The Magic of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Bridget Hurd
Bridget G. Hurd

| 2 min read

Ms. Hurd is the vice president, Inclusion and Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan where she is responsible for leading and executing the corporate inclusion and diversity strategy for Blue Cross and its subsidiaries and shaping a culture of inclusion. She also leads the Office of Health and Health Care Disparities with a vision of Better Health for All which focuses on achieving health equity in the delivery of, quality and access to care. Ms. Hurd facilitates the enterprise’s Diversity Leadership Councils, Physician Diversity Council and oversees diversity and cultural competency learning opportunities for employees, Inclusion and Diversity coaching programs, 15 employee resource networks and the integration of an inclusion and diversity lens in providing service to members and customers. She currently represents Blue Cross on the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in April 2020. She serves on the BCBS Health Equity Champions Committee and the national Health Care Transformation Task Force Health Equity Advisory Group. Hurd is a recipient of the national DentaQuest 2020 Health Equity Heroes award which recognizes individuals working to achieve equity during this time of coronavirus. In 2021, she was also recognized as a Top 100 Diversity Officer by the National Diversity Council.

Diverse group of co-workers listening to a presentation.
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.
About the author: Bridget Hurd is senior director, Diversity & Inclusion at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. If you liked this post, read these:
Photo credit: Steve Debenport

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