Businesses committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are more innovative and creative, have more productive employees, can better anticipate and meet customer needs, and have higher revenues than businesses that do not prioritize DEI.
That’s why at Cigna, DEI is embedded in everything we do. We are proud of our achievements in DEI and that we have been named #24 on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity, up nine spots from last year. We recognize there is always more work to be done to make our business and the world more inclusive and equitable.
Cigna has also been named to six of DiversityInc’s specialty lists, up from three last year: top companies for LGBTQ employees (#12), top companies for talent acquisition of women of color (#10), top companies for Black executives (#12), top companies for Native American/Pacific Islander (#13), top companies for sponsorship (#10), and we’re on the list of top companies for environmental, social and governance (ESG).
When selecting companies for the annual list, DiversityInc uses the following criteria:
- Talent programs and workplace practices
- Supplier diversity
- Leadership accountability
- Human capital diversity metrics
"As we emerge from the pandemic, we believe creating a meaningful career experience where our employees can be their authentic selves in order to grow, thrive and contribute is more important now than ever. That’s why we’re focusing on equitable practices across our company to increase diversity at all levels and foster an inclusive culture for everyone.” Susan Stith, VP, DEI, Charitable Giving, and President of Cigna Foundation
Below, we take a look at some of Cigna's achievements in these areas along with our goals for fostering a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable business culture and building healthier communities for those we serve.
Talent Programs and Other Workplace Practices
In 2020, Cigna launched the Building Equity and Equality Program, a five-year initiative to expand and accelerate our efforts to support diversity, inclusion, equality, and equity for historically underrepresented communities. As a core part of this initiative, we are working to build a pipeline of diverse people who feel empowered to grow and thrive within our organization. To achieve this, we partner and build relationships with a number of external organizations that help us support and achieve our inclusion and advancement objectives.
Cigna’s talent acquisition team is on the ground at community events, colleges and universities, professional conferences, and job fairs, and is embedded within community organizations to find the best and brightest talent – regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, veteran status, sexuality, or gender identity. For example, as part of our partnership with Hartford Youth Scholars, Cigna donated funds in 2021 for school supplies for underrepresented students and provided hands-on professional development trainings, one-on-one coaching and mentoring, and mental health workshops – all while providing guidance and information about a future career path at Cigna.
Cigna also works directly with a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – including Howard University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, Fisk University, Tennessee State University, and Texas Southern University – to double down on our efforts to recruit Black students into our workforce. In addition to recruiting, we work directly with HBCUs to provide solutions and programming to support students’ financial health, their mental and physical well-being, and provide career advice and onboarding support for new hires. Beyond this core group of longstanding partners, Cigna is working to build relationships with all 107 HBCUs across the country to build deeper relationships.
Cigna’s 11 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are key enablers of our enterprise diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. Our ERGs help foster an inclusive environment for a wide range of employee groups, create a safe space for employees to bring their whole selves to work, and help educate the business on the unique skills that our diverse communities have to offer.
A high proportion of women is represented in our workforce, and we continue to focus on outreach – especially in technical areas and for senior roles. When recruiting for roles, we require a balanced slate (by race and gender) to be presented. We also engage with military/veteran, LGBTQ+ and groups supporting people with disabilities through targeted national events, job postings, and engagement with our ERGs.
Our approach to corporate responsibility aligns with our mission by making powerful connections that positively impact the health of people, communities, and the environment. We publish an annual corporate responsibility report to provide transparency on our DEI data, progress, and goals.
At Cigna, partnering with and supporting diverse suppliers is a key part of our strategy to deliver on our mission to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve. We’ve committed to spending $1 billion annually with diverse suppliers by 2025 as part of our Building Equity and Equality Program.
We are on track to reach this commitment, with approximately $764 million spent with diverse suppliers in 2021. And this spending goes beyond the companies and partners we work with, providing a direct economic benefit to local communities. Based on external benchmarks (Supplier IO), we estimate that our diverse spending will have a 2.6 multiplier impact in the communities where diverse suppliers live and work.
Cigna has a number of mechanisms built into our procurement process to ensure we are identifying and engaging diverse suppliers for relevant business opportunities. Diversity is top of mind from the beginning of the vendor sourcing process, said Carlos Guzman, managing director, supplier diversity and sustainability at Cigna. The goal is to include diverse suppliers wherever there is an opportunity. Our global procurement and third-party management team, which manages strategic sourcing, purchasing, and supplier relationships, proactively seeks to assess and include diverse candidates and engage them in the competitive bid process. If diverse suppliers are not selected due to size or scale, the team can work to pair a diverse supplier with a larger company to take on part of the business as a subcontractor. Supplier diversity is tracked and monitored across the enterprise, with the goal of including diverse suppliers in at least 50% of all sourcing opportunities in the next few years.
Our support for diverse suppliers runs deeper than just money spent. We are a longstanding corporate member of various development organizations, including the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the National Veteran Business Development Council. These organizations help develop emerging entrepreneurs and business owners, and we work with them to connect us to diverse suppliers and cultivate alliances to ensure an equal opportunity for all companies that want to do business with us.
We are also proud to run the Cigna Supplier Mentor Protégé Program. Now in its second cohort, the program was established in 2016 to assist minority suppliers by pairing them with Cigna executives for 18 months to help develop and grow their businesses – positioning them to compete for contracting opportunities with Cigna. The program’s sole focus is to help diverse suppliers develop, grow, and become more competitive in the market.
Cigna is committed to advancing an inclusive culture that is powerfully diverse, strives for equity, and values the unique differences and talents we each bring in service to our mission. To further our commitment, and as communicated in the Building Equity and Equality Program, Cigna launched an Enterprise Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council in 2021. The Council is driving organizational change by integrating DEI into our business strategies and objectives.
In addition, the Council serves as a corporate governance advisory board in support of our DEI goals and initiatives.
The Council is chaired by David Cordani, Cigna Chairman and CEO, with three vice chairs – Noelle Eder, executive vice president and global chief information officer; Cindy Ryan, executive vice president of human resources and services; and Mike Triplett, president of Cigna's U.S. Commercial business. The Council is made up of two core committees, leadership accountability and health equity, both of which meet regularly with an agenda set by the chair and vice chairs in collaboration with Cigna's DEI team.
The leadership accountability committee is tasked with driving strategic accountability for results and ensuring shared leadership accountability for behaviors and actions that facilitate belonging, innovation, and equity for all Cigna colleagues.
In 2021, the leadership accountability committee drove the following initiatives and results:
- Published Cigna’s first DEI Scorecard Report.
- We achieved 96% diverse slates for external requisitions of senior level individual contributor and above roles, which yielded 70% diverse hires (women, ethnic minorities, or both).
- Improved Cigna's DEI Index Score to 80%. Our DEI Index score is measured by a subset of questions contained in our annual employee survey.
- Increased representation of women and ethnic minorities in early career leadership development programs, including interns and full-time employees.
- Increased DEI representation of women and ethnic minorities with progress towards 2024 goals.
Cigna is a proud member of CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion (CEO Action), the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Earlier this year, we named our second CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellow, Dr. Luis Torres, who is working alongside 200+ fellows representing 100+ of the world’s leading companies and business organizations to address racial injustice at national, state and local levels.
Cigna’s charitable giving team actively works with leaders in local markets, our ERGs and interested employees to identify and pursue opportunities where our company can make a difference in the lives of the communities we serve. In 2021, for example, a group of employees created and launched a program called “Fit for You” to drive awareness of mental health challenges in the Black community, particularly among young adults from HBCUs.
In addition to this new signature program, we continue to offer several ways for our employees to support issues that matter to them. These include matching gifts (1:1 match up to $2,500 annually); healthy lifestyle grants that award $100 to an eligible nonprofit as a result of an employee participating in an active event led by that nonprofit; and $500 grants to eligible nonprofits when an employee volunteers at least 50 hours for the organization in a calendar year.
Other 2021 highlights include:
- Awarded more than $12.5 million across 142 grants to nonprofits in support of health and well-being, education and workforce development, community and social issues, military, veterans and first responders, and global or trending causes.
- Awarded nearly $5 million to address food insecurity and mental health programming for children as part of the Healthier Kids for Our Future program.
- Launched “Cigna Foundation Fellows” to incorporate graduate student resources to the Foundation and Washington University in St. Louis’ Evaluation Center teams.
- Supported year two of the Cigna Scholars Program by awarding 277 scholarships to Cigna employees’ dependents.
- U.S. based employees logged more than 59,000 hours of their time, talent and energy to over 500 causes equating to more than $1.5 million in volunteer-engagement value.
Human Capital Diversity Metrics
Cigna aspires to reach gender parity in our leadership pipeline by increasing the representation of women at our director and senior director levels to 50% by 2024. In 2021, we continued to further this commitment as part of our diversity and inclusion strategy, including being the first U.S.-based company in our industry to join the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, which are designed to empower women in the workplace, the marketplace and the community. Cigna also joined Paradigm for Parity, Catalyst Inc., and Women’s Business Collaborative to guide us as we implement practices to increase the representation of women in Cigna leadership.
We realize that women may face different challenges than their male counterparts and to ensure that women feel supported throughout their careers, Cigna has a number of programs and strategic initiatives that focus on developing, mentoring, coaching, and advancing women. These programs include our Transformational Leadership program for Multicultural Women of Color, which is available to emerging leaders at Cigna. This March, we hosted our second Cigna Global Women’s Leadership Summit, where thousands of leaders across Cigna came together to invest in their personal and professional growth. In addition, Cigna was named a 2021 Top Company for Executive Women by Seramount, formerly Working Mother Media. This prestigious list recognizes 75 companies with cultures that champion women’s advancement, focus on career development, advocate for gender pay parity, offer work-life balance programs, and promote engagement of employee resource groups.
Cigna also offers women-friendly well-being and benefits programs. Our Cigna Moms program provides new moms with breastfeeding information, support and access to nursing mother’s rooms at Cigna offices plus a complimentary electric breast pump, milk storage system, carrying case, a personal set of bottles, breast shields and tubing to ensure proper hygiene when expressing milk. The Cigna Moms program also provides caregivers with flexible work arrangements such as compressed work weeks, home-based/telecommuting work, part-time, job sharing and flex time.
Cigna’s employee assistance program provides resources and counseling around marital concerns, parenting challenges, depression and anxiety issues, ways to better manage stress, and more.
Cigna also aspires to increase the percentage of ethnic minorities in our leadership pipeline by 2024. Progress towards this goal will be accomplished through a data-driven approach. We’ve expanded and launched targeted development and talent readiness programs including Calibr, the Micro Community Leadership Development Pilot, and McKinsey’s Connected Leader’s Programming, whose goal is to accelerate the progression of ethnic minority leaders in organizations. We hosted our annual Experience Diversity Summit in October virtually, allowing employees, leaders, and community partners to explore differences and commonalities through the power of storytelling.
“It’s mission critical that we rely on the power of our team strengthened by a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. It’s at the heart of who we are as a company to treat each other with respect, provide meaningful opportunities to grow and contribute and challenge ourselves to always get better at increasing belonging, innovation and equity for all our Cigna co-workers.” David M. Cordani, Chairman and CEO, Cigna
Inspired by Cigna's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? Join the Team.
Explore opportunities at Cigna or with one of our subsidiaries and discover the impact you can make.