Throughout Kaiser Permanente's 75-plus-year history, equity, inclusion, and diversity have been inextricably linked to our mission. We know that having a diverse and inclusive workforce reflective of the communities we serve makes Kaiser Permanente a better place to receive health care, a better partner in our communities, and a better place to work.
We are committed to providing high-quality care, improving access to care, and addressing the inequities, structural racism, and injustices that have marginalized our most vulnerable populations, including those hardest hit by COVID-19. Our work includes addressing the root causes of health disparities, such as economic opportunity, affordable housing, health and wellness in schools, and a healthy environment.
Kaiser Permanente began in the shipyards, where women and men of all races, ethnicities, and abilities worked side by side as peers. In the 1940s, when many hospitals were segregated, we had integrated wards, built diverse teams of employees and physicians, and treated all our patients equally, regardless of race.
Today, our commitment to ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity is reflected in our executive leadership. Our boards are 38% women and 38% people of color. In 2020, 53% of the CEO’s direct reports were women, and nearly 43% of the executive medical directors were women. We’re committed to advancing diversity at every level of the organization. Nearly 67% of our organization’s total workforce are members of racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities, and 75% are women.
In 2020, in the midst of social unrest, we committed to taking immediate, long-term, and sustained actions to make equity possible for our people, our members, and our communities. We will use our voice, resources, and influence to contribute to disrupting bias, dismantling racism, and correcting our society’s oppressive systems.
This past year we committed $60 million in joint investments and $40 million in grants to address systemic racism, lack of economic opportunities, and adverse childhood events and trauma in communities of color. We launched a COVID-19 education campaign to increase vaccine confidence with $5 million in grants to support 24 nonprofit and community-based organizations assisting people most affected by COVID-19. This work builds upon our longstanding commitment to support the social needs of our communities, with programs providing access to housing, food, and healthy living.
At Kaiser Permanente we embed practices to identify and eliminate inequities across our operations — from how we design buildings to how we conduct research and deliver care. We are dedicated to delivering culturally responsive care, with multi-language outreach, call center staff fluent in more than 140 languages, and medical facilities uniquely focused on the needs of specific communities.
We have used quality of care data, broken down by race, gender, and ethnicity to drive health care innovation and priorities, and have had particular success in addressing health disparities for hypertension control, diabetes care, and colorectal cancer screening.
In 2020, we established a health equity advisory council to expand our identification of care disparities beyond our current quality measures, to ensure all performance measures will be viewed through an equity lens. This council is researching COVID-19 health outcomes and vaccination data by race and ethnicity to design solutions for improving member and community health equity.
We are building a highly inclusive, engaged, and psychologically safe workplace where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential and use their diverse perspectives and strengths to support our mission.
Our Belong@KP program helps participants recognize bias and racism in their thoughts and actions, and provides tools to think and act more inclusively. Belong@KP is a multi-year program to combat bias, racism, and social injustice, and to promote an environment where everyone feels they are valued and treated fairly, and that they belong. This program is also helping us embed inclusive and equitable practices into how we identify, recruit, develop, mentor, assess, and retain diverse talent.
All of this work is essential to ensuring equity, inclusion, and diversity are woven into the fabric of everything we do — something we recommit to every day even as we celebrate our trailblazing leadership and repeated recognition and accolades: