In the latest episode of the new CBJ podcast, “Diversity Straight Up,” hosts Sarika Bhakta and Anthony Arrington speak with Marci Chickering, executive vice president and chief human resources officer with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, about gender parity in the C-suite, building diversity in the insurance industry and finding people’s innate gifts.

Listen below or subscribe to the show at SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher. Diversity Straight Up is presented by Collins Aerospace, the city of Cedar Rapids and Alliant Energy.

About Marci Chickering:
Marci Chickering has more than 20 years’ experience working in the human resources profession. She joined Wellmark in 2003 and served in multiple HR roles prior to her 2009 appointment to senior vice president – human resources. Ms. Chickering is currently executive vice president – chief human resources officer. Before joining Wellmark, she served in leadership roles with Principal Financial Group, COVA (Met Life) and Advent Enterprises Inc. (now Job Point).

Ms. Chickering currently is a member of the Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Board. Her previous affiliations include University of Iowa’s REACH Advisory Board, GlobalFit Board, Greater Des Moines Partnership and Workforce Development/Education Board and Partnership for Drug Free Iowa/Face It Together Board.

About the hosts:
Sarika Bhakta is president of Nikeya Diversity Consulting and a Certified Diversity Executive with more than 20 years of experience in leadership, management, talent attraction/retention and resource acquisition/development. Born in Gujarat, India and raised in the Midwest, Sarika empowers leaders to identify their authentic self to be successful change agents in today’s global economy.

Anthony Arrington is co-founder and managing partner with Top RANK Professional & Executive Search and Consulting, a search firm focused on helping companies acquire professional and executive-level talent, with a special emphasis on diverse and inclusive leadership. He has more than 20 years of experience in management, strategic planning, leadership and staff development in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.