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Celanese Speaks, Employee Growth

A Perspective on Female Engineers at Celanese 

Celanese’s University Recruiting Team recently attended the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. At this World’s Largest Conference for Women Engineers, our recruitment team sought out talented college students, recent graduates and female engineering professionals to introduce them to, and educate them on, the many benefits of working for Celanese. The opportunity to gain valuable engineering experience with a global Fortune 500 company; the culture of diversity and inclusion; and the opportunity to make a difference in the world through our many volunteer initiatives, differentiate Celanese from other companies in the chemicals and materials industry.

Celanese Speaks, Collaboration

Seeing Through Another Person’s Eyes at the Florence Facility 

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.

Celanese Speaks

Being B.O.L.D. 

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.

Celanese Speaks

Keep Up The Momentum – Creating Change And Building Relationships 

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.

Celanese Speaks

A Lesson in Gratitude 

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.

Celanese Speaks

5 Reasons You Should Follow Celanese On Social Media 

As Celanese’s social media manager, I’m deeply involved with the planning and promotion of our company through our various social media platforms. It’s several of the many communication channels I enjoy supporting every day. Here on the CE-Blog, the hub of all things social for us, I thought I would spend some time sharing with you why you should be following us on social media!

Celanese Speaks

Celanese Achieves Second Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge Goal in Four Years 

On May 16, the Department of Energy recognized Celanese Corporation for its goal achievement in the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge for the second time. After meeting its first energy-efficiency target in 2013, Celanese followed up with a new target and met that goal this year, reducing energy intensity within U.S. plants by an additional 21 percent.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Celanese’s highly-diversified product portfolio serves a broad range of end-use applications including paints and coatings, textiles, automotive applications, consumer and medical applications, performance industrial applications, filter media, paper and packaging, chemical additives, construction, consumer and industrial adhesives and food and beverage applications.

Celanese Speaks

A Mother’s Day Gift From Celanese 

Last month, new and future moms at the Celanese Florence, Ky., site got a very meaningful Mother’s Day gift from Celanese. The Florence Women’s Impact Network (WIN) partnered with site leadership to establish a Mother’s Room where they can comfortably and conveniently pump during their work day.

Returning to work after the birth of my son was difficult, to put it mildly. Sure, part of me was anxious to regain a slight sense of normalcy and solve some problems that didn’t involve diapers. But those first weeks of being separated from that tiny human to whom I’d become so irrevocably attached–those were heart wrenching; not to mention the stress of finding child care, balancing the new list of responsibilities, and adjusting to a new sleep schedule.

Celanese Speaks

A Storyteller’s Gem–Celebrating Five Years of the CE-Blog 

I recently attended a social media conference to learn new trends, to connect with communication peers and to leave inspired and refreshed. As a communicator, the emphasis on transparency and social storytelling affirmed Celanese’s communications strategy to have a consistent and authentic voice.

The CE-Blog came to my mind several times over the course of the conference, especially when one speaker shared how to unearth the spirit of a brand through storytelling. She was talking about how a brand’s mission is its story. The more she talked, I couldn’t help but think how great it has been for our company to have created a space to give our employees a voice to our customers, our communities, our teams. This blog has helped to pave the way for our company to build the culture we have today. It speaks to our company values and has been a place where we’ve tackled challenges and shared about the people and the causes we’re most passionate about.

Celanese Speaks

Celanese Celebrates Earth Day 

On April 22, the world unites to celebrate the Earth. Earth Day started in 1970 as an initiative to create appreciation for the environment, support sustainability, maintain biodiversity and emphasize the environmental issues that concern us as humans. Now, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

Increased demand for energy and sustainability have become key issues – or opportunities –  due to the challenges and limitations we are dealing with.  Following this approach and aligning to the Celanese values, Improving the World and Being Sustainable, the Celanese Global Energy Team is celebrating this day as a permanent and sustainable tradition.

Celanese Speaks

How We Integrated a Syrian Refugee in Our Sulzbach Office 

During the past years Europe has been the desired destination of millions of refugees seeking safety and shelter. Not only for Germany this new situation means a big challenge for society. It is a huge responsibility to successfully integrate refugees with a permanent residence permit into our society, culture, language and work environment. That’s why in 2016 various employees from the Frankfurt and Sulzbach site founded the “Celanese refugee initiative Rhine-Main”. Under the umbrella of this initiative we took a step further and were very proud to have our first refugee intern, Mohamed Takika from Syria, working with us in the Celanese Commercial Center in Sulzbach, Germany, in January and February.

Celanese Speaks

Be Open to Being an Ally 

Early in my career I had an experience that changed my views on diversity, opening my eyes to the value of being inclusive and open.  As a young engineer in the early 90s (as my daughters constantly remind me that would be last century), the plant in which I worked in my first job out of the university was required to have off-site diversity training.

Celanese Speaks

Real Time Feedback 

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who said, “I love feedback; in fact I need feedback” only to argue with you on every point you made? Maybe you’ve asked for feedback but the only time you get it is when you’ve done something wrong. Or, are you the type of person who shies away from feedback because it causes so much anxiety? In any case, feedback is important. And even though many of us agree that getting feedback is good, giving it and/or receiving it can be difficult.

Good leaders recognize that feedback happens in various ways, times and regarding a host of different topics or issues. Managers who value differences in others, and strive to be more inclusive to those differences, understand that engaging employees requires constant attention. Feedback has to be tailored to get the intended improvement or change.

Celanese Speaks

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.

Celanese Speaks

Top 10 Blogs of 2015 

What makes a great blog? Is it the practical advice we relate to when employees share about their everyday life? Or is it the empathy and strength we’re inspired by when our colleagues share about the challenges they’ve faced?

In 2015, our top 10 bloggers wrote on a variety of great topics! Thank you for sharing your personal stories with us and making CE-Blog a platform to discuss the things we care about most. So grab a cup a coffee and sit back at your desk as you catch up on the latest and greatest blogs and consider what story you might like to share in 2016!

Celanese Speaks, Employee Growth

Employee Growth – A Leader’s Perspective 

When I was named Chief Financial Officer with an “Interim” tag in front of the title, it was both a great challenge and a great opportunity. I had prepared for years with the goal of becoming a CFO, but when I looked at the criteria in the written description for the CFO position, I understood why our CEO and chairman, Mark Rohr, chose to make me interim rather than full CFO. I came to Celanese with a broad variety of experiences and skill sets in finance and, since 2010, I had had direct ownership of most of the finance and shared services functions at Celanese. But while I had accumulated a great deal of finance experience—and that is what put me in the running for the job—it was clear that I was missing other types of experience. The external search criteria called for candidates who had deep engagement with the business and experience leading cross-company initiatives. My experience in these areas was limited because I’d spent my career playing mostly in the finance sandbox.

Celanese Speaks, Employee Growth

This Year I Resolve to Give (and Ask For) More Feedback 

Recently I joined a yoga studio for more exercise and a peaceful place to settle my busy brain. For anyone considering yoga, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a challenging whole-body workout – it encourages focus and presence in the moment. Something I’m striving for.

What I didn’t expect from yoga was getting jazzed about giving and receiving feedback.

If you’ve never tried yoga, here are the basics. Each class begins in a quiet room – generally the lights are off and everyone lies down on a mat or sits still – there is no talking. In this calm atmosphere minds are cleared of the events of the day and “intentions” are set for the class. This means simply deciding what to achieve in this hour.

Celanese Speaks

Online Shopping Tips That We All Tend To Forget During The Holidays 

Online shopping has become the preferred method of many holiday shoppers. With the introduction of Cyber Monday, retailers are providing deep discounts and easy ways for shoppers to find the perfect gift for friends and family. Since I’ve started my role in IT Security, I’ve begun to look at online safety from a different perspective. We often think of identity theft and Internet security as some distant thought, but your information (and in some extreme cases, your financial livelihood) can be compromised with a single click.

Celanese Speaks

How to Make Your Money Do More – Give Back on Super Impact Monday! 

Today Dallas is kicking off its Annual Giving Campaign! This year’s campaign theme is Bright start. Big heart, and it’s an opportunity for employees to give back to the community and lend a helping hand to those who need our support. As the lead of the Dallas site committee, I see the front line of our charitable contributions and I have never seen a use of Foundation funds that hasn’t impressed and inspired me. As such, I thought long and hard about my donation this year, in particular how I could increase my giving while still getting the mortgage paid! Charity feels good, I’m not disputing that, but we all have a comfort level and I wondered to myself “is there a way for me to give more without it hurting?” Well, a few weeks ago, on laundry day, something clicked.

Celanese Speaks, Views On Change

A Fog Advisory – Navigating the Unfamiliar 

On most days, the drive to work is uneventful. When that is the case, you follow a familiar route and the drive is a forgettable, to-be-repeated-tomorrow affair. Yet, sometimes your route can be foggy and your trip requires a change in plan and routine.

In the same way, our day-to-day job is a lot like our daily drive. As we plan our week, we expect it to be familiar with a bit of repetition. Our routines are governed by an anticipated destination and follow a clear, well-traveled path…

Celanese Speaks, Views On Change

Communications to Facilitate Change 

Some changes are welcomed, but others may not be. Many of us enjoy changing our iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 plus without any hesitation, but we may be reluctant to change the environment we have been used to.

Obviously, we like to embrace the change when it benefits us, but we are nervous, or even resistant, if we see uncertainty or risks deriving from the changes. This is not about culture or mindset, it’s about human nature: as a general rule, people don’t like ambiguity.

Celanese Speaks

Bipartisanship Means Everyone Wins 

At Celanese, responsible chemistry and innovation are what we strive for.   And as leaders in our industry we need to foster every possible opportunity to encourage our company’s continued growth and expansion. Which is why in the last several months the news out of Washington, DC is encouraging and may signal a new day for Celanese and chemical management in our country.