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Developing a Future of Greatness with the African American Network

Sherwin-Williams continues to build a culture of Conscious Inclusion through our ERGs. The African American Network’s (AAN) mission is to provide meaningful leadership and professional networking opportunities at all levels of the organization, while attracting, developing, retaining and progressing talent.


In 2021, the AAN launched a bimonthly professional development series for employees to strengthen leadership skills, share best practices and help peers meet their professional goals. In celebration of Black History Month, the series began in February and continued through November.


Yentil Rawlinson, Sherwin-Williams Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, spoke to the value this opportunity brought to the entire organization. “One of my favorite things is that this series supports the Company goal of getting underrepresented groups into elevated roles,” she said. “It helps employees build those important skills that are necessary for the next step in their careers and is such a value-add to Sherwin-Williams.”


Open to all employees, each continuous learning session garnered more than 200 participants, with the largest event having nearly 400 employees in attendance. “We saw participants from all levels – from individual contributors all the way to vice presidents,” Rawlinson explained. “We find that the demand is there for enterprise-wide events such as this, and some employees even partake as a group – so it brings people together.” Eric Easter, Sherwin-Williams Corporate IT Senior Business Analyst and Chairman of the Corporate AAN, reflected on what it was like to be a speaker during the Mastering the Behavioral Interview session. “Presenting during this series was an honor for me,” he said. 


There is more on the horizon for AAN and the professional development series in 2022. The group plans to build on the momentum and continue growing the events. “Our goal is to reach more people, more audiences and more learning opportunities,” Rawlinson concluded. Easter shared similar sentiments about the future. “My wish is that the tools and advice we are providing the next generation of leaders are useful in their quest for greatness,” he added.



This story is featured in the Sherwin-Williams 2021 Sustainability Report.