Susan Johnson, The Hartford
Chief diversity and inclusion officer
Years in the industry: 7
Susan Johnson joined The Hartford specifically to lead the company’s diversity and inclusion work. “The Hartford has a strong culture and a CEO and CHRO who supported D&I and saw the value and need to align it with the business model, which had just gone through a lot of transformation,” she says.
Johnson came to the role with a significant amount of experience in D&I, and she continues to be very active in the area throughout the industry. She is on the national board of directors for NAAIA, serving as both board secretary and program chair; has been on the planning committee for the IICF’s Women in Insurance Conference for more than five years; sits on IIABA’s Diversity Council, helping drive D&I initiatives within the independent agent environment; was one of the initiators of the RIMS Talent Management Study released in 2019; and serves as The Hartford’s representative to Gamma Iota Sigma for its GammaSAID diversity initiative.
“I care about the success and expansion of Black/African Americans in the insurance industry,” Johnson says. “Through the recent months of social unrest and calls for greater racial equity, my commitment has accelerated. Some of the barriers people of color face to growth and promotion in the industry include developing authentic relationships with people who can sponsor them; having to work extra hard to get developmental, complex assignments to help them grow; and not always being keyed into the unwritten rules to success. Remedying this will require industry-wide effort to promote insurance careers to people of color, as well as highlighting successful people of color and really telling their stories in compelling and interesting ways.”