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Senior Vp and Managing Director, Worldwide Field Operations and Administrative Manager, Claims
Chubb & Son Inc.
Warren, New Jersey
Doris Johnson, who has served in her current position since 1991, was Chubb’s first female senior vp and managing director in claims. Ms. Johnson leads the worldwide claims and house counsel operations with more than 2,000 field and home office employees. Ms. Johnson began her career at Chubb in 1975, supervising a team of adjusters. She was one of the first members of Chubb’s Executive Development Council and the Women’s Development Council, a Chubb employee resource group. She also is a member of Chubb’s Executive Diversity Council.
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "You are entering a very exciting industry, and one that has a lot of moving parts. Consider this a journey in which you not only go deep to master a subject area, but go broad to see how all the parts go together. Continually learn the industry inside and out. The insurance industry responds to the needs of the world. Be fully aware that this industry is driven by customer needs. Understand the customer’s needs, respond to the customer’s needs by knowing the vehicles available to help and how to put those vehicles together."
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: "I have had a number of people, particularly direct managers, who have had an influence on my career. When I joined this industry, women were not terribly prevalent, and certainly not at higher levels. After about five years, I worked for a manager that came up from the technical ranks. There were many things he did not like to do. He recognized my talent and would throw things my way, like doing a departmental presentation. That made me have to do it. I prepared. That gave me confidence. I had to brave worlds that I would have been reticent to take on. I became his ‘go-to’ person. It forced me to learn. He became very comfortable with my ability and put me forward, making me visible to senior staff."
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "I think if I could change one thing about the industry, I would change how it is viewed. It is viewed as a necessary evil instead of as an enabler. I believe the public doesn’t really see the industry as a risk-sharing partner that enables them to do the risk taking to grow their business. There are things that we could not do but for this industry. I don’t think we do an excellent job of putting out those facts. Because of that, we don’t get enough talented young people coming into the industry. They don’t understand all of the different things that they could do."
Business Insurance's report on "Women to Watch" is our attempt to identify some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.