2015 Diversity Leader

EXCELcoltagpcExcellus BlueCross BlueShield
Headquarters: Rochester, New York
CEO: Christopher C. Booth
Employees: 3,555

Recent Recognition Includes:

  • Democrat & Chronicle, Our Voice Magazine, The Empty Closet magazine, and the Greece Post, recognized for Community Engagement Programs

Joseph Searles

Joseph Searles

The greatest opportunity for corporate diversity, says Corporate Director of Workforce Inclusion Joseph Searles, is still very personal at its core.

“The greatest opportunity for our organization is to continue the work of modeling specific inclusive behaviors to help build awareness and accountability for personal action. It is important for all employees to understand the company’s inclusive strategy and the behaviors needed to demonstrate it consistently.

“One behavior in particular we encourage is to ask employees to get to know their coworkers and deliberately look beyond the exterior when doing so. In fact, it is something that we are all focused on. We all agree that there are visual cultural differences that set us apart. But there are many other characteristics and experiences that are not so obvious that we can learn about by being more inquisitive. What we learn about each other may identify more similarities than difference and give life to deeper relationships and employee engagement.

“Another area that our organization intends to make a part of our diversity and inclusion training and education program is the concept of unconscious bias—understanding it and mitigating its negative effects in the workplace. We do not tolerate any biases that could lead to any inequities in the treatment of our employees.

“In addition, diversity is central to our community health engagement strategy. We have several employee resource groups that are serving as ambassadors for our company and working alongside many community agencies to help their populations stay healthy. I see these synergies as having tremendous impact on our company and the health of the communities we serve.”