Employee resource groups are a key part of Blue Shield of California’s commitment to diversity and inclusion within the organization. The groups are more than just a gathering of people with similar backgrounds; they facilitate deeper connections between employees and allow them to flourish in the workplace. Treshenia Solomon, a member of the regulatory team, says this statement rings true for her as it relates to her involvement with Blue Shield’s Black Employee Network.
“Before coming to Blue Shield, I didn’t even know these types of programs existed. Being a part of BEN has helped me build a community. I truly feel like working here is more than just a job; I feel I am being set up to succeed in life,” said Solomon.
When she started at Blue Shield almost three years ago, Solomon was in a customer service position. She admits that while she was excited to work for the organization, she didn’t feel fulfilled in her role.
“I came to the realization that what I was doing didn’t align with where I thought I should be going. I received an email about BEN and the mentoring program and decided to join.”
Solomon was paired with Shalamonet Rijo and the two have been inseparable ever since.
“We met and clicked instantly. She created a safe space for me to share my concerns and my aspirations. I have been promoted twice since we have started working together. Now when I have a colleague who doesn’t know where to turn the first thing I say is, ‘You need to talk to my mentor.’”
Rijo, like Solomon, started in customer service 12 years ago and remembers struggling to find a mentor to help her with her career trajectory. When the opportunity surfaced for Rijo to be a mentor for the network she was immediately on board.
“I believe in giving back. Outside of the mentorship program I love the community service aspect of BEN I truly believe in this type of reciprocity. I currently have two mentees and I enjoy meeting with them and helping them develop and execute their personal professional development plan.”
While the initial connection was made for professional guidance, Rijo says she has gained lifelong friends from the mentorship program.
“BEN gives me so much motivation. I have seen tremendous growth across the organization since its inception, I am noticing more managers and senior leaders of color which inspires me as I aspire to become a future leader at Blue Shield,” said Rijo. “I enjoy working for an organization that is truly committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment.”
For more information about citizenship efforts and employee resource groups click here.