U.S. Black History Month is a time to celebrate the past and present accomplishments of the Black community. It also serves as a period of reflection to understand the progress that remains and the challenges that exist, even today, to reverse the effects of decades of injustice and underinvestment. Minorities have long been underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce. In fact, an April 2021 article from the Pew Research Center states in the U.S., “there has been no change in the share of Black workers in STEM jobs since 2016.” Recognizing the critical need to help close the gap to create a pipeline of diverse talent, LyondellBasell is making intentional investments in minority-focused STEM initiatives.
“Our success as a company is tied to having a talented and diverse workforce,” said Elizabeth Wiess, LyondellBasell manager, Corporate Relations. “Investing in STEM programs and initiatives that specifically support minority students is key to companies like LyondellBasell having access to a greater range of future talent. It’s a proven fact that diversity, including gender, cultural, national, and linguistic differences, provide unique insights and valuable perspectives resulting in better decision-making and more creative solutions.”
Through a recent Advancing Good community investment, LyondellBasell made it possible for 90 top engineering students from the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering to attend the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Conference. Lee Price, co-chair of LyondellBasell’s Black employee network and senior business consultant for the company, had the opportunity to meet the engineering students. Price shared these words of advice, “developing your skills today – networking, collaboration and teamwork – will strengthen your success with any opportunity in the workforce.”
Additionally, in 2021, LyondellBasell donated $480,000 to the Future of STEM Scholarship Initiatives (FOSSI), helping further support education for Black students. FOSSI is a national chemical industry-wide program providing scholarships to U.S. students pursuing degrees in STEM at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). LyondellBasell’s donation will help build a robust pipeline of diverse leaders for the petrochemical industry and help students better understand what job opportunities exist in the industry.
LyondellBasell works every day to be the best operated and most valued company in the industry, which includes doing its part to make a difference on key issues like minority underrepresentation in STEM. For more information on how LyondellBasell is advancing tomorrow’s workforce, click here.