Forbes Ranks ChristianaCare as a Best Employer for Diversity in the U.S.

Forbes magazine has again named ChristianaCare to its list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. Forbes ranked ChristianaCare among the top 20 Healthcare and Social Services employers on the list.

ChristianaCare’s community health workers provide resources and support in the neighborhoods where they live and work. They recently hosted a Women’s Health Fair with baby essentials and health information.

With 11 employee resource groups (ERGs), a focus on diverse hiring practices and an array of educational programs that expose students to health care careers, ChristianaCare celebrates the different ways its caregivers reflect the communities they serve.

Click here for career opportunities at ChristianaCare.

Every ChristianaCare employee is referred to as a caregiver, whether they provide direct patient care or their work indirectly supports patient care.

Pamela Ridgeway, MBA, MA, SPHR

“This recognition is a special honor because it demonstrates that we are advancing our commitment to embrace diversity and show respect to everyone,” said Pamela Ridgeway, MBA, MA, SPHR, chief diversity officer and vice president of Talent and Acquisition at ChristianaCare.

“We know that when we support our caregivers, they bring their authentic selves to work,” Ridgeway said. “An inclusive environment enables us to serve all our neighbors and diverse communities with love and excellence.”

Commitment to caregivers

ChristianaCare, Delaware’s largest private employer, is dedicated to a dynamic and diverse workforce, with inclusive policies, programs and practices.

Caregivers came together at a Diwali celebration, hosted by the South Asian Professional Alliance ERG.

ChristianaCare is committed to being an anti-racism organization and President and CEO Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, signed the CEO Act!on for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed, and employees feel comfortable and empowered to have discussions about diversity and inclusion.

More than 1,400 caregivers participate in ChristianaCare’s ERGs, which create a sense of community based on common bonds or interests, including military service, race, gender, sexual orientation and national origin. Memberships in these grassroots groups have grown 39% since 2022.

“The ChristianaCare ERGs allow caregivers the opportunity to build community by sharing individual lived experiences and ultimately influence the greater health system by showing the value of our uniqueness,” said Gemma Lowery, one of three co-leaders of Growing Our African American Leaders Systemwide ERG, known as GOALS.

Raising the Progress Flag at Newark campus.

Since 2023, the Progress flag has flown all year at ChristianaCare campuses.

“Pride matters 365 days a year,” said caregiver Deb Houghton, of the PRIDE ERG, at the flag raising. “Our leadership not only talks the talk but walks the walk … we serve together in the most excellent kind of love — the unconditional kind.”

Building and retaining an inclusive workforce

The Forbes recognition follows other national recognitions of ChristianaCare’s commitment to an inclusive workplace.

In 2023 ChristianaCare ranked No. 1 on Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Veterans list among health care companies and No. 6 among all employers.

The ChristianaCare Salutes! Employee Resource Group brings together active military, veterans and their allies. From left to right: Salutes! members Erica Sadler, Sam Wetherill, Courtney Gale and April Hall.

Mogul also recognized ChristianaCare as one of the Top 100 Companies with Inclusive Benefits in 2023 for “diverse hiring practices” and “progressive workplace resources.” These include:

ChristianaCare’s Project SEARCH Class of 2023. Over the last five years the majority of Project SEARCH interns have secured a job after completing the program.
  • Supporting Project SEARCH, a nationally recognized program dedicated to education and training for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Participation in Project Hope, a partnership with external agencies that provides support to individuals who were involved with the criminal justice system. This program creates pathways to meaningful and sustainable employment within ChristianaCare.
  • Participation in Project Veteran through career fairs that target veterans.
  • Elimination of bias in hiring through biannual education for all hiring managers, along with leader demographic scorecards to support building a diverse workforce.
  • Professional development programs such as ChristianaCare’s LeadershipDNA for caregivers from underrepresented and diverse populations, to help advance their career paths.
  • Providing $500,000 in scholarships to 10 high school students in Delaware who plan to pursue degrees in health care.
  • An array of educational programs for students from middle school through college to give them experience and exposure to careers in health care.
Natalie Torres, director of Inclusion & Diversity, worked with caregivers at three locations to coordinate a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January. Caregivers packed 3,000 personal hygiene kits for community members in transitional or unstable housing.

“Our commitment to inclusion and diversity touches all areas of our organization,” said Natalie Torres, MS, DEI-HR, director of Inclusion & Diversity. “Our resolution is embedded in our values and we partner with our caregivers every day in support and celebration of our diversity.”

About the Forbes rankings

Forbes also ranked ChristianaCare as one of the country’s Best Employers For Diversity in 2021 and 2022.

ChristianaCare’s Nursing Career Collaborative, a partnership with William Penn’s Allied Health educational pathway, gives students an in-depth look at what it means to be a nurse.

To create its 2024 Best Employers For Diversity list, Forbes surveyed 170,000 employees who work for companies that each employ at least 1,000 people within the U.S.

Forbes asked survey participants to anonymously rate their employers on their company’s approach to key diversity, equity and inclusion metrics, including age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.

In addition to survey data, the Forbes rankings were based on research that provided insights into the DEI practices of more than 1,300 companies. This research took into consideration the presence of employee resource groups, the percentage of women in leadership roles and the diversity of the company’s suppliers. Ultimately, 500 employers made the list.

Forbes created its Best Employers For Diversity list in partnership with Statista, a market research firm.