I have the coolest job at Celanese. In process safety, we save lives, protect the environment and preserve all our jobs by keeping bad things from happening in our manufacturing plants. This may seem like a rather bold statement, but consider the toxic gas release that occurred in Bhopal, India in 1984. The company which had the incident no longer exist. The chemical industry was transformed in a positive way through regulations and voluntary improvements to the way we design, build, operate and maintain our manufacturing facilities. The Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) was formed as a result of that incident. The field of process safety exists to prevent these low-probability, high-consequence incidents. The worst attitude we could adopt is to think “it can’t happen here.”
It was the middle of Summer. I had been leading the Florence Facility Pride Team for almost a year, and we had rolled out some great events and initiatives. This day, I was setting up the Town Hall room for a guest speaker through our ERG shared program called “Through One’s Eyes.” It is a way for WIN, Young Professionals and Pride to bring true stories of the community to share in our message of diversity and inclusion. This month, it was Paula Ison, and she was going to speak about her life being transgender.
Paula began her life story and invited anyone to ask whatever they wished. No holds barred. Many attendees asked some great questions, and then a man raised his hand.
In September I had an opportunity to participate in a networking event with the Budapest Shared Services Center (BSSC) in Hungary. This was not a traditional “job fair” event, but instead a relaxed, after-hours event where we invited people to come in and learn more about the BSSC, its people and culture. Instead of a booth and a line, we mixed with potential candidates and were able to have individual or small group conversations.
As a talent acquisition professional, listening to people is the most important thing I do. So, when I meet with potential candidates, my role isn’t to just start talking about all of the great reasons to work for Celanese; it’s to listen to what is important to them and then help guide them to the connection with Celanese.
During the course of my conversations, it became clear that several of the prospects were keenly interested in working for companies that were involved in the community and the world.
“Teacher, Teacher, Teacher….” The kids’ voices still echo in my mind. One month ago, I jumped on the flight to South Africa for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP).
In Johannesburg Airport, an African lady gave a helping hand when I was totally lost in front of the complicated transfer process. She helped me to pass the migration office through the clerk channel and claim the luggage, then sent me to another terminal for the flight check in to Cape Town. Her warm-heartedness made me feel at home.
As former vice president of stewardship and operational excellence, I’ve had the opportunity to experience stewardship from a unique perspective. Having been with Celanese for less than two years, I’m impressed by our extensive commitment to our stewardship culture: worker safety, environmental protection and the commitment to caring for precious natural resources. Among similar companies globally, Celanese rates in the top decile in the world for measured stewardship performance.
Stewardship often brings two things to mind: safety and environmental sustainability – and Celanese is well-known for handling both with diligence and care. But at Celanese, stewardship means more than just avoiding incidents at our facilities and it means more than just protecting the environment. It also means caring for our people, our community, our planet and our customers.
Our most important resource is our people, and we go to great lengths to show our value for the human spirit – to create a culture where each person feels welcomed and appreciated.