BCBSRI receives top score of 100 on national Disability Equality Index®
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has been designated a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion having received a score of 100 on the 2023 Disability Equality Index for the second consecutive year. A joint initiative administered by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN, the index is a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to disability workplace equality and inclusion. While each company receives a score between zero and 100, only those that earn 80 or above are designated Best Places to Work for Disability and Inclusion.
“We’re proud to once again receive a top score of 100 and to be recognized on a national level as among the best employers for diversity, inclusion and equity,” said Jenny Bautista-Ravreby, BCBSRI diversity, equity and inclusion manager. ““We work closely with our internal disability advocates and use the Index’s scored report for BCBSRI to build a roadmap of tangible actions we can take to grow our commitment to disability inclusion and equity and to enhance our efforts to be empowering to all our employees.”
In 2023, Blue Cross was among 294 companies to receive a top score of 100 out of 485 that utilized the index to benchmark their diversity inclusion. The top rating underscores BCBSRI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as evidenced by its robust programming and policies, including its:
- Disability Inclusion Network, an employee business resource group that promotes inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities and impairments.
- Project SEARCH program, a national affiliate hosted at BCBSRI that provides internships for high school students with intellectual or developmental disabilities and seeks to help find them employment after graduation at BCBSRI or other employers.
- Community support for people living with disabilities, including grants and in-kind support to Special Olympics Rhode Island, Best Buddies Rhode Island and Meeting Street.
- Inclusive benefits for BCBSRI members, such as coverage for hearing aids and vision care, paid caregiver leave and employee assistance programs.
- Commitment to inclusive hiring practices, such as the option for candidates to request interview accommodations when applying for jobs on the BCBSRI website”.
- Commitment to web accessibility on BCBSRI.com and an emergency preparedness policy that specifically addresses assistance for people with disabilities.
The 2023 index measured, among other areas, the following: culture & leadership; enterprise-wide access; employment practices (benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention & advancement, accommodations); and community engagement. Most of the companies that took the DEI say they practice industry standards. However, the findings show that a subset of companies are also going beyond the standard, which reflects the need to attract new talent and diversify the pipeline of candidates, increase retention and advancement, and reimagine their diversity goals to include people with disabilities.
“Businesses have the power to drive the global advancement of disability inclusion, and we’re thrilled to see more companies than ever leverage the Disability Equality Index to measure their progress. We recognize these top-scoring companies as a ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ for their passion and efforts to lead the way in creating greater equity for people with disabilities in the workplace, marketplace, and supply chain,” said Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN.
More information on the 2023 Disability Equality Index and the full list of top scoring companies can be found here. For more information about BCBSRI’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, visit www.bcbsri.com/about/diversity.