Leadership in AAPI Style

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Our employees are our company’s most valuable assets. We recognize that diversity, equity and inclusion not only make us stronger, but creates an environment where everyone feels welcomed. At LyondellBasell, we deeply value our employees’ contributions, and our company thrives when everyone is given a voice. We’ve asked four of our leaders from around the world, who identify as Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), to share their personal experiences and stories, as well as their development journeys and reasons for choosing to work for #TeamLYB.

Learn more about our DEI efforts here


Why is it important to celebrate AAPI month?

ANUP: Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success. We represent almost 7 percent of the population and have had an outsized impact in many facets of American culture - especially science and medicine, sports and entertainment, and government and politics. We come from very diverse nations and bring these rich cultures to our amazing nation.

ANNA: I think it is really important to use AAPI month to highlight and celebrate AAPI immigrants and citizens in the U.S. who have contributed significantly to many facets of American culture and society. Given the trauma that the Asian community has gone through over the past few years, it is necessary to stand together and exemplify the works of those who have paved the way. It serves as a reminder that AAPI people played an important part in molding the history of America.


How has LyondellBasell provided you with opportunities to advance your career?

LILY: Management has always supported my career plan and the team offers me maximum flexibility. These practices in general help to retain talent and foster different views and career paths of talent within the organization. Succession and talent rotation plans are regularly reviewed and updated. Management’s investments in these actions motivate and encourage the team to go beyond our comfort zone for advancing our career at LYB.

LONG: Our company is intentional about providing cross-functional opportunities and educating and training our workforce. It’s important for a company to invest in its employees and LYB does just that.

ANUP: LYB has been a great place to progress my career. Our CEO and the Board of Directors gave us the unique opportunity to create Global Business Services and initiate a journey of transformation to transform our procurement, IT and cyber security capabilities, as well as harvest the potential of digital. I have been able to co-lead the Advancing Competitiveness Program and this has enabled me to broaden my business and operational capabilities, build and expand on our great culture of excellence and explore innovation with suppliers, customers, and most importantly our amazing LYB teams!


What advice would you give to people in the Asian community who want to work towards leadership roles?

ANNA: I grew up under the influence of my parents’ values: uplift integrity, work hard and be humble. I would layer upon that foundation and suggest to build trust through relationships, strive to improve and be courageous. And it is okay to bask in the moment and enjoy the fruits of your labor once in a while. Take time to unwind and to reflect before heading to the next journey.

LILY: A pragmatic leader must have comprehensive exposures in different geographies, business units and functions. I encourage those who want to advance their career in the region to step beyond their comfort zones and take up projects and assignments to enrich their experiences and make their resumes more colorful. Having good communication skills and following the best diversity, equity and inclusion practices are also essential. Last piece of advice to those potential leaders: be ready to have video conferences in the late evening. A cup of flower tea and a piece of quality cheese or chocolate will keep you awake!


What is something interesting you can share about your Asian culture/heritage?

LONG: Vietnamese culture is predominately influenced by French and Chinese cultures, but more heavily on the latter. It is evident when we celebrate the Lunar New Year and our cuisine amongst other ethos. Take for example Bánh Mì, which is our version of the sub or po’ boy sandwich – it is made with a French baguette. Add pâté and top the sandwich with an egg fried in butter to elevate it to a gourmet status.

ANUP: While I am of Indian descent/heritage, I have been privileged to have been raised in West Africa, India, the Fiji Islands and the U.S. My parents are educators, and the pursuit of this profession took us to these amazing places where education and being in service of others helped form the foundation of my values and personal moral compass. 

ANNA: I am part Manchurian Chinese-American, born in Taiwan. My grandparents lived through the end of Qing Dynasty, the rise of the Republic and Communist China and the fleeing to Taiwan. After completing elementary education in Taiwan, I immigrated to the United States with my family, and we began the next chapter of our lives in America.

LILY: Family reunion dinners are the most enjoyable in my culture. First of all, I enjoy food, but I don’t cook. Fortunately, I am the oldest sister, so I am the one who gets to decide what food we will be having for dinner, and then my sisters will follow and prepare the right dishes or reserve a good restaurant for us. Another perk of being the senior member in the family is that they will pay for the bill, not me. Certainly, I need to play tricks [come up with ideas] to ensure my sisters are happy too. For example, I must always give them generous *red-pockets and very thoughtful birthday gifts!

*A gift, often monetary, given during holidays and weddings or other special occasions.