Our vision at Accolade is one where every person is living their healthiest life. But making that ideal a reality means first acknowledging that the ingredients to a healthy life aren’t equally available to all people.
Too often, the resources and tools for healthy living are denied to Black people in America. We know this from the stories of individuals and from years of data. It’s expressed in subtle stressors like the impact of everyday racism on the health of Black people. And it’s made manifest as more obvious obstacles like a lack of healthcare providers in majority Black neighborhoods.
Confronting the systems that prevent Black communities from having equal access to healthcare isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s absolutely necessary to achieving our goal of making healthcare work for every person.
Accolade has an obligation to confront racial inequalities around issues like housing stability, healthcare access, and food security. We know that these and other social determinants affect the health of both people and populations. And we know that they have an outsized negative impact in Black communities.
It’s our duty to do what we can to correct those imbalances. We’re working hard to identify the ways that we can best address systemic racism and eliminate the disparities in how people of different races experience the healthcare system. And we’re laying the groundwork to more effectively advocate for justice in the communities we serve.
We also know that identifying and addressing these systemic issues requires that we hold ourselves to a high standard. To be a part of building a more just and equitable world, we must ensure we’re operating as a just and equitable company.
That starts by understanding the state of racial equity in our own house, identifying places we can improve, and being transparent about the steps we’re taking. Our employee base is diverse – 66% are women and 33% identify as Black, indigenous, or people of color - and we’re continually working to build a company that represents the communities that we serve.
Here are some of the actions we are undertaking right now:
- We’re reviewing Accolade’s hiring, progression, and pay equity practices, culminating in transparent reporting about where we are, where we need to be, and how we intend to get there
- We’re prioritizing representation of women and people of color in management and leadership roles, and making increased representation a company-wide objective with clear metrics for success
- We’re working to build a more diverse pipeline, improving our outreach and internal development programs to recruit and progress clinical talents from diverse backgrounds throughout our organization. We’re also partnering with universities and other organizations to develop more diverse talent pools for our internship classes
- We’re supporting organizations including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and exploring how we can partner further with this group and others in the future
This is where we’re starting, but it’s not where we’ll stop. In the near future, we’ll have more to share on how we plan to engage in anti-racist efforts externally, both directly and by providing support to organizations already doing the work.