ERGs Enabling Tough Conversations


The Hartford needs to begin to have tougher conversations in the workplace for two reasons. One, we are at an inflection point in our D&I journey and as we help build employee capability on inclusive behaviors, we see signs that we are ready to have them. Two, our employees tell us that they are impacted by external/societal issues such as social unrest and bias. Because our 8 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are innovative providers of quality D&I programming, we needed to leverage them to help us learn more about having tough conversations across difference. 


To help us address these situations, our ERGs provided two powerful panel discussions that were available to all employees.

The first session was a Cultural Sensitivity panel where members of several ERGs offered up personal experiences as well as advice from HR and Employment Law on how to approach tough conversations. The panelists also discussed how embracing cultural differences can result in stronger teamwork and drive business growth.

The second session was on Women of Color in the Workplace and included women from our Black, Hispanic and Asian ERGs. This frank and honest discussion on the challenges women of color face at The Hartford provided all who attended with special insights into and a deeper appreciation for their work colleagues.


These personal and impactful approaches to talking openly and honestly about issues of race and cultural awareness demonstrated that The Hartford cares about our employees and gave credibility to our commitment to providing safe and inclusive work environments. They provided concrete examples and skill building on how to approach tough conversations. We are just beginning our efforts to help employees have bold conversations across difference, and these ERG events helped jump start this work. Our goal is to continue to build trust, eliminate barriers and allow every employee to feel like they belong.


Susan Johnson
[email protected]

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