Forbes ranks UI Health Care among ‘Best Employers for Diversity’

Collage of UI Health Care employees


University of Iowa Health Care has been named one of the nation’s top employers for diversity by Forbes magazine.

In its inaugural rankings of “Best Employers for Diversity,” Forbes ranked UI Health Care No. 16 overall among 250 employers nationwide and No. 1 in its Healthcare & Social category.

“Across our organization, we are fortunate to have people from many different backgrounds and with many different experiences, perspectives, and ideas. Without question, this enhances our ability to work together to teach students, conduct research, and take care of patients,” says Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, UI vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. “This is outstanding recognition, and I am proud of UI Health Care for fostering a work environment that is welcoming, safe, and inclusive.”

To compile the rankings, Forbes collaborated with the research firm Statista to survey more than 30,000 U.S. employees in August 2017, asking questions about diversity, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and disability. A company’s score was based on three criteria, according to Forbes:

Direct recommendations
Employees were asked to rate their employers on diversity and diversity-related issues, and these recommendations carried the most weight in determining a company’s score. Recommendations from women, ethnic minorities, and older workers were given more influence in determining a score, as were any variations in statements between minorities and non-minorities.
Indirect recommendations
Employees also were given the opportunity to evaluate other employers in their industries that stand out positively or negatively with regard to diversity. These recommendations made up a company’s public perception score.
Diversity KPIs (key performance indicators)
Employers were evaluated on the percentage of women who fill top executive positions. Also created was an index of objective and publicly available diversity KPIs—the existence of a department or position responsible for diversity issues and proactive communication of a diverse company culture, for example.

The result was a list of 250 companies and organizations across various industries—banking, construction, engineering, health care, and others.

“The commitment to diversity within UI Health Care includes fostering a culture that is inclusive and welcoming,” says Sherree Wilson, PhD, associate dean for cultural affairs and diversity initiatives in the UI Carver College of Medicine.

“CultureVision, an online database with information on culturally responsive care, and the annual Culturally Responsive Health Care in Iowa conference provide our health care professionals with the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to deliver culturally inclusive care,” Wilson says. “We have been recognized as a ‘Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign for the past four years, and we are also home to the state’s only ethnic skin care clinic. The recognition by Forbes is a testament to the work and commitment of everyone within the UI Health Care community who work to create an inclusive culture and climate.”

In its 2017 rankings of America’s Best EmployersForbes named UI Health Care the No. 5 employer in the health care industry and No. 14 among all industries.