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.
As a senior in high school, my dad came home from work one night and asked me two questions about my day. The first was standard and straightforward … “How was your day?” The second, “What did you do to help someone today?” Recounting my day, as an arrogant and self-absorbed eighteen year-old, I had to shamefully respond with, “Nothing.” That moment sticks in mind. My father wasn’t angry, he never brought it up again and probably doesn’t even remember it. I do however. I remember thinking how easy it should have been to do ONE THING to make someone else’s day better.
What if everyone, before they went to bed at night, made a point to do one nice thing for someone else that day?
In a Ted Talk video featured at the launch of the Dallas chapter of B.O.L.D. (Blacks Organized for Leadership Development), Verna Myers said,
“We can’t just decide not to see color. The problem was never that we saw color; it’s what we did when we saw color.” She went on to say, “While we’re busy pretending not to see, we are not being aware of the ways in which racial difference is changing people’s possibilities.”
I think we’d all like to believe we’re color-blind when it comes to racial diversity, but unfortunately, we’ve got a long way to go toward making equality the rule rather than the exception.
Every September Celanese is inspired by the collective efforts of our employees who make a difference during Global Impact Month. This year 36 sites participated, including 2,495 employees, who organized 3,503 projects and logged 32,102 volunteer hours. That brings our year to date total to 112,932 hours! Thanks to everyone who participated! It’s great to see our people in the community demonstrating our company value of Improving the World.
I had the privilege this month to serve as “nap buddy” at Vogel Alcove, an education center for homeless children of Dallas. I must admit, I was mildly disappointed to learn that being a nap buddy did not involve a nap for me . . . I love a good nap. But 10 minutes into our tour of the school, I was hopelessly devoted to helping make a difference to these precious children with no homes, if only for a few hours.
Who would have ever guessed that Dallas, Texas has the highest child poverty rate in the country among cities with more than one million people, or that 30-percent of Dallas children grow up in poverty? As a mother, this tore at my heart strings.