Diversity and Demographics

Cleveland Clinic, a large, multi-disciplinary healthcare system, endeavors to create an inclusive organization that provides the best care and outcomes for our patients and promotes engagement through the best work experience for our caregivers. Achieving this as a global healthcare provider requires creating and sustaining a culturally competent workforce. As demographics continue to change with ethnic and racial minorities becoming majority populations by 2042, Cleveland Clinic recognizes it is crucial we track REaL (Race, Ethnicity, and Language) data metrics. This is an additional method applied across the enterprise to provide the best care for our patients, caregivers and the community. Programming from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) complements our efforts in building and sustaining a culturally competent and diverse caregiver population. In 2015, for the sixth year in a row, DiversityInc. recognized Cleveland Clinic as one of the top 5 healthcare systems for diversity and inclusion.

The support of the Executive Leadership for ODI provides opportunity to promote and grow our community partnerships in an effort to impact the economic vitality of our diverse communities. The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration hosts more than 650 community-wide participants and caregivers and delivers a message of equity and equality for all. Celebrate Sisterhood is an event acting as a catalyst for multicultural women to self-manage and advocate for their health transformation. The impact of the October 2015 event is reflected by the attendance of over 800 participants and more than 1,200 health screenings conducted for those in attendance. Annually, ODI acts as a major sponsor for the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s Diversity Walk, Rock & Run and provides health screenings, information and participation for over 7,000 community-wide attendees.

Learn More about our Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Employee Resource Groups

Association of ERG Trophy

Cleveland Clinic has 11 ERGs across the enterprise and 19 location-specific Diversity Councils (DCs). The ERGs and DCs sponsor strategic programming that increases awareness of the healthcare and wellness needs of our diverse patient population and provide caregivers with the opportunity to increase their cultural competence. Additionally, these groups raise awareness of health disparities and inequitable care that may exist in the organization and across the communities served. Two of Cleveland Clinic’s ERGs were recognized by the National Association of ERG and Councils for their contributions and achievements in leading organizational diversity processes and demonstrating results in the workforce, workplace, and marketplace. Both ClinicPride (#17) and SALUD (#23) were among the top 25 ERGs recognized nationwide.

The ClinicPride (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Allies – LGBTA) Employee Resource Group recognized the barriers to receiving equitable LGBT care and therefore devised a strategic plan to address LGBT health through a virtual LGBT Health site. Launched in June 2015, the site was created to provide information on health disparities in the LGBT populations, community resources, and a list of Cleveland Clinic physicians with specialty interest in LGBT healthcare.

The African American Employee Resource Group (AAERG) is a system-wide, employee-led group for Cleveland Clinic’s African American caregivers. In addition to hosting educational forums to raise awareness about health disparities and wellness, the group’s primary aim is to support Cleveland Clinic’s diversity and inclusion strategy to retain, develop and promote minority talent. To achieve this, the AAERG launched an annual Professional Development Workshop Series for front-line caregivers. The third workshop held in 2015 resulted in 30 front-line caregiver participants.


In 2015, SALUD, the Hispanic/Latino Employee Resource Group, developed the 1st fully bilingual health and wellness youth outreach program in Northeast Ohio, ACTiVOS, which means “being active” in Spanish. ACTiVOS seeks to engage youth to become physically active and inspire them to adopt health behaviors by incorporating fun, educational dialogues and fitness activities with incentivized awards and prizes. This is an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved program that focuses on impacting obesity, diabetes, and asthma rates in youth. The 2015 program metrics illustrate improved BMI indicators of participants by 56%.

Language Enrichment Programs


Language differences can interfere with a clinician’s ability to communicate with patients, colleagues and visitors. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s analysis of REaL (Race, Ethnicity, and Language) data indicated the need to develop Spanish and Arabic language skills of caregivers, based on the population served. Through in-person and online Language Enrichment Programs, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion seeks to enhance communication skills of physicians, nurses, administrators, and allied health professionals, to improve and enhance patient relationships and experiences.

Courses include Spanish for Healthcare Professionals, Basic & Intermediate Arabic, Accent Modification, and English as a Second Language. In 2015, participants demonstrated a 40% increase in knowledge and language skills.

Cultural Competence Training

Cleveland Clinic strives to create the most culturally competent caregivers to provide the best patient care and promote how we effectively work with each other. Instructor-led training is available throughout the year in both scheduled and customized offerings. Some of the trainings include New Leader Orientation, Foundation for Diversity & Inclusion, Bringing Your Whole Self to Work, Cultural Differences at End of Life, and Disability Etiquette.

As we continue to expand our cultural competence at Cleveland Clinic, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion created the “Unconscious Bias Subcommittee” comprised of key leaders and updated our cultural competency training required for all caregivers. This initiative builds the foundation to address Healthy Equity, Health Disparity, and Population Health at all levels of our system.

An online Diversity and Inclusion module created by and for Cleveland Clinic caregivers is completed by all new hires and existing employee caregivers. All caregivers are required to complete this module on an annual basis.

Pipeline Programs

Increasing the enrollment of underrepresented minorities (URM) in the health professions is of increasing importance and urgency. Cleveland Clinic takes an innovative approach to foster the continuing education and development of URM talent into healthcare through a myriad of programs for talented high school and college students. These Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Medicine (STEMM), and Dentistry diversity pipeline development programs provide students interested in futures within the healthcare industry with career information, team-based experiential learning, problem-solving expertise, enhancing professional etiquette, and coaching/mentoring from medical and business professionals.

One such pipeline program, the Charles R. Drew Saturday Academy in collaboration with Health Legacy of Cleveland Incorporated, is a 12-week enrichment program held on consecutive Saturdays in the first quarter of each year. Success has been measured in 2015 by Student Survey Summary results of 4.8 out of 5 and Parent Survey Summary results of 4.7 out of 5 overall satisfaction with this program.

Another of these programs is Clinic Solutions, a think tank for URM undergraduate and graduate-level college students majoring in finance, accounting, marketing, information technology, business administration, and other business-related fields. Participants are teamed to address relevant healthcare challenges in a mini-case competition for scholarship dollars.

Caregiver Demographics

Cleveland Clinic hires extensively from our local talent. In 2015, Cleveland Clinic employed 49,000 caregivers, over 94% in Northeast Ohio.

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Human Rights and Labor Standards

Cleveland Clinic understands the importance of human capital and is committed to diversity and inclusion. We provide equal opportunity across all employment practices, including recruitment, selection, training, promotion, transfer and compensation, without regard to age, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, color, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, ethnicity, ancestry, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law (“protected categories”). In addition, Cleveland Clinic administers all personnel actions without regard to disability and provides reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified disabled individuals.

Cleveland Clinic strives to foster a culturally sensitive workforce and provides cultural competency online training to new hires and to all caregivers annually, as well as instructor-led trainings and individual coaching to provide ongoing cultural competency development across the enterprise.

Under Cleveland Clinic policy, employees are entitled to file complaints relating to possible discriminatory treatment or other violations of policy with their managers, Human Resources and/or our confidential Compliance Reporting line. Investigations take place after each report is made, and corrective action is taken as necessary. Employees are also entitled, by law, to submit complaints regarding alleged discriminatory actions with various state and federal agencies. During the calendar year 2015 no findings of probable cause were issued by any administrative agency.

Cleveland Clinic’s compensation system is designed to provide wages that are externally competitive and internally equitable; it includes a review process for any market-driven salary offer that has the potential to disrupt internal equity. Cleveland Clinic offers an integrated, competitive and comprehensive benefits package that applies to substantially all part-time and full-time caregivers who are scheduled to work at least 40 hours per two-week pay period, with the exception of short-term disability and long-term disability benefits that are only available to full-time caregivers. All caregivers with the exception of students, residents/fellows and research associates participate in a noncontributory, defined contribution plan to assist with long-term financial planning and retirement. Cleveland Clinic’s contribution for the plan is based upon a percentage of caregiver compensation and years of service. Cleveland Clinic also sponsors a defined contribution plan, an employee-guided investment fund (403b), which is available to full-time, part-time or PRN caregivers and has a participation rate of 80%. This plan matches caregiver investments in the fund at a rate of 50 percent, up to 6 percent of employee contribution. As plans change over time, employee contributions and benefits in defunct plans are frozen and future withholdings utilize active plans.

Our policies prohibit off-the-clock work for non-exempt caregivers, as well as supervisory behavior that permits, encourages or requires off-the-clock work. Our timekeeping systems and policies are designed to comply with applicable federal and state regulations regarding pay, including accurate calculation of overtime compensation. Human Resources policies address appropriate use of independent contractors, student interns and hospital volunteers. We adhere to state regulations regarding working hours, duties and breaks for caregivers who are minors. Prior to commencing employment, every minor under the age of 18 must possess a valid Age and Schooling Certificate (work permit) unless otherwise exempted as stated in Chapter 4109 of the Ohio Revised Code. Ohio law restricts the hours of work of minors and prohibits their employment in occupations that are considered hazardous to their health.


Watch this video as Cleveland Clinic caregivers tell inspiring stories of how their global and diverse backgrounds contribute to them providing the best patient care

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In 2015, our employee numbers grew to more than 49,000 caregivers!

National Association of ERG Awards

Association of ERG Trophy

Awards are given to caregivers who work to raise awareness of the healthcare needs of our diverse patients.