CVS Health training tells employees to 'understand their privilege' and hire based on diversity

Employees were told to 'understand their privilege' and to hire and promote diverse candidates

A recording from within the confines of CVS Health corporation shows CVS employees receiving "woke training" pressing them to make "a personal commitment plan" to "mitigate bias."

"Understanding your privileges and how to leverage them so we can support others is a key component in being an active ally," CVS employees were told on an online call obtained by Fox Business.


"Allyship is the act of advocating for as well as supporting communities other than your own," the instructor added. "So being an ally means that we’re aware of our own identities as well as the intersectional identities of others. We’re recognizing and actively mitigating bias, and we’re modeling inclusive leadership behaviors."

At another point in the recording, employees were told to fill out a "personal commitment plan" outlining ways they pledge to "take specific action" to "mitigate bias" and "practice conscious inclusion" in the next five days, five weeks and five months. 

"Making those measurable commitments is an important step to actually making sure that you are moving forward in this journey," the instructor told employees. "Wherever you currently are in the journey. We all have room to grow."

Fox Business also obtained slides from the presentation, which provided instructions on how to carry out "allyship," including "seeking to learn about and understand the needs of marginalized people."


Another slide instructs employees in leadership roles to "source diverse talent" and "prioritize promoting diverse talent." Additionally, the slide said that senior directors and above "will formally or informally mentor one diverse mentee a year."

The audiotape comes on the heels of a report from journalist Christopher Rufo, who obtained CVS Health training that told CVS employees to circle their identities — including race, gender, sexuality and religion — and then to reflect on their "privilege" during a discussion with co-workers. According to Rufo, "Examples of privilege, according to a checklist, included ‘celebrat[ing] Christmas,’ ‘hav[ing] a name that is easy to pronounce,’ ‘feel[ing] safe in your neighborhood at night,’ and ‘feel[ing] confident in my leadership style.’"

Additionally, Rufo’s report said that employees were told to acknowledge their "white privilege."

Last month, Fox Business reported that CVS Health is holding a "conscious inclusion workshop" that aims to teach employees how to hold each other "accountable" for non-inclusive behaviors.

An internal email obtained by FOX Business showed David Casey, SVP of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, discussing the four-week program. The first three weeks included 20-30 minutes of self-study per week, leading up to a two-hour virtual workshop in the fourth.


In the email, Casey continued by outlining different skills employees will build during the workshop's fourth week. Those included learning how to "identify unconscious bias in your day-to-day interactions and experiences," "demonstrate bravery by speaking up and having difficult conversations when observing non-inclusive behaviors" and "commit to holding yourself and your colleagues accountable to consistently embrace diversity of all kinds, and take swift action against non-inclusive behaviors." 

CVS Health did not immediately respond to a request from Fox Business on the recently obtained audio but said in a statement last month that the new workshop was "part of our nearly $600 million commitment to address racial inequality."