This article is the fourth chapter of our annual Mission Report, which highlights the outcomes we achieved for our members, providers, employees, and all Californians in 2020. Make sure to also check out our previous chapters on Blue Shield of California's News Center.
Across California – and across the globe – we are all experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has affected our lives in different ways, one thing remains certain: we are all in this together.
At Blue Shield of California, it’s about taking care of one another, because when our employees feel safe and well, we know they can provide top-notch care to our customers and business partners.
Leading through the pandemic
Our company is playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19, so we continue to prioritize the well-being, health, and safety of the 7,500 people who choose to work here. Being a great place to do meaningful work – during the pandemic and beyond – means engaging with our employees, listening to what they need, and balancing those needs when making decisions.
Here are some of the ways that we prioritized employee wellness in 2020, with many of these commitments continuing into 2021:
Supporting remote work: In March 2020, we transitioned nearly all our workforce to work remotely. As remote work stretched from weeks to months, we enhanced caregiver benefits for both child and elder care, provided at-home ergonomic assessments and support, and continued to enhance communications and technology tools.
Boosting mental health: Working from home for so long can be challenging and isolating, so we’ve renewed our commitment to support employees’ mental health and well-being. We have encouraged employees to use Teladoc mental health supports, as well as our Employee Assistance Program, which offers counseling to address anxiety, depression, and other stressful issues.
Enhancing two-way communications: During the pandemic, we’ve worked hard to filter out noise and communicate facts. We’ve opened new, two-way communications channels, solicited questions from employees, and requested feedback often. We have also built a robust digital library with tips for balancing work and home life, resources to support mental health, and mental health webinars.
Maintaining flexibility: Looking ahead, once it is safe to return to our offices, we are giving staff the option to continue teleworking through 2021 to make the transition easier for them and their loved ones.
The feedback from our colleagues has been affirming:
Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion
We are committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where all employees can be their authentic selves and fully contribute to meet the needs of colleagues, members, and the communities we serve. Ultimately, our goal is to make Blue Shield of California a great place to do meaningful work for all employees.
We are championing diversity by accelerating career growth for our diverse employees; recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse talent at all levels; and maintaining our zero pay-ratio gap by both gender and ethnicity.
To foster an inclusive work environment, we continue to ensure all employees have a voice and feel heard, while maintaining a learning posture and turning feedback into meaningful action. We provide inclusive leadership training and provide open and equitable access to learning opportunities.
While we still have much work to do, we are proud of our accomplishments so far:
40% of our board of directors are ethnically diverse.
More than 50% of our board of directors is female, including the chair.
More than 50% of our executives are women.
We have seven vibrant employee resource groups (ERG), representing women, veterans, Black, Hispanic, Asian, disabled, and LGBTQ+ employees and their allies. ERG members help us create an inclusive culture and improve employee experience. Plus, they build relationships with diverse suppliers, partners, and members, and volunteer with nonprofits in our communities.
As we reflect on 2020, I’d like to offer appreciation to our dedicated employees for rising to meet the challenges of the pandemic and for being unwavering in their efforts to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality, sustainably affordable health care that’s worthy of our family and friends.