Diverse group of co-workers listening to a presentation.

The Magic of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

When I think about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, I picture something magical.

I picture an awe-inspiring opportunity to learn about, embrace and celebrate differences and similarities. Whether it is culture, community, generations, or work styles, the magic happens when we promote a culture of inclusion and recognize the many things that make us unique individuals.

At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we do this each and every day and in so many ways.  From holding more than 200 learning sessions every year to increase awareness and understanding to engaging new hires during employee orientation where we communicate that what sets them apart outside of the office doesn’t have to be hidden away when they walk through our doors.

Our employees can also broaden their awareness and increase their cultural competency through participation in Employee Resource Networks. Employees can choose to be a part of these networks that bring people with different experiences together to learn from one another and put a spotlight on the many dimensions of diversity.

We recently launched an internal “Be Inclusive” campaign that underscores the necessity of inclusion and recognizing the many identities that every person brings to our workplace and communities and taking the steps to respect, value and include people in meaningful and appropriate ways.

We were recently named to Forbes’ list of “The Best Employers for Diversity 2019”, which recognized the top 500 workplaces in the country striving to put diversity and inclusion front and center. We ranked in the top 100 and were the number two employer on the list from Michigan, behind only Consumers Energy.

Making it on this distinguished list validates what we do every day, but the accolades we really love to hear come from our own employees. When we receive feedback from someone who felt impacted and moved by learning about a culture or community that isn’t their own or when an employee expresses feelings of validation and a sense of comfort in their own skin at work, we’ve put our values into action and are moving forward as the best, most authentic company we can be.

Bridget HurdAbout the author: Bridget Hurd is senior director, Diversity & Inclusion at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. 

 

 

 

 

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Photo credit: Steve Debenport

 

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