DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Philosophy

At Encova, we believe that innovation secures our place as the most trusted and responsive insurance carrier. We know that diversity, equity and inclusion foster our competitive edge by giving voice to every individual’s unique talent and perspective.

Inclusion drives innovation, fueled by the unique ideas and approaches that emerge in a diverse environment. Encova believes that when a condition of equity exists, all associates can contribute to the fullest extent of their knowledge, skills and ability. We promote and nurture this culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, ensuring all associates realize their highest potential. We do this by creating strategies to lead, develop and communicate diversity goals and optimize organizational culture. The Encova Diversity Council collaborates with senior leadership to ensure diversity goals are understood and reflected at all levels and in all areas of the organization.

Encova’s efforts to promote diversity have not gone unnoticed. In 2021, Encova was named one of Columbus Business First’s Outstanding Diversity Organization honorees. In 2020, Ralph Smithers Jr., assistant vice president, diversity, equity and inclusion and community relations, was named Advocate of the Year by the Ohio Minority Suppliers Development Council. He was also named Outstanding Diversity Champion by Columbus Business First in 2019.

Workforce

Our people are the heart of Encova. We value diversity and we seek out and embrace new and different people, perspectives and ideas. Encova is committed to creating and sustaining a work environment in which each associate can grow, develop and contribute fully to our collective success, because our people are the source of that success. We expect all associates to treat each other and our customers with dignity and respect. That means we do not use words or actions that could be construed as harassing, degrading or offensive to others.

Accordingly, Encova will not tolerate sexual harassment, other types of harassment, or intimidation of any associates based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law. Encova’s policy extends to prohibited harassment of an Encova associate by a manager, supervisor, co-worker, officer or director. Further, we will not tolerate harassment by or toward an applicant, customer, vendor or other business associate.

Find and apply for openings on our Careers page.

Associate resource groups

As part of our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, we launched associate resource groups in July 2018. These voluntary, associate-driven groups are organized around a shared interest or common diversity dimension. Associate resource groups are a proven approach to attract, develop and retain top-tier talent by providing a forum for networking, support and idea-sharing. They improve our ability to leverage diversity of thought and experiences. Associate resource groups at Encova bring guest speakers to the organization, host cultural events and volunteer in our communities.

At Encova, we currently have seven active associate resource groups.

DIVERSITY DIMENSION: Working parents

DESCRIPTION: The A-PARenT associate resource group strives to build a foundation that fosters strong work performance while also addressing parental priorities. The group is centered around encouragement and strengthening the success of associates, families and the organization by creating a network that shares resources, so no parent feels isolated, unsupported or ill-equipped when dealing with the challenges of parenthood.

ACTIVITIES: This group has hosted leaders from the Ohio Opioid Educational Alliance to discuss the importance of parent engagement to end the opioid epidemic. They have also brought in an ombudsman from the county to educate associates about resources and volunteer opportunities available in support of sick and elderly living in long-term care facilities. While co-sponsoring various virtual events with other associate resource groups, they have hosted two virtual graduation ceremonies and sponsored a home garden decoration activity to help keep associates engaged during the pandemic.

DIVERSITY DIMENSION: Asian Pacific Islanders

DESCRIPTION: The goal of the Asian Pacific Islander associate resource group is to foster networking, professional development and mentorship opportunities focusing on awareness of Asian Pacific culture and identity.

ACTIVITIES: In the past, this group has brought in guest speakers and hosted Diwali celebrations to share this important holiday with Encova associates.

DIVERSITY DIMENSION: African American

DESCRIPTION: The Diversity and Inclusion associate resource group is a group that encourages, empowers and enlightens associates as they seek mentorship, leadership and advancement through internal networking and connections, as well as with external resources, to strategically support the company in becoming more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

ACTIVITIES: This group has brought in numerous thought leaders from within the community and has partnered with the Black Employee Resource Council (BERC), Columbus Urban League and Central Ohio Diversity Consortium (CODC). In addition, the group hosts a book club, live ethnic food demonstrations and various volunteering opportunities.

DIVERSITY DIMENSION: Women

DESCRIPTION: Making HerStory is a professional group that supports women at Encova and in the communities we serve. They accomplish this by providing networking, volunteer and professional development opportunities to their members.

ACTIVITIES: In addition to bringing in speakers to discuss issues women face, Making HerStory sends support and volunteers to local nonprofits such as Dress for Success, an organization that empowers women to achieve their goals through free-of-charge suiting, a career center and employment retention programs.

DIVERSITY DIMENSION: Veterans and military families

DESCRIPTION: The Encova Military Appreciation Group is dedicated to improving the lives of veterans, active service members and their families within Encova and throughout our communities. The group is for veterans, their families and anyone who wants to express appreciation for the sacrifices service members have made and continue to make.

ACTIVITIES: This group sent visitors and volunteers to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, and collected and packed donations through Blue Star Mothers to send to troops overseas. In addition, the Military Appreciation Group highlights Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year to honor those who served, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

DIVERSITY DIMENSION: LGBTQ

DESCRIPTION: The goal of the Mosaic associate resource group is to build genuine and positive relationships within the company and community. They strive to uplift our community by connecting members of the LGBTQ community and allies with services, resources and education. The group cherishes diversity, encourages openness and ensures safety and dignity.

ACTIVITIES: Mosaic participates in the annual Columbus Stonewall Pride Parade, has fundraised and volunteered for the Kaleidoscope Youth Center and has increased awareness of the history and contributions of the LGBTQ community with our associates. Mosaic also led the way to Encova receiving an 80% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report. The CEI measures corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.

DIVERSITY DIMENSION: Early-career professionals

DESCRIPTION: The NextStep associate resource group brings together seasoned professionals and fresh talent to grow and to solve problems through collaboration. They emphasize wisdom, experience and new ideas both in and out of the office setting.

ACTIVITIES: In addition to providing networking opportunities for early-career professionals, NextStep has also participated in Columbus’ Young Professionals Week.

Community investments

Encova is a proud financial supporter of many community organizations committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Through our foundations, we became partners with organizations such as Covenant House, Daymark, The King Arts Complex, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Legal Aid of WV, National Urban League, Women for Economic and Leadership Development, YWCA and more. These organizations seek to improve our communities and align with our mission to foster innovation through diversity of thought and background.

Nonprofit organizations can apply for funding through our Encova Cares page.

Supplier partnerships

In addition to promoting diversity within our workforce, Encova also works with diverse suppliers through membership with multiple supplier organizations. One such organization is the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council, which develops mutually beneficial relationships and opportunities between Certified Minority Business Enterprises and member organizations. Another organization is the Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley, which provides Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification to women-owned companies in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

If you are interested in potentially becoming one of our suppliers, contact our Supply Management Services department.