"Cultural Competence and the Diversifying Workforce"

CLM Magazine

Headshot of Martine CumbermackIn an article published in the May issue of CLM Magazine, Martine Cumbermack provides insight on the importance of understanding unconscious bias with the diverging demographics among claims professionals and the overall workforce.

As the nation’s population continues to diversify across racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, so does the labor force.

“However, the rate at which the country’s labor force continues to diversify is not equally mirrored in our claims professionals and administrators,” said Cumbermack.

Understanding unconscious bias and being culturally competent is essential in reducing claims costs overall. By having a good understanding of unconscious biases, it will lead to better decisions when dealing with an injured worker in a workers’ compensation claim.

“Once you are able to understand — to an extent — where someone is coming from and what makes her who she is, while truly checking on your own biases, you are more likely to understand her motivations, thereby making a more authentic connection,” explained Cumbermack.

Referencing the current statistics of the diversity in today’s workforce, Cumbermack explains the correlation between race/ethnicity/nationality and the types of employment/occupations held. These figures are important as more than likely, the average claims professional will be dealing with an injured worker who is from a cultural, ethnic or racial background different from her own, or who may not speak English.

“The goal is to strive for cultural competence and understanding at all levels in the chain of a claim to achieve a more seamless administration," said Cumbermack. "The ‘payoff’ could significantly impact and lower claims costs by achieving better compliance, treatment outcomes, and reducing the length of the case."

To read the full article, please click here.


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