Inclusion and Diversity

A robust, leader-driven commitment to inclusion and diversity can help a company realize its strategy and its vision for the future, while creating a meaningful work environment for everyone, according to Maria Hughes, SVP and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Humana.

She recently spoke with FierceHealthcare about the importance of making sure our workplaces help everyone thrive.

Leader support is critical, she said, noting that she works closely with Humana’s inclusion and diversity council, which is chaired by CEO Bruce Broussard and is primarily made up of his direct reports. Such commitment is a business imperative, she said.

“Today, even more than ever, inclusion and diversity is very important—it’s a hot topic in society,” she said. “So if we think about recruiting top talent and retaining our talent, having someone at a senior level that wakes up every single day thinking about inclusion and diversity … definitely sends the right message to [that] talent.”

She also spoke about the importance of mentoring, which allows Humana’s leaders to meet talented, high-potential associates while also educating those employees on business strategy and connecting them to thought leaders.

And Humana supports “network resource groups,” which are voluntary, employee-led groups that focus on developing future leaders and getting involved in local communities. There are eight of these groups, representing communities including women, people with disabilities and African-Americans.

Maria was the first president of the African-American resource group – IMPACT — 10 years ago. “This role has kind of come full circle for me,” she said.

Read the full interview here.

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Humana is among Mogul’s Top 100 Innovators in Diversity & Inclusion in 2018, a list that honors companies making the greatest strides in leadership diversity, employee resources and mentorship, and service to the community and sustainable efforts.

These companies excel in “hiring a diverse talent, creating welcoming environments and communities for employees and contributing to society in meaningful ways,” Mogul said. “The Top 100 were determined through weighted scoring, taking into account minority representation in top leadership roles, support and resources for employees, and social contribution within each organization.” Humana is No. 58 on the list.

“We’re honored to be recognized as part of this group,” said Maria Hughes, Humana’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. “Our vibrant, diverse workforce and inclusive culture at Humana helps us thrive as a team and inspires our work every day. We work hard to make sure every employee feels valued and engaged, despite differences in race, age, culture, sexual orientation or gender. It’s that inclusive culture that makes us strong and allows us to understand and empathize with our members as we help them achieve their best health.”

Mogul said, “At Humana, 61% of the management and supervisor roles are held by women and 43% of associates are people of color. Humana pursues several multicultural initiatives in the communities where their associates live, including the YMCA Black Achiever’s Program, Habitat for Humanity, Project BUILD and a partnership with the National Council of La Raza.”

Humana’s Bold Goal is to make the communities it serves 20 percent healthier by 2020. Key to that are efforts to promote employee health and well-being — including the right to bring their true selves to work — and to be good corporate citizens who work sustainably.

Read more in Humana’s most recent Inclusion & Diversity Report.

Mogul is “an award-winning platform reaching millions of women per week across 196 countries and 30,470 cities,” according to its website. “Mogul is democratizing information for women worldwide by enabling users to connect, share information, and access knowledge from each other. Headquartered in NYC, with offices in San Francisco and Paris, Mogul was named one of the Most Exciting Startups by Business Insider, Best Website for Finding Top Talent by Inc. Magazine, Top Website for Marketing Your Company Online by Forbes, and Top Online Learning Platform by Entrepreneur.”

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Maria Hughes, Humana’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, joined other business leaders in Louisville this week to talk about growth, talent acquisition and opportunities for 2018.

The panel discussion was hosted by Louisville Business First as part of its Grow Louisville event.

Maria said “it is vital to create a stimulating environment where diverse workers can be themselves and feel like each voice is heard and respected,” the newspaper reported. She also noted that “it is vital to attract the right talent that can fit well within a team structure.”

“It’s not just the mix, but making the mix work,” she said. “It’s having the environment in which people feel they can thrive.”

Click here to read the full article in Louisville Business First (subscription required).

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Humana has received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This is the sixth year in a row that Humana has achieved a perfect score.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that all our associates feel comfortable being their whole selves,” said Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer Maria Hughes. “Enabling and offering support to diverse communities is part of the foundation of Inclusion & Diversity at Humana.”

Humana’s LGBTQ Associates & Allies Network Resource Group, Pride, helps drive the inclusive culture the company strives for, dedicating itself to inspiring Humana associates and members to live full, proud lives.

The CEI scoring process evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Humana’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

For more information on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit

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Maria Hughes, Humana’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, recently spoke with DiversityInc about the critical role that I&D plays and the perspective she brings to her job.

She noted that “in order for inclusion and diversity to be successful in our organization, it has to be connected to our values, sustainable and drive business outcomes.”

“Diversity is important, but it’s also a more narrow view by focusing on representation and differences like ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and religion,” she said. “We view inclusion as being much broader. It includes having a culture where all employees can thrive and are encouraged to reach their highest potential.

“While it’s important to have a workforce that represents the communities we serve, we also strive to have a culture that leverages differences to drive innovation, quality, and productivity,” she said. “Having leaders throughout the organization take personal accountability for inclusion is part of our culture evolution.”

Read the full interview here.

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