08:17 AM

New American Family CEO signs diversity and inclusion action pledge

Company’s strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion continues


CEO Bill Westrate has recommitted to the pledge, which is the largest business-led CEO initiative to advance inclusion in the workplace. 

Bill Westrate, who took over as CEO of American Family Insurance in January, has joined nearly 2,000 corporate leaders in signing the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the largest business-led CEO initiative to advance inclusion in the workplace.

The company’s former CEO, Jack Salzwedel, signed the pledge in 2018. Westrate’s signing reaffirms the company’s strong and ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).Bill Westrate

The pledge represents an agreement to take action to cultivate an environment where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcomed, and employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion. At companies that have already implemented such action, the CEOs commit to supporting other companies in doing the same.

“It’s about embracing diverse perspectives to enhance our culture and ability to create value for our customers,” Westrate said, reflecting on the company’s DEI journey. “It requires commitment and strong and persistent actions. I believe there’s an authenticity today that took time to build, and the work will continue.”

While American Family’s ongoing journey has occurred over decades, the company has taken several major steps in its commitment since 2018, including:

  • Creating a division focused entirely on DEI, including driving inclusive practices, learnings and conversations throughout the organization. 
  • Establishing an Executive Diversity Council of senior leaders who are committed to driving a culture of inclusion.
  • Adding several new employee-led business resource groups (BRGs), which provide networking, education and input on business practices and decisions regarding diversity.
  • Founding the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, which focuses on closing equity gaps across communities.
  • Making diversity part of the company’s strategy by establishing a strategic goal of increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of its workforce by 50 percent by 2024.
  • Taking actions to support employees and create safe psychological space for important and difficult conversations.

For additional perspectives from Westrate on diversity, equity and inclusion and why it’s important to the company and customers, listen to these audio clips.

Bill Westrate on Embracing Diversity (49 seconds)
Bill Westrate on Diverse Perspectives (14 seconds)
Bill Westrate on DEI in Strategic Plan (14 seconds)

(reporters, if interested in using audio clips, please contact media relations for downloadable versions)


About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 232 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The GeneralHomesite and Main Street America Insurance. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.