Express Scripts: Recognizing the Importance of Diversity

by LP Green, II

As the nation’s leading pharmacy benefi t manager, responsible for about 1.4 billion prescriptions for 100 million Americans, Express Scripts has unsurpassed visibility into the diversity of care provided to patients today. Not surprisingly, Express Scripts’ commitment to diversity in its workforce is the same as its commitment to help patients achieve better health.

“Diversity is a business priority at Express Scripts and an important enabler of our inclusive company culture,” says Susan Stith, Senior Director Diversity and Inclusion. “We make sure that our diversity matches that of our customer base. As we recognize demographic shifts and long-term growth strategies, Express Scripts’ Diversity and Inclusion initiatives are the foundation to support a changing workforce.”

Stith addresses diversity’s role in business today. “Diversity goes beyond the human characteristics that you see on the surface. Studies show that diverse teams are more innovative and creative. When we respect and accept different points of view, only then can we all make contributions that will move the organization forward,” she continues. “As our nation becomes more diverse, so does our workforce. Today, nearly one-third of the labor force is minority. By the year 2025, that number will increase to nearly 40%. Everything we do today to create an inclusive environment and recruit the best talent available will help us continue to succeed in the future.”

At Express Scripts, diversity milestones are recognized, focusing on key areas such as cultural awareness, talent acquisition and talent management. And even though the company has made significant strides in its diversity efforts, there is more to come, according to Stith.

“We are in the process of identifying and implementing our first ERG/affinity group with a focus on women as more than two-thirds of our workforce is female,” she adds.

Diversity has deep roots within the company – from call center employees, to management to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: “My grandfather emigrated from Mexico to the United States; my father, who came to the U.S. with him, worked long hours for not much pay to support our family; my brother and I were the first in our family to go to college. My story is similar to many others who work at Express Scripts and I think that’s why we emphatically embrace diversity and inclusion. It’s not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because many of us know from personal experience that a collection of diverse perspectives and backgrounds make any group more successful,” says George Paz, Chairman and CEO.

With fundamental changes in the diversity of the United States, along with the ever changing landscape in healthcare, Express Scripts is focused on ensuring it addresses both to the benefit of employees, clients and patients.

Stith continues, “Diversity and inclusion is a journey that requires solid fundamental approaches, internal resourcing and programming and external partnerships to move forward. The key competitive differential for Express Scripts’ success is its people. The ability to attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce is a business priority and necessity.”

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