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Big insurance provider named ‘model’ of diversity

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Hiring,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

Embracing a diverse workforce means more than hiring minorities, notes Equilla Wainwright, head of diversity and community responsibility for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). “Diversity has many dimensions,” she says.

The Detroit-based health benefits provider focuses on hiring and developing employees with disabilities. The organization was singled out by the U.S. Business Leadership Network as one of three businesses in the country that do an exceptional job when it comes to hiring and retaining employees and accommodating their needs at work.

So BCBSM is sharing its best practices with other organizations. Some of them include:

  • Developing proactive policies to hire, retain and advance employees with disabilities
  • Promoting opportunities for workers with disabilities at a “Celebrate Diversity Expo”
  • Sponsoring youth internships for disabled students
  • Hosting executive briefings and sponsoring area conferences for Michigan employers about best practices for hiring, retaining and advancing workers with disabilities.

The organization encourages suppliers to diversify their own workforces and holds an annual contest to recognize women- and minority-owned businesses that supply it with products and services. The firm also recognizes the efforts of its own employees who make efforts to diversify business procurement.

Contact: Helen Stojic at (313) 549-9884.


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