Our Inclusive Culture


Create, nurture, and grow a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access within Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Actions and Outcomes

DEI Communication & Visibility

  • Brought 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge to employees
  • Completed “Stand Against Racism” internal campaign with online pledge and learning on structural racism, bias, and how to be an ally
  • Sent internal email messages to employees from president/CEO reaffirming our commitment to DEI
  • Formed employee Racial Equity book clubs
  • Developed Racial Equity webpage at chooseexcellus.com/racialequity
  • Employee computer “lock screen” wallpapers featured DEI messaging
  • Employee stories on culture/experience shared internally and on social media i.e. Ramadan, Minority Health Month, World Autism Month
  • Pronouns included in standard company email signature templates
  • Held employee webinar titled “Going from Bystander to Upstander”

Employee Experience

  • Measured DEI experience of our employees through internal survey
  • Launched I.D.E.A. Mentoring & Career Pathing for employees of color through Advancing Diversity Mentorship Program
  • New DEI policy added to employee handbook
  • Adopted Juneteenth as Excellus BlueCross BlueShield corporate holiday
  • Assigned learning modules related to structural racism to all employees
  • Active LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group
  • Gender Identity Mapping Strategy identified as key 2021 initiative, which identifies the scope of the problem and a strategy to provide a more inclusive and affirming experience for our transgender employees and members
  • Shared gender transition guidelines to support employees during gender transition

Community / Vendor Experience

  • Included DEI questions in annual compliance supplier survey and defined supplier inclusion beyond gender and race
  • Endorsed Rochester Black Agenda Group’s declaration “Racism is a Public Health Crisis”
  • Participated in PRIDE events across operating region and sponsored events
  • Named “Corporate Equality Index: Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Employees” since 2014
  • Presented at multiple DEI-related conferences to share and learn about best practices, successes and lessons learned
  • Provided COVID-19 vaccine education and sponsorship throughout black and brown communities

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is guided by our mission of improving the health of our communities and reducing barriers to care for those we serve. This includes taking actions that address health inequities. Personally, I recognize that, by setting an example through my work and commitment to DEI every day, others are likely to follow. I have great pride in our board, our leadership, and our employees for doing the very same, and by acknowledging, affirming, and acting.

Jim Reed
President & CEO, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
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