Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) at LyondellBasell

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

At LyondellBasell, we are committed to advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) to ensure a positive experience for all employees.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are key drivers to achieving our business and sustainability ambitions, and we are working to embed DEI within our culture as deeply as safety. We are committed to increasing representation of diverse employees at all levels within our organization and fostering an equitable and inclusive work environment that supports our global employees and the communities we serve.

In early 2022, we reinforced our commitment to diversity by setting new goals to achieve gender parity in senior leadership globally and increase the number of underrepresented senior leaders in the United States to reflect the general population ratio by 2032.

We have a commitment to creating work environments around the world that promote acceptance, education and support among colleagues. With our LyondellBasell Employee Networks, we have created spaces of community and connectivity. Hear from a few of our employees who help in our commitment to upholding a culture of DEI.

Learn more about our DEI efforts here.

Creating a place of inclusiveness

“There is so much significance in being able to talk freely about who I am.”

Daniel Buoso, senior auditor, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has been with his partner, Martijn, for three and a half years and just recently made their partnership official. This couple has a relationship full of enthusiasm, adventure and travel.

Buoso has always had inclusivity at top of mind - at his previous job, there was not an LGBTQ+ network in his region, and together with the help of his colleagues, they launched the first chapter in that location. “We launched local chapters in the region. I remember feeling insecure. I was new to the company, and jokes about gays were unfortunately common in the workplace. With time, as the network developed, the situation improved and, as employees became more aware, LGBTQ+ employees felt safe and more comfortable to be themselves.”

LyondellBasell’s LGBTQ+ network is a place of support and welcoming for both members of the LGBTQ+ community, and allies alike. Buoso says, “Having the employee networks has made the company’s position on DEI even more clear. It gives me more confidence to talk about personal subjects. There is so much significance in being able to talk freely about who I am.”

Buoso encourages incoming employees and LGBTQ+ members to bring their whole selves to work, be open and to talk and listen with other employees. Be confident by joining  LyondellBasell, you are joining a company truly committed to DEI.

Dalila Hamdi, sales analyst, grew up in the heart of Houston, Texas, U.S. and attended college at the University of Houston. In school, she studied Supply Chain Management and obtained a certification in Strategic Sourcing, finishing her degree in May of 2019.

Hamdi is passionate about the recent expansion of LyondellBasell employee networks and states, “I love it! The networks allow everyone equal opportunity and exposure to all that LyondellBasell has to offer. It is also a great way to connect with global peers and learn about the different roles and responsibilities across the world.”

Prior to Hamdi’s start with LyondellBasell, she wanted to be sure she was joining a company aligned with her values and had a positive company culture. After starting her role in June 2019 with LyondellBasell, she has found her spot, fitting right in. “I am a middle eastern woman and being accepted and embraced for my background as an equal is a great feeling. I wanted to make sure I had a part to play in ensuring all my fellow peers share the peace of mind I do, knowing my voice and opinions matter.”

“I am a middle eastern woman, and being accepted and embraced for my background as an equal is a great feeling!”

“I am proud to be a member of a company which embraces diversity and respects the choice of each individual.”

Niki Lam, Hong Kong, senior tax manager Asia & Australia, grew up in Hong Kong. Lam attended university in the United Kingdom at the University of Bristol and graduated in 2016. Prior to the completion of her two degrees, in 2015, Lam started her career with LyondellBasell.

Lam knows first-hand the cultural differences that arise from country to country and she values diversity in the workplace. With the implementation of LyondellBasell Employee Networks and enhanced focus on DEI, Lam shared, “I feel the networks are an important opportunity to make connections with other colleagues whom I have not worked with, and get to look at things from others’ perspectives.” Lam also states she is proud to be a member of a company which embraces diversity and respects the choice of each individual.

Valuing family, colleagues and diversity

Palmer Giddings, senior director, Polyolefins Americas is from Houston, Texas, U.S. Giddings grew up in a military family calling 20 locations home in just 18 years. After so many years of moving, he settled down and began his studies at Clemson University in South Carolina. Shortly after graduation, Giddings began his career, working his way up through many positions within LyondellBasell. Giddings is also a local champion for the LyondellBasell LGBTQ+ employee network group, True Colors. 

Living a life that once had constant movement, working with a company that highlights a culture of family, acceptance and balance is very important. Giddings has now been with the company for 28 years, and has been a part of the evolution of LyondellBasell. When asked why he has chosen to stay with LyondellBasell for so many years, he said, “There is simply one reason– the people. I am amazed every day by what the people at LyondellBasell can accomplish.” Giddings values his colleagues and team relationships and additionally has noticed a bright shift in employee attitudes in regard to the implementation of the LyondellBasell Employee Networks. “People seem truly excited to embrace a more open and understanding culture, where there is a desire to learn more about and from people who are different than they are. “One’s willingness to understand differences helps us all grow together,” said Giddings.

“One’s willingness to understand differences helps us all grow together.”

“It seems extraordinary to me that (LyondellBasell) pays attention to these issues, that each person feels accepted and included.”

Rocio Guajardo, senior procurement manager in Latin America, grew up in Mexico and has lived in a couple states throughout the country. She attended school at the University of San Luis Potosi, where she graduated with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering.

Guajardo values time with her children and extended family. She has a passion for cooking in the kitchen and trying new recipes with fresh ingredients and flavors. Another passion for Guajardo is the importance of acceptance and inclusion both at home and in the workplace.

Being a part of LyondellBasell, Guajardo is proud to work for a company that focuses on implementing inclusive behaviors. Guajardo says, “It seems extraordinary to me that LyondellBasell pays attention to these issues and creating an environment that each person feels accepted and included.” Guajardo encourages these positive steps with her colleagues to continue moving forward building a strong foundation. “I hope this initiative is maintained and that more people are added and interested; it is definitely promoting a wonderful culture.”

Rose Luvaas, site manager in Houston, Texas, U.S., has been with LyondellBasell for 13 years, first as a production engineer and working her way up to a managerial role. During her time with the company, she has worked at multiple site locations around the U.S., now residing in her current position in Clear Lake, Texas.

Luvaas is not only dedicated to her career, but to her young family. She values work/life balance and appreciates she has been able to have the best of both worlds. Luvaas said, “I was very fortunate to have a role model in the field I could identify with; a driven leader who cherished her family. I am happy I have always been supported to embrace both my family and a rewarding career.”

Additionally, Luvaas is a member of the LyondellBasell Inspiring Females Together (LIFT) Employee Network, where she collaborates with other women in the company. Being a part of this network encourages a safe space to share personal experiences, promotes inclusivity, and creates personal and professional connections. Luvaas said, “Even among a women’s group where we may have diverse interests and aspirations, we share experiences that benefit and empower one another. I also appreciate the allies in the networks who are taking the opportunity to challenge their own bias and understanding of diversity.”

“I was very fortunate to have a role model in the field I could identify with; a driven leader who cherished her family. I am happy that I have always been supported to embrace both my family and a rewarding career.”

“I am Asian and I could befriend with the colleague around the world and support each other, that’s a good work environment for me. I worked for many business type company but only LyondellBasell have this culture.”

Khanisorn Prongchit, site manager, Rayong, Thailand, grew up with his family in the small northern province of Phare, Thailand. Prongchit studied Mechanical Engineering at Cheing Mai University and graduated in 1994. He started his impressive career and in time gained experience through managerial positions. Prongchit started his first role with LyondellBasell in 2015.

Family, culture and work/life balance are all important to Prongchit. He says, “LyondellBasell gave me an opportunity to balance myself between work and life. The culture of safety, environment and Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness are meaningful for everyone. It is a culture of working safely, caring for the world, and respecting people.”

Working for a global company means working with many different types of people. Prongchit sees diversity as a positive and values the opportunity to work with a global team. “I am Asian and I could befriend a colleague on the other side of the world. I am honored to work for a company that encourages this type of culture.” 

In addition to working with global colleagues, Prongchit finds opportunity for community in LyondellBasell Employee Networks. He shares, “The Networks are a new channel for us to connect with colleagues.” Prongchit believes in finding a common connection and says, “I believe we could learn so much about each other through the networks.”

Celebrating diversity

Joost Verploeg, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, director, Polyolefins AFMEI, has worked with LyondellBasell for over 17 years. Verploeg started his tenured career in Europe and in the last few years relocated to his most recent role in the United Arab Emirates. Verploeg states, “The Emirates is a melting pot of people from all over the world.”

Since his move, Verploeg has had to adjust to his new workplace and country culture. Verploeg reflects and says, “Coming from abroad, people are unbiased and welcoming, genuinely interested in each other’s stories and backgrounds and easily connect. This multi-cultural community allows us to develop an understanding of what makes people different while celebrating our similarities in an inclusive environment.”

Verploeg feels having the opportunity to start a role in a new country is a great occasion to experience the power of diversity. He also believes the inherent cultural deviations each individual has, gives a different perspective and approach. International roles provide the platform to appreciate these differences, but also the understanding that the basic needs are the same. Using this knowledge as an advantage, it helps to find optimal and creative solutions.

In addition to his diverse workplace environment, Verploeg notes that LyondellBasell DEI Employee Networks are a great platform to get connected to our global workforce and colleagues. He also shares, “For employees identifying with the any of the Employee Networks, it provides a platform to share experiences and creates awareness about their challenges and opportunities. For others, it will allow to learn more about any particular community, enhance their perspectives, extend support and learn to be more inclusive towards diverse workforces.”

“This multi-cultural community allows to develop an understanding of what makes people different whilst celebrating our similarities in an inclusive environment.”

“LyondellBasell's focus on fairness, respect, and unity builds a path of growth and advancement for our employees, our company, and our community.”

Heaven McCray, Bayport, Texas, U.S., engineer II, is a recent college graduate of Prairie View A&M University, who finished her degree in May of 2020. She began her career with LyondellBasell prior to the completion of her degree taking on two co-op positions with the company from 2018-2019, and accepting a full-time role in 2020.

McCray had many things to consider prior to taking on her new job, one being entering an inclusive culture as a young professional.

A few things stood out to McCray helping lead her to her career company of choice. McCray shared, “LyondellBasell stands out from other companies because its advancement is not limited to financial prosperity and embedding DEI into the foundation of the company’s culture and values is key for me.”

The culture of LyondellBasell focuses on providing a positive experience to employees, contractors and the community. McCray also shared, “LyondellBasell is committed on fairness, respect and unity builds a path of growth and advancement for our employees, our company, and our community.”

Hemant Vaidya, senior engineering manager, Mumbai, India, was born and raised in Mumbai, India. Vaidya has been with LyondellBasell for over 15 years and has worked his way through different roles within the company.

For any employee, it is important to feel there are others in the company to connect with on different levels. Vaidya states, “The recently expanded Employee Networks area great initiative allowing participation across various regions and bringing together individuals with similar interests, identities and goals allowing them to collaborate on another level. This fosters individual professional and personal growth.”

Vaidya supports the culture of LyondellBasell and believes an organization that promotes transparency, provides equal opportunities to all and ensures that all employees are treated fairly is a great company. He also states, “Employee Networks enable like-minded colleagues to share ideas and learn from each other. And, as a manager, it is vital to lead others and uphold company values. We believe in teamwork and taking ownership in what we do.”

“Network groups enables like-minded colleagues to share ideas and learn from each other.”