From May 9-13, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) reaffirmed its commitment to embracing diversity, leading inclusively, and putting equity into action during Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week. Bearing the theme “Equity in Action,” the week’s all-virtual programming focused on how to advocate for fairness and equality, both in the workplace and in the community.
Throughout the week, Independence leaders and associates heard from expert guest speakers and members of the Independence community who shared their personal experiences and professional knowledge.
In addition to providing an opportunity to learn about and share unique perspectives and experiences, attendees were invited to participate in a Five-Day Equity Challenge. This thought-provoking exercise challenged associates at all levels in the company to spend 15 minutes each day learning more about the experiences of others and how everyone can advocate for a more fair and equitable society.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week Highlights
Promoting Equity and Social Justice with Andrea Custis, president and CEO, Urban League of Philadelphia
The week kicked off with a fireside chat with Andrea Custis, moderated by Lorina Marshall-Blake, Independence VP, Community Affairs. Ms. Custis shared her thoughts, experiences, and perspectives on promoting equity and social justice inside and outside of the workplace.
Cultural Humility with guest speaker Juliana Mosely-Williams, Ph.D., consultant and inaugural special assistant to the president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Salus University
Dr. Mosely-Williams guided a thought-provoking conversation on cultural humility, a dynamic process that encourages self-reflection, challenges personal biases, and encourages a greater sense of curiosity and consciousness.
Equity within Diversity Hiring & Retention with guest speaker Sulaiman W. Rahman, founder and CEO of DiverseForce and P4 Hub
Sulaiman Rahman highlighted how equity plays an essential role in cultivating diverse leadership pipelines and inclusive ecosystems. He shared tips on recruiting and retaining top talent.
Promoting Workplace Equity with Independence leaders Crystal E. Ashby, Independence EVP and Chief People Officer, and Juan Lopez, CPA, Independence EVP, CFO, and Treasurer
Crystal Ashby and Juan Lopez shared their perspectives, best practices, and personal journeys of promoting equity in the workplace. The conversation was moderated by Peter Jones, Independence director, Enterprise Learning and Development.
Promoting Equity in the Communities We Serve with Stephen P. Fera, Independence EVP, Public Affairs
Steve Fera highlighted Independence’s work with the Ending Racism Partnership. He shared how the project is committed to creating an equitable Philadelphia, where laws, policy, and human interaction are governed by a common belief in our shared equality, irrespective of race, nationality, ethnicity, or color of skin.
Health Equity in Action with Seun O. Ross, Ph.D., Independence executive director, Health Equity and Quality Management
Dr. Ross spoke about the work Independence is doing to promote health equity in the community. The conversation was moderated by Tracy Carter, Independence manager, Case Management, and co-leader for the ABLE Associate Resource Group. ABLE stands for Associates Beyond Limited Expectations. The ARG works to create a universally accessible work environment, a connection to the community, and provide education opportunities for associates on disability topics that embraces individuals of all abilities and talents.
Associate Resource Group (ARG) Panel Discussions – What Equity Means to Us
This two-part series highlighted why equity and fairness are important to each panelist and the demographic group they proudly represent. Representatives from Independence’s ARGs showcased how they are making a difference within the organization and the community.
Equity in Action – Ask HR
Independence associates were invited to submit questions anonymously and have them answered during a panel discussion with the Independence Human Resources team. The session highlighted how the company is putting equity into action through talent acquisition and management, learning and development, reporting and analytics, and workplace accommodations.