In conversation with…

How to be an ever more inspirational employer?

Last year’s Annual Integrated Report heard from stakeholders through individual interviews. This year we showcase the relationships the Group has built with its stakeholders, highlighting how Solvay engages with them to meet their expectations and create value for the company, its stakeholders and the planet. As part of this ongoing dialog, six of our talents from across the world met with ExCom members Pascal Juéry and Cécile Tandeau de Marsac. They told them what they enjoyed most about working for Solvay and how we could do even better.

The talk team

Petya Tsekova, Export Maritime Logistics Manager EMEA, GBU Soda Ash & Derivatives (photo)

Petya Tsekova

Export Maritime Logistics Manager EMEA, GBU Soda Ash & Derivatives

Pascal Juéry, Member of the Executive Committee (photo)

Pascal Juéry

Member of the Executive Committee

Clémentine Ollier, EMEA Commercial Director, GBU Aroma Performance (photo)

Clémentine Ollier

EMEA Commercial Director, GBU Aroma Performance

Marcelo Burdelis, Global Key Account Manager, Home & Personal Care, GBU Silica (photo)

Marcelo Burdelis

Global Key Account Manager, Home & Personal Care, GBU Silica

Cécile Tandeau de Marsac, Member of the Executive Committee, Group General Manager Human Resources (photo)

Cécile Tandeau de Marsac

Member of the Executive Committee, Group General Manager Human Resources

Ana Cordeiro, Facilities Footprint Manager, Brussels Headquarters (photo)

Ana Cordeiro

Facilities Footprint Manager

Xiaowei Huang, Project Management Officer, Comex Organization (photo)

Xiaowei Huang

Project Management Officer, Comex Organization

Stephanie Halver, Process & Project Engineer, GBU Peroxides (photo)

Stephanie Halver

Process & Project Engineer, GBU Peroxides

Proud to be a part of Solvay

“Heritage”, “Caring”, “Innovation”, “Global”, “Family”, “Sustainable”, “Smart risks”. These are some of the key ideas that inspire the people who work for Solvay. They value the Group’s 155-year history and its heritage as a company with a culture of innovation, focused on bringing progress to society as a whole. They are proud of their contribution to that progress and happy to be part of a Group that feels like a family, that cares about its people. They see Solvay as a Group with strong values, investing in its talents and offering opportunities to grow and move into new geographies and new skill sets. They highlight its innovation excellence, its capacity to adapt its Research and Innovation to the changing trends that shape society and its customers’ needs, its ability to question its choices and take smart risks.

Petya Tsekova, Export Maritime Logistics Manager EMEA, GBU Soda Ash & Derivatives (photo)

“Over all these years, it is innovation that has been motivating people at Solvay to keep making progress and bring added value to society and, in the end, to each one of us.”

Petya Tsekova
Export Maritime Logistics Manager EMEA, GBU Soda Ash & Derivatives
Stephanie Halver in discussion (photo)

“I am an engineer, but in many roles, you can start out as an operator and move up into management, because Solvay really invests in its people.”

Stephanie Halver
Process & Project Engineer, Global Business Unit Peroxides

They embrace Solvay’s global scope and the unique international mindset that brings it close to its customers across the world. They care that sustainability is a daily reality at Solvay, driving its own transformation and its contribution to changing the wider world.

“Solvay is an international company that is big enough to offer great opportunities, but small enough for our people to feel that they belong to a family.”

Cécile Tandeau de Marsac
Member of the Executive Committee, Group General Manager Human Resources

Empowered to call for change

Solvay’s people also know that their leadership team is open to suggestions on constructive ways for the company to change and grow. They see a need for more diversity as a way of driving the company’s transformation forward. They want to be part of a more agile, solutions-driven Group that moves and takes decisions more quickly, simplifying bureaucracy and implementing sharp frontline thinking to find the best ways to meet customers’ needs.

Those needs are also at the heart of their belief that Solvay would benefit from closer collaboration between its Global Business Units. They also feel being part of an international Group should offer them more opportunities to move and grow, allowing them to get to know the different facets of the company and the global markets it serves even better.

Marcelo Burdelis in discussion (photo)

“We are rethinking how we can be even better right now. We are not afraid of changing the ways we were doing things before, being courageous, and getting ready for the future.”

Marcelo Burdelis
Global Key Account Manager, Home & Personal Care, GBU Silica

“We need to encourage people to take smart risks and meet our customers’ needs in a more focused, more agile way, and we need to become more solutions-driven with more frontline thinking from people across the organization.”

Xiaowei Huang
Project Management Officer, Comex Organization

The ExCom responds

ExCom members Cécile Tandeau de Marsac and Pascal Juéry listened closely to the feedback from the panel of employees and agreed with several of the points they raised.

It’s true that we have a tendency to aim for perfection at Solvay,” says Cécile Tandeau de Marsac, “and that slows down our decision-making. To become truly agile, we need to change that and fully integrate smart risk-taking into our behavior. Simplifying Human Resources processes is another important point and our Solvay Cares program is a great example of how we are aiming to be more employee-centric.“

“We need to simplify the way we work and cut through the red tape to make sure everything we do is focused on innovating for the end-consumer,” adds Pascal Juéry. “In fact, that is exactly what we are aiming to achieve through the transformation launched in 2018. It takes time, but I believe that everyone at Solvay is fully aligned with our objective of making the company easier to deal with, more innovative and more customer-driven.

Clémentine Ollier in discussion (photo)
Ana Cordeiro in discussion (photo)

Employee engagement index

76%

Countries

62

Nationalities

100

83%

employees* feel proud to work at Solvay

*from 2018 internal Solvay Employee Survey