WellPoint has eight ARGs. These groups support our efforts to recruit, retain, engage and develop diverse talent. The associate resource groups also benefit the individuals who join by providing a unique opportunity to add value to our business while enhancing their careers. Here are highlights of some of their accomplishments:
ABLE’s mission is to help ensure our company has a culture of inclusion that focuses on ability rather than disability.
In 2011 the group partnered with WellPoint’s IT department to deploy the eSSENTIAL Accessibility tool to six customer-facing websites. This tool makes these sites more accessible to people with disabilities. ABLE also supported the implementation of a PeopleSoft self-reporting tool that allows associates to report a disability at any time during their employment.
ABLE is also collaborating with Veterans’ Organization of WellPoint (VOW) to promote and strengthen WellPoint’s sponsorship of the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project and Disabled Sports USA. These two ARGs recently hosted a teleseminar to learn from the experience of wounded warriors and their recovery through exercise and recreational sports.
In May 2011 we welcomed a new addition to the ARG community at WellPoint. The Asian associate resource group was formed to promote and leverage the diversity and strengths of WellPoint’s Asian and Asian American associates in support of WellPoint’s mission and values.
The group seeks to promote workplace diversity, awareness and understanding of Asian and Asian American cultures and assist WellPoint in enhancing its multicultural and emerging market focus to serve the needs of our Asian communities.
ANGLE’s goal is for WellPoint to be recognized as a premier employer and trusted health care choice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and its allies.
ANGLE has championed several innovative approaches to sustain a work environment that is inclusive of all associates, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Since its inception in 2008 ANGLE has partnered with Human Resources, Legal and other areas of the organization to ensure awareness and understanding of LGBT issues among leaders and associates. The group developed and rolled out the guidelines and training for a Safe Space Program; played a key role in the creation of gender transition guidelines and educational materials; promoted the inclusion of gender identity in WellPoint's EEO policy; and encouraged expanding associate benefits to include psychological counseling for transgender associates.
In 2011 ANGLE was named a Top 10 diversity council and was presented the Diversity Honors Award, a recognition from the Association of Diversity Councils.
HYPE wants WellPoint to be recognized as one of the best places to launch a career. This group helps associates navigate our multigenerational workplace. HYPE provides insight into issues that matter to young professionals, which is important to us both as an employer and as a health plan trying to meet the needs of young health care consumers.
This group is actively collaborating with the corporate team responsible for our social media strategy. HYPE’s focus is also on giving its members guidance and support around career development and business savvy. The group has conducted several teleseminars on such topics as: “Myths and the Magic of Mentoring,” “The Nuts and Bolts of Health Care Reform,” and “Making Dollars & Sense — A Look into How WellPoint Makes Money.”
PRIDE is focused on increasing African American representation in our leadership, as well as helping WellPoint create the best health care value for African American consumers.
PRIDE is committed to helping associates develop personally and professionally, which is a key to increasing diversity among our leadership. The group holds periodic discussion sessions focused on career paths, leadership development and advancement, and skill growth.
PRIDE is partnering with our Indiana-based health insurance plan to offer a health care-focused mentoring program to high school students at the Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School. In 2011 the program entered its third year and will continue until the same group of students complete high school. And, for the second consecutive year, PRIDE took the lead in supporting the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) by spearheading WellPoint’s participation in the annual Indianapolis UNCF Bowl-A-Thon. WellPoint was recognized in 2010 and in 2011 with the Top Fundraising Corporation award for raising more than $7,000 for the UNCF.
The vision of SOMOS – which in Spanish means “we are” — is to promote understanding of Hispanic cultures and create a work environment attractive to Hispanic associates. SOMOS is also working to increase awareness of health care disparities affecting Hispanics.
SOMOS has collaborated with different business units to develop culturally appropriate content for educational health and wellness materials and websites aimed at Hispanic members and communities. One of those sites, WellPoint’s Health Equities bilingual portal, was honored with a Bronze Web Health Award from the Health Information Resource Center. In 2011 SOMOS received Modern Healthcare magazine’s Spirit of Excellence Team Award for its involvement in educating and empowering WellPoint’s Hispanic consumers.
SOMOS also collaborates with WellPoint’s talent acquisition team to strengthen the organization’s relationship with the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), as well as NSHMBA’s local chapters, which work to prepare Hispanics for leadership positions throughout the U.S. and promote cultural awareness and sensitivity.
VOW works to enhance our ability to recruit and develop associates with prior military service since these associates have unique experiences and skills that can be a competitive advantage for our company.
During the last holiday season, VOW led an internal campaign to send care packages to friends and family members serving oversees. VOW also promotes and strengthens WellPoint’s sponsorship of the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project and Disabled Sports USA. VOW and ABLE recently hosted a teleseminar to learn from the experience of wounded warriors and their recovery through exercise and recreational sports.
VOW members work collaboratively with the talent acquisition team and talk to prospective associates at events such as RecruitMilitary career fairs, the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Workshop/Recruit event in Dayton, Ohio, and virtual career fairs with other military sourcing firms.
WOW supports the company’s efforts to provide opportunities for women to develop leadership skills, network, and take advantage of mentoring opportunities, while also removing potential barriers to advancement. Through community efforts and a focus on women’s health, WOW helps our company remain a trusted employment, supplier and product brand among women.
Women’s development and advancement is an important area of focus for WOW. The group conducts teleseminar sessions to help associates learn about remaining relevant in today’s changing employment environment and understanding the unwritten rules of the workplace and puts great emphasis on members mentoring each other.
In addition, WOW has established a partnership with our information technology team to support our corporate relationship with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) to improve the representation of women in information technology.
WellPoint’s ARGs are working together to develop a community of learning and career growth. The ARG Learning Circle is a new development program for ARG members interested in learning about the power of networking, building relationships, setting career goals, and developing skills through mentoring, coaching, and practical work assignments and experiences. This nine-month program centers on a one-on-one partnership between a protégé and a more experienced advisor who work together on a learning plan based on the protégé’s goals.