My Diversity Experiences At The Singapore Plant

“Sir, I would like to talk to you about the Process Engineer position at Celanese Singapore. Is it convenient to talk now?” I said as I asked the recruiter.

“Sure. It’s convenient to speak now. Could you please repeat the name of the company?”

And thus began my journey with Celanese. My first experience with diversity at Celanese was when I met the team that came to Mumbai for job interviews. After the usual interview questions, I was given an opportunity to ask some questions. I remember asking: “Do you have someone from India working there?” I was told you’d be surprised – and you bet I was.

I realized our plant is a potpourri of people from seven countries, speaking at least 11 different languages, practicing various religions, and in a single year we celebrate four distinct cultural events

Each day you learn something new – it could about food, how we raise our kids, places to shop, social taboos, cultural traditions and working styles.

It amazes me, even now, how we function as one team and bring out the best in each other. It is diverse and equally inclusive.

Was it all smooth sailing for me? No, there were challenges. I would wonder why someone reacts in a particular way and not the way I would expect. Why would someone feel offended after asking for a frank opinion? Why were colleagues calling their bosses by their names and not using “Mr/Madam.” There were so many why.

I soon realized that this place is different because we (the Celanese Singapore plant) adopted and took the best of all the cultures and experiences; and now we have something very special going on here.

Where I came from, why I eat vegetarian food, or what my religious inclinations are never mattered.

The things that mattered were what I contributed, how much effort I put in, did it help someone solve a problem, did I learn something new, and could I identify our next challenge?

I would like take this opportunity to thank everyone here for giving me such an enriching experience – and now the onus is on me to continue our wonderful tradition and share this experience to all the new colleagues that will join us in the coming years.

Team Singapore – One Celanese.

Take a bow.

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About the author


Harish Devan Harsha is Project Engineering Leader and Warehouse Manager at the Celanese Singapore plant. He began his career at Celanese 6 years ago as a Process Engineer and has moved within the organization taking on various roles. He likes to spend time his spare time listening to podcasts and explaining how things work to his 4 year old daughter.

There are 6 comments. Add yours.

  1. Anna An says:

    Hi Harish,

    Thanks for sharing your interesting experience. I was also very surprised on the diversity of our Singapore plant on my first trip. Later on, I was impressed on the high efficiency of Singapore team. New VAE facility will also add on product diversity to Singapore in 2H this year and I am sure your guys can do a good job to embrace the new facility

  2. Ashwin Jani says:

    Kudos to a great article. I was fortunate to contribute to one of many successful TA’s at Singapore’s facility in the past.
    By accepting and being proud of the differences, Singapore site has successfully united the people of different backgrounds around common goals.
    Your site is indeed a role model for diversity and unity.

  3. gretchen says:

    Harish, thanks for sharing your story. As you point out, we are enriched by working with many different people and cultures.

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