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Congratulations Kaiser Permanente

2009 Company of the year

Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s oldest and largest not-for-profit health maintenance organizations, is creating never -before- seen opportunities for Latinas. Approximately 13 percent of their workforce is Latina and 74 percent employed are women.

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Diana M. Bontá RN, Dr. PH VP, Public Affairs Diana M. Bontá
RN, Dr. PH VP, Public Affairs

Their commitment to diversity includes the development of a diverse workforce and the delivery of culturally competent care to its customers. Under the direction of their National Diversity Council, Kaiser Permanente plays an important role in advancing culturally competent care that acknowledges cultural diversity in the clinical setting and ensuring that cultural needs are considered and respected at every point of interaction. Kaiser Permanente’s Latino Staff Association (KPLA) is a serious part of its workforce diversity infrastructure. Its mission is to attract, inspire, support and retain Latinos to achieve their full potential at all levels at Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente also has been in the forefront educating local, state and national policy makers on the critical policies related to health care, insurance and health care providers.

Diana M. Bontá demonstrates true Latina leadership. As vice president of Public Affairs for Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Bontá directs Kaiser’s public policy agenda, provides oversight in community and government relations, grant management, corporate communications and media relations. Bontá was appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health in 2008. Before joining Kaiser in 2004, Bontá lead numerous initiatives to address critical public health issues and health protection programs for 35 million California residents as director of Health Services for the State of California. LATINA Style applauds Kaiser Permanente for its proven commitment to diversity to represent its culturally diverse clients.

The 2009 LATINA Style 50 Special Report

The LATINA Style 50 Report is among the most sensitive work we perform at LATINA Style. This program that takes a full year to prepare serves as the “guiding light” for Latinas seeking employment in corporate America. Whether you are a young Latina entering the workforce or an experienced Latina looking for new opportunities, this report provides you with a list of companies whose commitment to provide a nurturing environment in which you will succeed is second to none.

This year, the evaluation came full of surprises. Companies that had made the list since its inception in 1998 disappeared and new ones emerged as the strongest candidates. For the first time we have chosen to rank the companies. We did this in response to numerous requests from our readers and corporations. We also included new categories in the evaluation process to reflect the existing market conditions. Kaiser Permanente, headquartered in Oakland, California emerged as the Company of the Year. A number of companies related to health care are on the top 50. This reflects the market projections of where the jobs will be in the future. A clear indication of this trend is the $200 million in grants that would provide transitioning training for individuals to enter the health care field, recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor under Secretary Hilda Solis.

The job market of the future will be significantly different from what we are used to. Downsizing and the economic conditions have given the green light to companies with token commitment to diversity to do away with their diversity efforts. Many of the companies featured in the 50 were able to maintain their commitment to Latina employees in spite of the downturn. They have distinguished themselves by showing their “true colors.” Congratulations to all the award recipients and the honorable mentions, especially Kaiser Permanente on their top award. I look forward to seeing you on the list under more favorable conditions in 2010.

By Gloria Romano and Lara Saavedra