Inclusion and Diversity

Humana’s David Best, Senior Talent Management Professional and Veteran Hiring Initiative Leader, recently spoke with DiversityInc. about Humana’s military recruitment and outreach efforts.

“Humana has a deep commitment to the veteran and military spouse population,” David said. “As a longtime partner to the Department of Defense’s TRICARE program, Humana currently administers health benefits for more than 6 million active duty military and retirees as well as their families across 32 states.

“Since the inception of TRICARE in 1996, Humana has worked to improve the lives entrusted to our care by partnering with the Government to create the right access, better health outcomes, and simplified experiences.

“As part of our relationship, we actively seek veterans and military spouses because we understand they’re part of a distinct and highly skilled professional talent pool.”

He added, “To help maintain our commitment, we have a talent manager dedicated to veterans and military spouses. This role provides national outreach through partnerships with organizations serving veterans and military spouses. We send a list of open roles twice monthly to our partners as well as provide career coaching, resume and interview assistance, and advocacy to recruiters and hiring managers. The talent manager works with recruiters and hiring managers to bridge the gap on translation of military skills to the corporate environment.”

He also noted the importance of Humana’s Veterans Network Resource Group (VNRG).

“Our VNRG is instrumental in promoting the hiring of veterans and military spouses,” he said. “Members act as ambassadors wherever they are located and refer veteran/military spouse talent to the program manager of the veterans hiring initiative. We also invite members to attend career events with the talent acquisition team as well as represent Humana at veteran events.”

David said, “I directly credit our VNRG for helping me to have a solid second career. The networking opportunities, the volunteering opportunities and the relationships have inspired me to become more involved. Because of my involvement with our VNRG, I’ve been able to pay back what has been given to me during my time here at Humana.”

Read the full interview here.

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When you think about a holiday like Thanksgiving, do you picture yourself surrounded by family and loved ones? What would it feel like if you weren’t welcome at that celebration? For some in the LGBTQ community, that is their reality.

For the fourth year, the Pride NRG, Humana’s LGBTQ Associates and Allies Network Resource Group, is helping to make sure students at the University of Louisville can celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with those that care about them and accept them within their community.

The UofL LGBT Center and LGBT Alumni Council host an Alternative Thanksgiving to encourage LGBTQ+ students to come as they are and celebrate the holiday. Many of these students are not allowed to return home for the holidays, or their identities are not supported at home and could cause harm by attending. The Pride NRG has partnered with these group to sponsor the turkey, dressing, and gravy for the celebration. They also encourage their members to volunteer to serve these young adults and the staff that supports them every day.

“The holiday celebrations can be stressful, perhaps even more so for LGBTQ+ young adults heading home for Thanksgiving,” said Basel Oakley, Process Improvement Professional and Associate Engagement & Development Co-Lead, Pride NRG. “We’re proud to again help the UofL LGBT Center create a welcoming environment where everyone can celebrate Thanksgiving exactly as they are.”

Each year, between 150 and 200 students attend the Alternative Thanksgiving, sharing potluck-style side dishes with each other. During the event, seniors graduating in December receive their rainbow pride graduation cords, and the winner of the Katy Garrison Award is announced, honoring a graduating senior that has held a leadership position with the UofL LGBT Center.

NRGs like Pride provide Humana’s employees with an opportunity for personal growth by enabling them to network across the organization and are a key component of building and maintaining a culture of inclusivity within the company. The Pride NRG is one of nine groups within Humana, helping employees understand and appreciate the diversity in all communities the company serves.

Read more about Humana’s Network Resources Groups here or in Humana’s 2016-2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

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Humana has been honored with the top 5-star rating in employment by the 2018 HACR Corporate Inclusion Index (HACR CII), a research initiative conducted by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and the HACR Research Institute to measure Hispanic inclusion in corporate America.

Humana also received high marks in the categories of governance, philanthropy and procurement.

The employment category assessed:

• Recruitment, hiring, attrition and turnover
• Inclusive development opportunities with goals (internships, mentoring, sponsorships, succession planning)
• Success of a Hispanic Network Resource Group (Humana’s Unidos NRG has over 1,500 members. Twenty-nine percent of Humana associates are in at least one NRG)
• Overall I&D strategy and leadership support

“We’re honored to be on this list, because it speaks to our goal of having a culture where every associate feels welcome, appreciated and encouraged to speak up and provide their unique perspectives,” said Maria Hughes, Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Humana. “Our associates reflect the communities in which we work, increasing engagement and innovation as we help our members achieve their own best health.”

The HACR CII survey lets companies better understand the needs of the evolving Hispanic community, develop Hispanic initiatives, and make significant progress toward greater Hispanic inclusion in the business world.

“By adopting Hispanic inclusiveness, companies are cultivating a corporate culture that promotes forward thinking, which sustains their ability to outpace competitors,” said Dr. Lisette Garcia, HACR senior vice president and COO of HACR’s Board of Directors.

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Humana has been recognized by The National Organization on Disability (NOD) as one of the 2018 NOD Leading Disability Employers. The NOD Leading Disability Employer seal recognizes companies that demonstrate exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities.

Now in its third year, this annual recognition honors organizations that are leading the way in disability hiring and encouraging others to do the same. NOD cites a strong consumer preference for companies that employ people with disabilities and greater employee engagement across the workforce.

The winning organizations were announced at NOD’s Corporate Leadership Council Annual Forum, New Frontiers in Disability Employment.

“We’re proud to be included on this list,” said Maria Hughes, Humana Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. “Our commitment to Inclusion & Diversity means helping our employees and our members – many of whom have disabilities and chronic health issues — achieve lifelong well-being in every aspect of their lives.”

Diversity is a business imperative at Humana, and success means recognizing and celebrating the unique characteristics, backgrounds and beliefs of our employees and tapping into that knowledge to inspire innovative and strategic thinking. To help with that, Humana launched a Network Resource Group for people with disabilities — called ACCESS — in 2017.

ACCESS advocates for the inclusiveness of those impacted by disabilities — within Humana and the members we serve – by challenging the status quo and breaking down barriers. The group helps bridge the gap in communication among employees, provides leadership on disability-related topics, shines a light on myths, and provides career-building and learning opportunities.

“Our company culture thrives when all of our associates, with all of their unique backgrounds and experiences, are allowed to contribute in meaningful ways,” said ACCESS Executive Sponsor Cindy Zipperle, Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller. “By empowering our disabled colleagues, we can better reflect and build strong relationships with the communities we serve.”

Read the full press release here.

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When Jody Bilney, Humana’s first chief consumer officer, spoke on a Louisville Business First panel with three other local, female executives, she acknowledged that there is “not a single or standard route” to the leadership positions she and her peers hold.

For Jody, her career has traversed several industries, including consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, financial services, startup technology, casual dining, and now health care. She also serves on the board of directors for Masonite, the largest door manufacturer in the world.

“(When I was selected for Masonite’s board), I knew nothing about the door business,” Jody confessed. “What I do know is consumers. I understand how people make decisions. I understand how well-run companies are well run; the importance of corporate culture and governance; and the importance of employee engagement. Those are (all) transferrable skills that are relevant across industries.”

Jody encouraged the audience to be intentional about gaining experiences that qualify them for leadership roles. “Because it doesn’t just happen,” she explained. “It happens over time and with a certain set of very relevant and interesting experiences.”

Jody also talked about the importance of Humana’s network resource groups (NRGs), which are voluntary organizations open to all employees. NRGs provide personal, experience-based forums for exchanging ideas and building community. The largest NRG at Humana is the Women’s NRG with more than 7,000 participants.

“(Through the Women’s NRG, participants) are taking it upon themselves to broaden their careers and be curious about what’s next. To be continuous learners and evolve who they are,” Jody said. “As a marketer, there is something you say, ‘You have to stand for something, but you can’t stand still.’ That goes for brands – the brands I’ve worked for over the years – but it goes for individuals as well. You have to stand for something. You have to get good at something. But that can’t be it. You have to continue to grow and evolve. As leaders of organizations, we have to help create an environment where people can advance.”

As a final note about leadership, Jody said: “If you want jobs like we have here, then it’s not all you. It’s a support system you create and the work environment you select so you know you have a shot at thriving there.”

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