Dan Loepp: Companies Need to Embrace Diversity, Create Inclusive Dialogue in Support of Racial Equity

Editor’s Note: As part of our ongoing dialogue around racial equity and inclusion in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent adverse decision on Affirmative Action, we are curating a diverse range of perspectives from public leaders and captains of industry across all sectors to state their position on racial equity. For submission inquiries email info@thepulseinstitute.org.

 By Daniel J. Loepp

Guest Column

At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we have purposefully built a culture that welcomes and encourages diversity. We know that racial equity and inclusion are cornerstones of a successful workplace.

Making your company culture a priority helps ensure that you are recognizing people for who they are, actively listening to their needs, and helping to remove workplace and societal barriers – creating a sense of belonging and enabling your employees to flourish and contribute at their highest levels.

When I became President and CEO nearly 20 years ago, I set out to enhance Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s inclusion and diversity strategy and pledged that all facets of our workforce culture would be reflected.

Over the years, our company has kept a consistent focus on enhancing this strategy, and inclusion and diversity have become a part of who we are and what we do every day.

Our commitment begins within our workplace. We strive to learn from each other and grow personally and professionally. Our consistent focus has given us a strong foundation that we continue to build on.

This includes unconscious bias education for leaders and learning sessions for all employees. These activities highlight the diverse perspectives of our employees and communities and deepen awareness and understanding of what makes each of us unique.

As for what’s on the horizon, BCBSM is strengthening recruitment efforts to reach underrepresented groups. We engage with historically Black colleges and universities nationwide and predominantly Black professional fraternities and sororities; and our partnerships with the Association of Latino Professionals for America, National Migrant Scholars and Grow Detroit’s Young Talent are reaching and empowering talent that is underrepresented.

I am proud of the culture Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has built and our commitment to make it even stronger – but our work is far from done.

For business leaders seeking to improve their inclusion and diversity efforts, I recommend that you first listen to the needs of your workforce. Strive to understand the varying perspectives and backgrounds of your employees and the barriers they may be facing in their everyday lives.

Recruit leaders who share the same ideals. The inclusive dialogue you host with your employees can enact real change, creating equal opportunity for prosperity.

Daniel J. Loepp is president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. He is set to retire in December of 2024.

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