Jul 5, 2021
Cigna Earns Top Marks for Disability Inclusion

Cigna prides itself on having a culture that respects and celebrates all that makes each of its colleagues unique.

And for the seventh consecutive year, the company has achieved the distinction as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”

Cigna scored a 100 on the 2021 Disability Equality Index, which is considered the most robust assessment for disability inclusion in business. The benchmarking tool is a joint initiative of Disability:IN, a global business disability inclusion network, and the American Association of People with Disabilities

“We are so proud to be recognized for our efforts in creating an accessible, inclusive workplace,” said Dr. Steve Miller, Chief Clinical Officer, Cigna and executive sponsor of the Achieving Better Lives for Everyone (ABLE) Enterprise Resource Group (ERG). “At Cigna, advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion is deeply rooted in our values, and that’s reflected through our work in fostering a culture that respects and celebrates employees of all abilities.”

This year, 319 corporations participated in the Disability Equality Index. Below are just some of the reasons why Cigna achieved high marks.

Culture and Leadership

Cigna’s commitment to advancing a diverse and inclusive culture starts at the top. Last year, to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Cigna President and CEO David Cordani signed the Disability:IN CEO letter on disability inclusion. And in 2018, he co-authored a book, “The Courage to Go Forward,” with Dick Traum, the founder of Achilles International, a global organization that works to transform the lives of people with disabilities through athletic programs and social connections. Earlier this month, Cordani joined several Achilles Freedom Team members in Washington, D.C., participating in a portion of the 650-mile Achilles Resilience Relay, and he hosted a fireside discussion with former President George W. Bush.

At the employee level, Cigna’s ABLE ERG helps to foster a supportive community – not just for colleagues who have disabilities, but also for their caregivers and allies. From recruitment through employment, ABLE assists at each stage of an employee’s career. The group works to support inclusive hiring practices, provides training and resources for employees, and ensures that all Cigna colleagues have accessible workplaces.

In addition, ABLE raises awareness on wide variety of “invisible” challenges people may face, such as mental illness, autism, and rare diseases. It also sponsors webinars on financial wellness and resilience.

Employment Practices

A company’s employment practices are critical in the hiring and retaining of employees with disabilities. Cigna has forged partnerships with organizations that connect employers to people with disabilities. For example, Cigna participates in the Disability:IN Next Gen annual “matchmaking” session, and this year, the company is sponsoring an overview and networking session for attendees of the Disability:IN Conference.

In partnership with the Starkloff Disability Institute, a St. Louis-based nonprofit, Cigna supports high school students with disabilities learn more about exciting employment opportunities. Through the organization’s annual “DREAM BIG Career Camp” and “Innovate Week,” participants have an opportunity to connect and network with Cigna employees.

Community Engagement

Community engagement is core to Cigna’s DNA, and throughout 2020, the company sponsored a number of nonprofits dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Immune Deficiency Foundation. In addition, the Cigna Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Fenwick Foundation in Virginia for Project ADAT, which provides in-home dental care to limited-resource, long-term care residents who have physical or mental disabilities, as well as a $75,000 grant to VELA in Texas, which provides caregiver wellness support for Hispanic/Latino parents of children with disabilities.

Cigna’s leaders are also personally involved as board members of a number of nonprofits, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, the Central Institute for the Deaf, UCP Heartland, and the Epilepsy Foundation.

A Champion of Employees of All Abilities

ABLE’s purpose is to serve as a champion for employees of all abilities by fostering a supportive community that’s dedicated to creating a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible work environment.  That is also something that Cigna embraces, Miller said.

“Advancing a culture of inclusion – and providing an accessible workplace – goes to the heart of our mission of improving the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve,” Miller said.

To learn more about Cigna's commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, click here.