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Why we’re ranked as a Forbes top 100 employer for diversity

For the third year in a row, BlueCross has been recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity.” Forbes rankings are primarily based on the results of an independent, third-party survey conducted with employees from thousands of companies around the country, including our own. Publicly available information and non-employee recommendations are also factors.

In the latest Forbes survey, BlueCross ranks 98th out of 500 companies nationwide — the second highest-ranked company in Tennessee. We rank above recognizable companies like Aflac (111), Trader Joe’s (121), Apple (128), Unum (161) and FedEx (419), among many others.

“Our board of directors, leadership team and employees have worked together to intentionally create a workplace where every employee is valued, respected and trusted as part of the team,” says Ron Harris, vice president of diversity and inclusion at BlueCross. “To once again be recognized by our employees as a national leader in diversity is testament to that commitment and our continuing evolution as a company.”

Cultural competency: our ongoing story

Here are some of the ways we have demonstrated our commitment to diversity, inclusion and cultural competency, and a few of the stories of our employees who have roots all over the country and around the world.

What it means to be intentionally inclusive

BlueCross Power of We Ron Harris

Ron Harris shares why inclusion matters, how it helps our companies grow and why BlueCross works hard to ensure all of our employees have a voice. In Ron’s words, an organization can either be intentionally inclusive or unintentionally exclusive. 

Heather Simmons: veteran puts ‘service before self’ attitude to work

Heather’s lifetime of military experiences shaped her perspective in unimaginable ways and gave her the ability to “see the big picture.” As an information services team lead at BlueCross, that ability helps her understand how her job fits into serving our members.

Wang Min: helping our members by challenging himself

BlueCross Wangsik Min

Wangsik Min was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. at the very end of 1999. Like many other immigrants, he arrived in search of better opportunity. He’s come to call Chattanooga — and BlueCross, where he’s been since 2016 — home.

BlueCross employee forms Chattanooga chapter of National Association of Black Accountants

BlueCross NABA Chattanooga

Our workforce — and our business partners — should reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. But in some professions, like accounting, that means overcoming historic underrepresentation. Bernard Harris, a senior financial analyst, is helping us rise to meet the challenge.

Employee voices can shape better workplaces and customer service

At many high-performing companies, culture and strategy go hand in hand. Combining the two is essential for long-term success, but at BlueCross, we’ve seen the results of culture having a stronger impact on recruiting and hiring. 

Robert Thomas: migrating ‘home’ to his southern roots

BlueCross Robert Thomas

When Robert joined BlueCross five years ago, he was surprised by the emphasis on diversity, inclusion and cultural competency. He could look around and see a melting pot. Better than that, he found an immediate comfort level and colleagues who took an active interest in learning from each other.

Power of We scholars forge paths in health care

Each year, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation awards three $10,000 scholarships to minority students pursuing careers in health care. The 2019 BlueCross Power of We scholars have one big thing in common: They’re dedicated to turning their dreams into reality.

Why cultural competency is imperative

BlueCross Power of We conference 2019

We believe every person should be valued and respected for who they are. At last year’s Power of We workforce diversity conference, our CEO JD Hickey said that focusing on this work “makes us better as an organization — better at our mission of serving our members, and serving them well.” 

How we help our LGBTQ employees feel welcome and included


BlueCross recently earned a perfect 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, meaning we’re a “best place to work for LGBTQ equality.” Some of our employees share what this means to them.

About Jesse Thompson, Senior Communications Specialist

A photo of the authorJesse joined the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee corporate communications team in 2017. A Chattanooga native, he has more than 15 years’ experience in content creation, management, and strategy for consumer audiences, including a six-year stint in health care marketing.

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