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AkzoNobel announced its ongoing commitment to be the exclusive diamond sponsor for the Women’s Industry Network (WIN), which is focused on the development, enhancement and retention of women in the collision repair industry.
This aligns well with AkzoNobel’s own global Women Inspired Network, which launched a few years ago. The purpose of the network is to ensure the experience of all colleagues, regardless of their gender, is equally positive and fair, especially when it comes to recruitment, promotion, talent management and performance.
Michelle Sullivan, U.S. sales director, East, A&SC and former chair of WIN, leads the North American chapter of the AkzoNobel Women Inspired Network, along with nine women from various segments within AkzoNobel. The chapter launched in February 2021.
The vision of the Women Inspired Network, North American chapter is to provide a platform to celebrate our differences. The mission is to connect and inspire, drive inclusive teams, continue to mitigate bias and strengthen leadership diversity. The North American Board has created workshops and events that support the global mission and provides colleagues with tools and resources to enrich their careers at AkzoNobel. They showcase role models within AkzoNobel, conduct networking events, create mentor relationships and bring in subject matter experts for workshops. In addition, there are global events featured quarterly. Today, there are 235 women across North America that make up the chapter and over 1,650 members globally.
“AkzoNobel is pleased to support and champion change within our industry through our sponsorship of the Women’s Industry Network,” said Sullivan. “We are proud of the work that the Women’s Industry Network is doing across North America. It aligns well with our D&I initiatives.”
While some may deem diversity and inclusion tenets as trending buzzwords, AkzoNobel has made it a way of business by fostering these priorities in their daily culture and across the organization.
Online forums allow underrepresented groups a safe space to address concerns and access resources. Unconscious bias training is mandatory for all team members to understand how it can impact others and how to guard against it. AkzoNobel puts a strong focus on its people managers being role models and inspiring behaviors, and the company has also created the “I Belong” guide to provide ideas and examples of how leaders can create an environment where everyone feels included.
“We want to thank AkzoNobel for its long-term commitment to women in the collision repair industry through its continued financial, leadership and resource support of WIN since our inception, as well as the creation of our annual Most Influential Woman award,” said Jenny Anderson, chair of WIN. “WIN’s growth and the ability to achieve our strategic initiatives are made possible by all our sponsors, and we are appreciative of everything they do to strengthen our network, resource our industry and expand our capacity.”
To learn more about opportunities for WIN sponsorship in 2022, click here.