Harvard Pilgrim to Launch Minority Hiring, Business Development Push with Urban League
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care plans to used its chairmanship of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts’s (Boston, MA) annual gala last Saturday (April 21) as a launching pad to expand its efforts to hire and promote more minorities, work more closely with minority-owned firms and improve its market services to the minority community in general, according to the health insurer’s chief executive.
The local Urban League’s annual gala, which was held this year at the Seaport World Trade Center, celebrated its 20th anniversary. About 1,000 people attended last Saturday’s event in Boston.
A major theme of this year’s gala was tied to the current economy – and specifically the idea that “Jobs Will Rebuild Boston,” said Darnell Williams, President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
“There’s a moral ethic to a person working – it provides them nobility,” said Williams, whose group last Saturday honored, among others, retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton), the former chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee.
Eric H. Schultz, CEO of Harvard Pilgrim, the state’s second largest health insurer, said his company is using its chairmanship of the Urban League gala as a springboard to implement a new “Inclusion Strategy” at the company.
The four-pronged strategy includes, first, a commitment to make sure Harvard Pilgrim’s own workforce of 1,200 employees “better reflects our minority community base,” said Schultz.
Currently, approximately 10 to 15 percent of Harvard Pilgrim’s workforce is comprised of minorities, reflecting the general population. But while Harvard Pilgrim is not setting any numerical goals for its future hiring practices, the insurer wants to make sure it has “created a culture” in which minorities are hired within a wide variety of jobs and can move up the corporate ladder via promotions, Schultz said.
“This is all about business,” said Schultz. “This isn’t a ‘feel good’ program. There’s a bottom line here: to serve our minority (customers) better. What we’re saying is that we value differences – and want to build value through those differences.”
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