AkzoNobel’s Women Inspired Network (WIN) North America Chapter presented a panel discussion to help all colleagues become better allies to women in the workplace. The panelists discussed why they are passionate about being allies to women in the workplace, why it matters that senior executives are active allies to women and explored ways that everyone can contribute to the advancement of women at work.
"When women are empowered, they lift their communities with them," said Michelle Sullivan, Vehicle Refinishes sales manager for the U.S. East Region and the company’s Women’s Inspired Network North America Board president. “Our programing for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month aligns with the theme ‘Elevating Women’ and showcases how women are influencing the paint and coatings industry which has historically been male dominated. We are excited to share women’s journey from within our company and externally, where involvement in industry organizations inspire women across North America to reach their full potential."
AkzoNobel's goal is to have 30% of females in the workplace holding leadership-level positions by 2025. The company recently conducted a region-wide town hall discussing the importance of men holding one another accountable for uplifting women and being their allies. A study by the Boston consulting group found that when men become directly involved in gender diversity, both men and women believe that their company is making much more significant progress in achieving gender parity. The data showed that among companies where men are actively involved in gender diversity, 96% report progress. Conversely, among companies where men are not involved, only 30% show progress.
Senior male leaders in the ally panel discussion emphasize the best way to support their female colleagues is first to take responsibility for their actions, research why women need allies in the workplace and constantly challenge themselves daily to be better by taking time to self-reflect. Dr. Pam Wilson, Product Sustainability manager for the Industrial Coatings business and WIN NAM Board member, stated: “One example of how men can be an ally in the workplace is by providing opportunities to elevate women into leadership roles.” Forging gender equity isn't limited to women solely fighting the good fight. Allies are essential for women's social, economic, cultural and political advancement. Join the conversation with us this month on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as we discuss the impact women are making at AkzoNobel using #EmbraceEquity.
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