of religious beliefs, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, interests and skillsets.
Nearly half of Blue Cross’ IT division is female, far surpassing the national average of 30 percent. Not only do we hire diverse IT professionals, but we also work hard to retain top talent. Blue Cross empowers female employees to reach their full professional potential by offering professional development opportunities and resources. In addition, we have many strong female leaders in the management and executive levels who serve as role models and mentors.
Michelle Billingsley, vice president and chief information officer at Blue Care Network, has a passion for helping encourage young women to follow technology-focused career paths. Billingsley has identified that a key to keeping girls engaged in the world of IT is giving aspiring female “techies” role models and resources.
“It’s really interesting that although there are a number of women in the workforce, in the IT sector, the number of women is still a lot smaller,” Billingsley said. “It really comes down to keeping young women and women in the IT field engaged and having that support system for them so that they can excel in their careers and grow in technology.”
At Blue Cross, women across all departments are encouraged to take part in Professional Optimistic Women Exploring Resources (POWER), a group focused on promoting inclusive culture and ensuring women have the tools and resources they need to make the most of their professional experiences.
With Forbes predicting 2016 to be a major year for women in technology, Blue Cross remains a step ahead by fostering an environment of support and empowerment in hopes of inspiring the next generations of female tech professionals.
“It’s a fascinating field,” said Billingsley, who works with groups like the Michigan Council of Women in Technology to help encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields. “I want to help them experience the thrill for problem solving and discovery, and perhaps show them how that thrill translates into what we do at Blue Care Network and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan using technology to help people.”
To learn more about IT at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, visit www.mibluetech.com.
Photo credit: WOCinTech Chat