A new case study at Cleveland Clinic shows how the nonprofit healthcare system is putting DEI initiatives to work.
Cleveland Clinic in December 2020 made a commitment to develop a skills-first workplace and establish equitable career pathways, according to a Jan. 25 case study by Cleveland Clinic and two partners — OneTen, a coalition helping Black workers without four-year degrees secure careers, and Grads of Life, an organization helping companies promote DEI efforts.
Since then, the health system revamped its hiring process to focus on skills rather than degrees, created skills-based career pathways, launched apprenticeship programs to diversify hiring and worked to rebuild trust in the community through communication and outreach, the study found.
“Joining the coalition has helped us to improve our workplace inclusivity practices," Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic, said in a news release. Cleveland Clinic is a founding member of the OneTen coalition.
The health system in October 2021 introduced a pharmacy apprenticeship and half of the apprentices were Black. In January 2022, Cleveland Clinic began an IT apprenticeship and selected five Black apprentices out of a pool of 200 candidates, the study said.
Through the apprenticeship programs, Cleveland Clinic realized workers needed better access to transit and child care to help them maintain their positions.
“In our eagerness to launch apprentices, we probably didn’t have as many talent supports as we could have,” Chief Talent Officer Gina Cronin said in the study.
Cleveland Clinic also has now revised more than 260 job descriptions to remove four-year degree requirements and reworked more than 2,000 roles to be skills-first, the study said.
For example, the system realized that 15 of the 17 skills needed for medical assistants didn’t require a degree in the field. Cleveland Clinic developed a career pathway and training to become a medical outpatient clinical care assistant, an adjacent position.
“Our hope is that even more employers will be emboldened by this sense of possibility to adopt these key learnings and hire, promote and advance more Black talent into family-sustaining careers,” OneTen CEO Maurice Jones said in a news release.