Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



December 2013/January 2018

Diversity/Careers December 2013/January 2018

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Diversity In Action

Aetna adds techs to address changes in healthcare

Aetna is hiring tech pros to help leverage technology for business. A diverse workforce spurs innovation that can help bring new ideas to the market

The healthcare industry is changing. As Aetna navigates the new environment, the company plans to hire technology professionals to help drive innovative and technological advances to transform healthcare.

Aetna’s acquisition of Coventry Health Care was finalized in May, and the company now provides medical, dental and pharmacy benefits to 22 million people. There are more than a million medical professionals in its networks, including over 600,000 primary care doctors and specialists and 5,400 hospitals.

Services as well as insurance
Aetna does more than provide health insurance. The company also offers products, tools and services to reduce costs and improve quality and access to care, through case management, disease management and patient safety programs, reports Grace Figueredo, chief diversity officer. Members have access to a personalized secure website to help them manage their health and financial well-being.

Aetna’s CarePass, an open online platform launched in 2012, integrates digital health devices and apps to create a “wellness experience” for consumers, whether or not they are Aetna members. The company plans to add apps to the platform in fitness, nutrition, behavioral, pharmacy and other key health categories.

More techs needed for new services
The company’s data-driven approach means that 40 percent of new positions will be filled by IT professionals. “Innovation and technology are critical elements in our industry and will drive the future of healthcare,” says Loren Jenkins, diversity recruiting lead.

Jenkins reports there are IT job opportunities in application development, IT architecture, software testing, database management, project management, strategic planning, infrastructure and networking, and strategic planning. Tech environments include mobile, cloud, big data and social media. “We look for creativity, innovation, critical thinking and collaborative skills,” she notes. Aetna is looking for IT professionals who have expertise in software development lifecycle, application development and design, enterprise architecture, Java, J2EE, .Net, mainframe technologies, infrastructure and networking solutions, database administration and analysis and delivery management.

The company recruits experienced IT pros through social media networking and national diversity career fairs. Aetna recruiters work with the National Black MBA Association, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and Asian MBAs and more. “In addition to Aetna’s main career site, we also offer job portals for people with disabilities and military veterans,” says Jenkins.

For early-career tech pros
Aetna’s internship programs grew 62 percent in 2013, to involve more than160 students. “We expect continued growth in our internship programs for college students and more leadership training programs for new grads in the future,” says Mark Simone, head of Aetna’s university relations. The internship programs run from May through August and are available to students who have completed their first year in college. Internships are available in major cities: Hartford, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, New York, Phoenix and more.

Aetna’s IT leadership development program is a three-year rotational program for new graduates in CS, MIS, engineering, business-related disciplines or the sciences. A yearlong post-graduate internship started in 2012 looks for mathematics or engineering majors who use their knowledge of data modeling to optimize Aetna’s business. “Quantitative analysis is a not a traditional role for healthcare companies,” says Simone, “but it has become an important one.”

A chance to have an impact
“Once employees come on board, there are many ways for them to develop and grow their careers,” says Figueredo. “There’s a lot of movement within the organization. People become engaged and involved through stretch assignments, cross-sector teams and project work.”

“I want the college population to know that there are more opportunities than they might think at Aetna,” says Simone. “There are many entry points, and many ways to pursue innovation. Their voices are being heard.”

Diversity across the board
Aetna is engaged in community projects across the country. Some are extensive commitments, like a diabetes pilot project with the Medical Clinic of North Texas, while others focus more on art, education and fun, like the Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival in Hartford, where Aetna is a regular participant.

Many community events get support from Aetna’s ERGs, which focus on the concerns of racial and ethnic minorities as well as LGBT employees, women, veterans, people with disabilities, members of different generations and more.

“Our company is working to change the healthcare paradigm of today,” says Figueredo. “We leverage technology to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. This is an incredibly exciting time for healthcare as an industry.”


aetna.com; aetna.jobs;

Headquarters: Hartford, CT
Employees: 49,000
Revenues: $34.54 billion
Business: Health insurance products and related services

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