What the Women in Tech at LyondellBasell Want You to Know

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

LyondellBasell is committed to our greatest asset- our people. We deeply value our employees’ contributions. We believe it is when you give everyone a voice, not just a seat at the table, that a company thrives. It’s been proven there are numerous benefits to having gender-diverse teams. As we close out Women's History Month, we’ve asked four of our female technology leaders from around the world to share their experiences, including ways they've overcome barriers in the workforce, specifically in the tech space, to get to where they are today. We also set out to learn from our women leaders in tech what their journey has been like at LyondellBasell and what they enjoy the most about being part of #TeamLYB. Our hope is that their stories will encourage and inspire other women, as well as future female leaders.

Interested in joining the LyondellBasell Technology team? View career opportunities and apply here


Kathy VanLandingham
Chief Information Officer

Houston, Texas


How have you been able to advance your career at LyondellBasell?

I was given opportunities to grow my skillsets in certain fields. For example, I made moves into Procurement and IT later in my career when I was not an expert in either function. I had a lot to learn in both areas to really perform in my role. Having leadership that believes in you enough to take a risk like that is special and allowed me to continue growing in my career.


What tips would you give to someone considering a technical career?

In today’s world, technology is always changing. No matter your college degree, you have to continue learning. You cannot grow stagnant or accept the status quo and stop learning. Whether it is formal classes, on-line webinars, technology magazines, etc., you have to stay current and be willing to learn and apply new technology.


Tanuja Charatkar
Director, Global Business Services (GBS), India Center of Excellence (CoE)

Pune, India


How have you been able to advance your career at LyondellBasell?

As an India GBS CoE leader, LyondellBasell has provided me with an excellent opportunity to tap into the abundant talent and skills available in-region. With the right support and career development, I have been able to establish and grow a high-performing, cost-effective and diverse team. Through the power of many, my team and I execute value-driven initiatives for our company.


What advice would you give to women striving for professional growth?

Focus on your role and strive towards doing it exceedingly well. Break the boundaries.

Mari Pulkkinen
Director, SAP and Mergers & Acquisitions Center of Excellence

Rotterdam, the Netherlands  


How do you think female leadership has changed over time?

There is more acceptance and appreciation of the different strengths women bring to leadership. While it has long been known that the more diverse the leadership team is, the better results it will bring, this has now become a norm in practice. Specifically, within IT and our industry, it has taken decades of promoting job and career opportunities to females. Twenty years ago, I was one of few females who wanted to learn coding and other programs to solve real business problems. Nowadays, we finally see great IT leaders that function as role models for other females to join the industry.


What advice would you give to women working towards leadership roles?

Don’t forget the importance of building good working relationships with various functions and groups as part of your job. In various phases of your career, it can be beneficial to have a mentor, buddy or coach to, among other things, help improve your capabilities in different areas or situations. Also, be open to new opportunities. Sometimes the next great opportunity is outside of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It will only enrich your horizon. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and continue to learn, especially in IT where technologies are constantly evolving. There is no one who knows it all. In the end, it’s not about you in your leadership role, but about the winning teams you have built or contributed to – the true power of many!


Mary Edwards
Product Manager, Sustainability

Houston, Texas


What advice would you give to women striving for professional growth?

Be active in developing a robust network. Be curious, speak up, and be fearless – you are your own best advocate. You must step out and make sure your contributions are noted and recognized. Explicitly, though humbly, call out successes, accomplishments, and strong decisions that you’ve made. Do not mistake inexperience for incompetence. You may not have the experience yet; but you can always figure it out. Do not expect to be held back because you are a woman, expect to excel because you are a woman. You deserve a seat at the table. You belong in any room that you enter. Even if you do not feel like you belong, act like you belong. Proudly take a seat and know that you have something to offer that is unique and important.


What are some barriers/challenges you’ve faced in the workplace? 

My work and contributions have not always been noticed. I had to learn to speak up and bring attention to my accomplishments. I am my own greatest asset and my own champion. I had to learn that I cannot wait for an invite for certain opportunities and experiences. I must step up and make things happen. Being shy, waiting for things to happen, and being modest was holding me back. I was so self-conscious of how I could be perceived that I was not advocating for myself as much as I should. When I overcame that, things completely changed for me in the workplace.