Highmark Health earns a top score of 100 for seven years in a row
PITTSBURGH (July 13, 2021) — For the seventh consecutive year, Highmark Health has been named a "Best Place to Work" for individuals with disabilities in the Disability Equality Index® (DEI®), a national benchmarking survey administered jointly by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN®. The DEI is the world's most comprehensive benchmarking tool for the Fortune 1000 and Am Law 200 to measure disability workplace inclusion against competitors.
For its comprehensive efforts to attract, develop and retain people with disabilities in its workforce, national blended health organization Highmark Health has earned a top score of 100. In 2021, 319 corporations utilized the DEI to benchmark their disability inclusion efforts. Out of the 319 participants, 191 companies received a score of 100; 58 companies received a score of 90 and 23 companies received a score of 80.
"It's an honor for Highmark Health to have been recognized by the DEI every year since its inception in 2015," said Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew; MD, MEd, MPPM, FACOG; senior vice president; chief clinical, diversity, equity and inclusion officer of the Enterprise Institute of Equitable Health; Highmark Health. "Supporting an inclusive workforce and providing disability accommodations are more than the right thing to do. These actions make the health care industry stronger, because we are able to better serve customers, members and patients with knowledge, experience and empathy."
This year's recognition measures culture and leadership; enterprise-wide access; employment practices (benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention and advancement, accommodations); community engagement; supplier diversity; and non-U.S. operations (non-weighted). Following the global pandemic, the DEI was modernized to add new non-weighted questions about innovative technology to advance digital and remote accessibility; mental wellness benefits; services for Deaf and hard of hearing employees, and flexible work options.
"We are so pleased to partner with 319 companies this year on the Disability Equality Index. Part of corporate commitment to disability inclusion is recognizing your stance and using it as an 'aha moment' to drive the business investments needed to scale change," Jill Houghton, President & Chief Executive Officer, Disability:IN. "Inclusion and accessibility cuts across the enterprise, from cultural representation in the workforce, to technology acceleration, to incorporating supply chain diversity. These are tangible opportunities that leading companies can leverage to create sustainable impact for their business and brand."
Among those practices earning Highmark Health the "Best Place to Work" recognition are programs and partnerships that help to recruit people with disabilities, including the Rooney Rule; a centralized accommodation process; support and leadership of organizations in the community that advocate for people with disabilities; executive sponsorship of the business case for recruiting, hiring and developing people with disabilities; supplier diversity and provider diversity programs; and enterprise-wide support of business resources groups (BRGs) through which employees with disabilities get involved in workplace, marketplace and community-wide programs.
Globally, people with disabilities represent over one billion people. Disability is a natural part of the human experience, and it crosses lines of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and religion.
"The Disability Equality Index shines a spotlight on companies that believe they have a stake in creating a more equitable society for people with disabilities," said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD. "It is a conduit for our work championing disability rights for the 60 million Americans with disabilities and knocking down barriers to employment, technology and healthcare, and we're thrilled to see the progress being made today."
Highmark Health's Abilities BRG raises awareness about the needs of, and offers support to, people with disabilities and their caregivers in the workplace, marketplace and community.
The Abilities BRG encourages workplace inclusion, equality of opportunity and best practices in recruitment. Its members also build community partnerships through educational-to-career experiences for students with disabilities, advocate accessibility to Highmark Health facilities, act as a champion for customers with disabilities, and serve as a voice for those who care for or support people with disabilities.
The DEI was launched in 2015 by Disability:IN and the AAPD and is acknowledged today as the most robust disability inclusion assessment tool in business. Now in its seventh year, the DEI exists to help businesses make a positive impact on the unemployment/underemployment of people with disabilities.
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that helps companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions that they can take to achieve disability inclusion and equality. Each company receives a score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, with those earning 80 and above recognized as a "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion."
The DEI is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, and Disability:IN, the global business disability inclusion network, to collectively advance the inclusion of people with disabilities. The organizations are complementary and bring unique strengths that make the project relevant and credible to corporations and the disability community. The tool was developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates. Learn more at: www.DisabilityEqualityIndex.org.
AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power for people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 50+ million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at: www.aapd.com.
Disability:IN is a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 270 corporations trust Disability:IN to activate and achieve disability inclusion across their enterprise and in the broader corporate mainstream. Through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking; best-in-class conferences and programs; and expert counsel and engagement, Disability:IN works with leading businesses to create long-term business and societal impact. Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA-based enterprise that employs 37,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to more than 6 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New York as well as dental insurance, and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses. Allegheny Health Network is an integrated delivery network comprised of thirteen hospitals, more than 2,500 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions is focused on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge, and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, visit www.highmarkhealth.org.