Sep 15, 2021
How Cigna Supports and Empowers the Hispanic/Latinx Community

At Cigna, diversity is a priority and an important part of our inclusive culture. We believe that diversity is more than what is on the outside, and that we grow stronger as a company from different perspectives and experiences.

That’s why we are so excited to again be recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) in its Corporate Inclusion Index (CII). The HACR’s mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America, and its CII measures levels of Hispanic and Latinx inclusion across four key areas: Employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.

Cigna has a number of different programs in place to ensure that we are fostering a more inclusive workplace for our Hispanic and Latinx coworkers, and we are also making a positive impact on Hispanics/Latinx living in the communities that we serve. Below we share just some of the highlights of our efforts.

Closing the Gap on COVID-19 Health Disparities

There are striking differences in health outcomes in communities with poor social determinants of health, such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods or education. These disparities disproportionately impact communities of color and, as a result, their health outcomes are worse than those of their white counterparts. 

Hispanic Health Disparities

The Hispanic population experiences significant disparities with educational inequalities, language barriers, access to care, and more.

Download our whitepaper that dives into Hispanic health disparities.

To address these health disparities as part of our Building Equity and Equality Program, Cigna launched the S.A.F.E. campaign initiative in September 2020 in Houston, Memphis and Miami. These cities were selected because Cigna has both a significant market presence in these three cities and because a high proportion of our Black and Hispanic/Latinx customers live there.

In phase one of this campaign, we sent more than 135,000 S.A.F.E. personal protective equipment kits to seven large employer clients in these three cities.

For Phase two, we repurposed our Health Improvement Tour vehicles, which have been traveling the country since 2016 offering free health screenings, to provide free flu shots, PPE, and other COVID-19 resources. The Tour made 25 stops at multiple locations in Memphis, Houston, and South Florida, including local churches, the YMCA, food banks, and other charitable organizations that hosted Tour stops and helped to engage members of the community.

To encourage Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities to get their flu shots and take other preventive measures, Cigna teamed up with local leaders and influencers, each passionate about improving health disparities, including NBA Hall of Fame legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Click here to learn more about the impact of this program.

Increased Spending with Hispanic-Owned Businesses

Cigna has made a strong commitment to leveraging diversity in all aspects of our business, including the engagement of a diverse supplier base. We believe that the success of minority-owned and women-owned businesses, as well as other under-represented suppliers, adds to our success as a company and to that of the communities we serve.

As part of our Building Equity and Equality Program, we’ve committed to doubling our indirect diverse supplier spend by 2025. We aim to reach $1 billion in diverse spend, representing nearly 20% of our $5 billion indirect spend in the U.S.

In 2020, Cigna spent $40 million with Hispanic/Latinx-owned businesses. Consistent to our total diverse supplier goals, we expect to increase our spending with Hispanic/Latinx-owned businesses to exceed $80 million by 2025. 

Dedicated Employee Resource Group (ERG) to Empower Hispanic Coworkers

The Juntos employee resource group (ERG) at Cigna aims to provide our Hispanic/Latinx employees with opportunities for growth, learning, and development, and to build meaningful connections with our colleagues, clients, and the many communities we serve.

The group does this through a number of different programs such as the “Juntos 411” series of short videos, which are intended to educate and share information about the Hispanic/Latinx culture. Juntos also puts on career development events such as “Do’s and Don’ts of Networking,” “Latino Leadership” and “Ace Your Interview,” which aim to raise Hispanic employee knowledge and awareness of their own goals, strengths and values, to then identify how one can pursue activities both within and outside of Cigna.

Juntos also works closely with Cigna's talent acquisition team to help increase the Hispanic/Latinx pipeline within our organization, and the “Inclusive Conversation Series” that the ERG puts on in partnership with Cigna's DEI team not only supports the Hispanic community, but also helps build empathy and allyship among non-Hispanic employees. Watch the video below to learn more about Cigna's Juntos ERG.

Data to Improve Health Care Outcomes for Hispanic Communities

At Cigna, we have found that although our work in the data and analytics space cannot change a diagnosis, it can help change patient outcomes. We have been leaning on data to help us better undertsand and alleviate health disparities. Case in point: Through the analysis of preventive screening data, Cigna was able to identify a disparity in colon cancer screening for Hispanic/Latinx customers in several markets. Based on this insight, we launched an initiative to promote participation among Hispanic/Latinx customers in Cigna's National Colon Cancer Screening Program.

Additionally, in 2019, Cigna piloted a multichannel campaign to improve breast cancer screening rates among Latina women in California and Latina and Black women in Texas. The campaign was two-fold: First, we created and promoted content to drive awareness of the importance of annual checkups with reminders to schedule one. Then, we did a targeted follow up  with a personalized call to action to get screened and educated about breast cancer. The campaign saw a 15% response rate for breast cancer screenings among those who received both communications.

Staff Training and Resources to Deliver Culturally-Relevant Care for Hispanics/Latinx 

In addition to core training that includes mandatory cultural competency training for customer-facing new hires and annually-required unconscious bias training for all employees, Cigna offers a cultural competency training series specifically tailored to help participants gain clinical awareness related to culturally driven disparities.

This includes the “Delivering Culturally Responsive Care: Hispanic Community Series,” an in-depth, three-part learning series designed to help customer-facing employees gain practical insights on engaging Hispanic/Latinx customers in health and wellness programs and services. It enables them to connect and empathize with Hispanic customers in order to equip them to actively participate in improving their own health outcomes.

More Work to Do

Cigna’s inclusive culture allows us to look at problems differently, and makes Cigna a more innovative and stronger partner for our clients and customers. We are proud of the work we’ve done to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion for our Hispanic coworkers and the Hispanic/Latinx community as a whole, but we also recognize that there is still work to be done. We will continue to partner with organizations, influencers, our Juntos ERG, and others, to advance the DEI dialog and make Cigna – and the world – a better place for all.

In the video livestream below, Susan Stith, Cigna's VP of diversity, inclusion & civic affairs, talks about why inclusion, belonging and equity are more important than ever before.

Supporting the Hispanic Community is Core to Cigna's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy

At Cigna, we stand for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we are committed to respecting differences, treating each other fairly, and standing together.

Learn more about our DEI strategy.