As a global health services company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being, and sense of security, Cigna serves many different cultures, beliefs, and values. From our employees to our customers in the communities where we live and work, to our partners and vendors, diversity is part of who we are and what we do every day.
We believe that a truly healthy workplace is one that builds a diverse, talented, multi-generational workforce, and that appreciates and celebrates all of the ways people are different. This approach allows Cigna to better serve our customers and partners and make a difference in the community.
Cigna is proud to support the Phoenix Chamber’s ATHENA Awards, which honors outstanding women in leadership positions. As a global employer, Cigna aims to be a preferred employer for diverse talent. Our recruiting and leadership development programs have positively impacted the careers of countless women, and we are extremely proud of that track record. Today, 73% of our global workforce is female.
That said, it’s also important to remember that an active approach to valuing diversity means never feeling satisfied and always seeking new ways to build on successes.
Ensuring a diverse workforce requires consistent evaluation and re-evaluation. It’s great to look at a diversity spreadsheet and feel good when the numbers show positive signs. However, there’s a big difference between feeling good and becoming complacent. At Cigna, our active approach demands that we constantly look for new ways to cultivate and strengthen how we recruit and grow talent.
Several years ago, for example, we looked inward to evaluate female representation in leadership positions, and then set out to increase the representation of women in middle and senior management roles. We continue to strive for a greater representation of women (as well as people of color) in middle and senior management roles. To that end, we undertook a major study on women in leadership. We also developed a targeted gender and leadership training program.
The study provided insights into how women grow their careers, as well as into application patterns, hiring and promotion rates, and development program participation. One-on-one interviews with female employees highlighted the real-life experiences of women in our organization.
At the same time, our executive team identified female leaders who would be excellent candidates for targeted development opportunities. As a result, we’ve grown, progressed, or promoted 74 percent of these leaders since last fall, and our executive promotion rates in 2017 were 50 percent female.
Looking at targeted development opportunities, we began offering a training program for high-potential women and their managers four years ago with an emphasis on the importance of personal branding, awareness of unconscious bias, and techniques to strengthen career progression.
While we’re understandably excited about the progress we’ve made to ensure a more diverse and inclusive workplace, we know there’s more to do. For Cigna, diversity and inclusion represents a long-term business strategy that will help ensure the future success of the company.
-Written by Kim Shepard, Arizona market president, Cigna