We recognized that women are under-represented at senior leadership roles in senior corporate positions.
The Ashland Women's International Network (AWIN) is one of Ashland's inclusive employee resource groups, that was established with a vision "to become the company of choice for women." By heightening awareness and addressing the unique business needs of women in the company, AWIN takes relationship building to a new level. It recognizes and values contributions made by women to Ashland's business and the company's culture and makes full use of their business potential. AWIN in collaboration with an external partner, SOAR 365, designed the "Dare to SOAR" program. Dare to SOAR provides additional training to high potential female employeesto help further their personal and professional development as well as prepare them for career advancement.
The Dare to SOAR program was piloted in Ashland's North America region by 80 high performing women who were nominated by their managers. Based on the success of the pilot Dare to SOAR program was extended across North America in 2016 and further expanded to Europe in 2017. Survey results indicat ed that 95% of the women reported gaining confidence in their leadership abilities, experienced a positive change in their career and are very motivated to continue their leadership development.
In 2017, AWIN worked with SOAR to launch a version of the program specifically for the women who work in Ashland's manufacturing facilities. Globally, more than 120 Ashland women have successfully completed our SOAR programs. To maintain connectivity with the graduates and for continued education, AWIN offers an interactive digital, cloud-based, mobile platform with SOAR. The curriculum is designed to develop key business skills and change behavior, with an emphasis on areas that tend to hold women back. It includes opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. Moreover, it also provides managers a toolkit to help them develop and support the personnel development plans of the women in their organization.
Currently, more than 120 SOAR 365 training graduates and 250 women enrolled in the SOAR Continued Education platform.
Enhancing our diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do and is crucial to Ashland's success.