Honoring employees who demonstrate commitment to diversity and inclusion
For the past 15 years, HCSC has recognized employees who exemplify the spirit, principles and actions of diversity and inclusion in their workplace and community by presenting the Raymond F. McCaskey Diversity and Inclusion Award. This award was inspired by former HCSC President and CEO Raymond F. McCaskey. With a growing number of HCSC employees going above and beyond to exemplify these qualities, we have adapted our award to recognize employees at two levels, leadership and individual contributor.
Raymond F. McCaskey Leadership Award
The 2017 winner of the leadership award was Mercedes Millberry Fowler. Mercedes is a unit manager in the community relations department of our Tulsa, Oklahoma, office. She has always been interested in social justice and equality and appreciates that HCSC has a strong philosophy of diversity and inclusion.
“I am fortunate that HCSC supports me as I continue to learn more about how we can engage all our employees to bring their authentic selves to work,” Mercedes says. “The company can benefit from embracing the diversity of perspectives and experiences that our employees possess.”
Mercedes has been with HCSC for eight years, first in the public relations department, working on outreach efforts related to the Affordable Care Act. She is now in community affairs, where she interacts with nonprofits in Oklahoma that work to address social determinants of health.
Mercedes is a member of four of our nine Business Resource Groups, employee-driven groups organized around a particular characteristic of diversity. “Diversity and inclusion are critical to the future survival of all companies as demographics and cultural norms change and grow,” she says.
Mercedes chairs the business services committee of the Tulsa Regional Chamber Mosaic Group, the chamber’s diversity council. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) has been recognized a Mosaic Inclusive Workplace recipient for the past four years.
Companies that embrace diversity by actively encouraging it in peer companies, customers and partners will be the companies that shape the future and build trusted relationships that will last. – Mercedes Millberry Fowler
Raymond F. McCaskey Individual Contributor Award
Ben Thierry, a business analyst for the information technology group at our Chicago headquarters, was the recipient of the individual contributor award. Ben is a member of HCSC’s Pride Alliance, our Business Resource Group for employees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) and LGBTQ allies.
“I believe living authentically is key to the advancement, visibility and protections of people who identify as LGBTQ,” Ben says. Ben is a project co-lead/founder of an initiative to create the Authentically Blue OasisSM, an inclusive space for HCSC employees. He’s also the project lead on the company’s LGBTQ web presence project. One of his goals, he says, is to “promote a world in which all LGBTQ youth are free to be who they are.”
Learn about our past Raymond F. McCaskey Award Winners in our previous Social Responsibility Reports.