After a long career in the finance industry, I had the great fortune to land at Blue Shield of California—first as a quality assurance supervisor, then in a more technical role as a senior business analyst working on our phone systems, and after that, to a program manager position working closely with enterprise leaders on open-enrollment readiness. Now I’m in Human Resources as a business partner supporting those same teams.

Working at Blue Shield has been an amazing journey so far, and one of the best things about it has been the opportunity to flex my leadership skills and pass them along to others. I also gathered some amazing experience in the Pride employee resource group.

When I first came to Blue Shield, there weren’t any employee resource groups, and there wasn’t much emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Eventually, the tide turned and the first two employee resource groups were established: Elevating Women and The Black Employee Network. Shortly after the LGBTQ+ employees and allies created the Pride employee resource group. I was thrilled to be included.

For two years, I co-led the group with the focus on growing our membership and making sure we had exposure to people throughout the organization and in our communities. This work also introduced me to human resources professionals, which is how I sidestepped into the world I’m in now. 

It’s true, I’ve been lucky. Along with luck, I also believe we’re in charge of our own destiny. And, while it’s not always clear to me what I want to do next, I do understand there are areas where I need to grow and as part of that growth I need opportunities to get exposure to other people and business areas. The leaders I’ve worked with at Blue Shield have always encouraged me to continue to grow.

I’ve noticed that the greatest leaders, even at the highest levels, make themselves available to coach and provide guidance. They’re not just doing it because it’s the right thing to do. They really are walking the talk, and they care about the success of others.