by Ray Hayes

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has made diversity a significant part of its business model for several years . Due to their continued commitment, Forbes Magazine selected the insurance agency for its list of top employers for diversity within the US. In efforts to secure such a high ranking the company instituted multiple initiatives including celebrating both Black and Hispanic History Months, uplifting people in the LGBT community, supporting its women’s leadership network, and providing mentoring opportunities for minorities and military veterans.

Out of 250 US employers, BCBS of Tennessee ranked 33, making it the highest ranked company in the state for diversity hiring and second highest among health insurance companies. As stated in the company’s 2016 diversity report, 29 percent of its board of directors were female, with another 29 percent identifying as black. Furthermore, 44 percent of its executive team members were female with management positions occupied by employees identifying as ethnic minority (18%) and female (60%).

BCBS of Tennessee’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Ron Harris recently spoke about the company’s commitment to diversity and how it makes the BCBS more competitive against competitors. “It gives us a competitive advantage. Our goal is to be the employer of choice in Tennessee. We’re looking for the best people. Other organizations can have technology like us, might be able to get some of the same benefits, but what they can’t get is our people.”

Supplier diversity is also another big commitment for the company with BCBS of Tennessee spending more than $66 million with businesses owned by veterans, women and minorities in 2016.

Congratulations to BCBS of Tennessee and I hope to see even more progress in the near future.