Diversity: no boundaries, no frontiers
Stahl has facilities around the world, and at these facilities the world converges with international teams, working closely together. One example is our research chemists, who work on a daily basis to create innovative solutions in material treatment. To achieve this, they work together at our application labs and our manufacturing sites, with a shared vision of a better and more sustainable future.
So what is it like to work in such a diverse, multinational environment? We asked Market Manager Film & Paper - Performance Coatings Kahina Ouchaou about her experiences at Stahl as she fulfilled different positions within the company. She will tell more about how important diversity is for the working climate at the site in Waalwijk where she works. She shares her experience and ideas about the global awareness and culture that is a big part of working at Stahl.
People working together
“Diversity is broad. Diversity is everywhere because we are all different people with different backgrounds and different beliefs. I am a good example of diversity, as I am a French woman with an Algerian background, married to a Dutchman and having lived in the Netherlands for 8 years.”
“Stahl is a global company with people from all over the world working at its facilities. I believe it enriches our company every day. In our R&D Polymer lab alone (where I started) we have people from different backgrounds: Dutch, Italian, Indonesian, and Chinese all working together! About gender diversity same goes in Performance Coatings. Since I have started at Stahl, the percentage of women in a managing position has increased and I am very proud to be part of it.”
Diversity enhancing the workplace experience
Diversity has made me who I am today. I regard it as equal to no boundaries, no frontiers: only individuals sharing who they are in terms of culture, language, and beliefs. My colleagues and I like to discuss our differences; dinnertime in The Netherlands is very different from dinnertime in France, for example. The same applies to the way of working: in France, people are more sensitive to the hierarchy in the workplace while in The Netherlands it is less hierarchic. This means the pressure of hierarchy is less present.”
“We all work differently at our sites and sharing our tips or seeing the differences on site could really help us to improve our way of working which would result in improving the quality of our products. We organize workshops where colleagues from other sites as Toluca, Parets and Leinfelden are also involved. This is a great example of how Stahl is enhancing diversity within the company.”
Even though the current pandemic causes that we are not able to travel and meet colleagues from other sites in person, the digitalization at Stahl has gained momentum. We are able to connect with employees all over the world, which makes us even more connected and opens up new opportunities. “Moreover, what a reward to see how successful we have become at Stahl! Connecting and sharing information with our colleagues from all over the world certainly helped!”
Dreaming of a future without boundaries
“Personally, my dream scenario for the future would be the possibility for every employee to transfer to another location for a limited time. We would be able to learn how our colleagues from Portao, Suzhou, or Peabody are dealing with the same challenges that we encounter in Waalwijk, and exchange and grow our knowledge together.”
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