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Mission Report: Pay Equity, Parental Leave Increases and a Great Place to Work

Mary O'Hara, chief human resources officer: 'Our commitment to diversity and an inclusive workplace is something the entire leadership team is proud to stand behind as a core principle'

Blue Shield of California’s 6,808 employees enjoy pay equity across gender and ethnicity – an accomplishment that distinguishes the workplace culture at the non-profit, tax paying health plan.

“There’s a lot of talk about pay equity – I am very pleased to be able to say we took action to achieve it,” said Mary O’Hara, Blue Shield of California’s chief human resources officer and senior vice president of internal communications.

Mary OHara_Boardroom 2018sq
Mary O'Hara

 “Our commitment to diversity and an inclusive workplace is something the entire leadership team is proud to stand behind as a core principle. We can’t serve 4.3 million members if we aren’t willing to represent all of their interests and aspirations, starting with our employees.”

The company’s 2018 Mission Report offers updated statistics about the company’s workforce and ongoing commitment to its employees, of whom 70 percent are female. More than 50 percent of the Director-level and above jobs at Blue Shield are held by women and 40 percent of the company’s board of directors are female.

Last year, a survey of employees showed:

  • 85 percent said Blue Shield is a Great Place to Work
  • 87 believe in the company’s long-term strategic goals
  • 81 percent said their manager enables them to grow and develop through coaching.

The report said the company is committed to continuously investing in creating a positive and inclusive employee experience. For example, paid parental leave was increased to 12 weeks in 2019 and paid volunteer hours were tripled to 24 hours from 8 hours.

Blue Shield employees demonstrated a tremendous amount of corporate pride and enthusiasm for supporting communities across the state, with more than 50% participating in employee volunteer and giving efforts. The enthusiasm is so genuine, the company has set an 80% target for 2019.

The 2018 Mission Report says that Blue Shield employees participated in more than 34,000 hours of volunteer time – that adds up to more than 16 years’ worth of office time. Employees also donated more than $475,000 to help neighbors and support community projects.

Aside from the employee giving, the health plan caps its net income at 2 percent of revenue. The company contributed $45 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in 2018 to help fund groups preventing domestic violence and helping to make California the healthiest state.