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DE&I Profile:

Bernice Jenkins CMA, CPA, MBA, Senior Accountant, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

Get an inside look into diversity at IMA. Bernice Jenkins shares her story.

Describe your current professional role and title.

I am a senior accountant for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. I’ve been with BCBSAL for 11 years. Prior to this, I’ve worked for several other organizations as a corporate auditor, financial analyst, and consultant.

What volunteer activities have you been involved in at IMA?

I serve on two of IMA’s standing advisory committees – Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and the ICMA Exam Review Committee. I co-lead the Education Working group for the D&I Committee. I also serve as the D&I liaison for the Volunteer Leadership Committee (VLC) of IMA’s Global Board of Directors. Additionally, I am a strong supporter of IMA’s Campus Influencers program and was recently named a campus influencers “superstar” for making over four campus visits across the state of Alabama in 2019.

Where were you originally born and raised? Is there anything about your culture you may want to share with the IMA community?

I was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama – a city that is known as the birthplace of the U.S. civil rights movement. My parents grew up under Jim Crow laws in a segregated education system and have participated in many of the freedom marches and civil rights protests. Their personal experiences have certainly shaped the convictions in my heart and my views on diversity, inclusion, and equity. However, I didn’t realize how limited those views were until I spent time working in Eastern Europe.

Many of the people who I met in Eastern Europe had their own stories that were remarkably similar to my parents. I learned that underserved and marginalized communities extend beyond racial lines and is far more complex on a global scale. International exposure coupled with my personal background has fueled my passion for diversity initiatives and helping others.

What are your hobbies, interests?

I am single with no kids so I spend a lot of time exploring various interests, such as fitness, cooking, and traveling. Lately, I have been challenging myself in the area of fitness. Several years ago, I started a couch to 5K running program that eventually led to training for a half marathon. Now, I’ve gotten into weight lifting after falling in love with CrossFit. I am currently training for my first CrossFit competition in December and I’m super excited about it.

What can IMA do to expand on its D&I initiative in support of its members?

There are so many facets of diversity that will shift based on the different regions of the world. Therefore, a “one size fits all” method will not be an effective global strategy. IMA’s global footprint gives it a unique advantage to become a thought leader for D&I initiatives. In support of our global members, I think that we can expand on D&I initiatives by finding an efficient way to capture the voice of our customer (members) based on their region/country. Our ability to capture this in a manner that helps us to interpret their needs will be a huge win!