Kayla Ge, Production Engineer at Heraeus Precious Metals Technology in Nanjing/China, talks about her experience with diversity and how it benefits her. In 2017, she came to Heraeus as a Technical Trainee after completing her master’s degree in Chemical Technology. After a year and a half rotation, Kayla Ge joined Heraeus Precious Metals Technology (HPMT) in Nanjing/China, where she is currently a production engineer. Her responsibilities include process optimization, quality improvement, production troubleshooting, material evaluation, handling fault alarms and error messages, and other EHS and Lean activities.
“I am very lucky to be in such an inclusive and open team”
What does diversity mean to you?
"Diversity to me is the variety of our colleagues who differ in age, gender, nationality, educational and experiential backgrounds, and personalities. Every person is unique! We should therefore respect the differences of each and every individual so that they can make the best use of their strengths.
For me, diversity also means doing away with prejudices. For example, the prejudice that women are not suitable for a job in production in the chemical industry. These mindsets also influence our judgment of a person, which may be completely biased and stereotypical.
When I joined HPMT in 2019, I was the only female engineer in the production department. Fortunately, that has since changed and I have received female reinforcement.
I am very lucky to work in such an inclusive and open team. My colleagues are very nice, we share our experiences and thus all benefit from them. I also believe that our different character traits, for example my cautiousness and extroversion, strengthen the team."
What can Heraeus Precious Metals do to become more diverse as a company?
Kayla: "From my point of view, for one, it is important to integrate people from different backgrounds. Because that helps the team think outside the box and develop creative ideas. On the other hand, we can actively participate in seminars or trade shows in the chemical industry to learn about the latest technologies and benchmark processes. All of this can help us make progress. In my opinion, diversity is not only about being open to different people, but also to different technologies in our field. Therefore, sharing at these events can not only enrich our personal professional experiences and help us come up with creative ideas, but also make our company more diverse in terms of technology and innovation."
What do you appreciate most about your diverse team?
Kayla: "I really enjoy working with our team. We have older and younger colleagues, experienced employees, but also different professional backgrounds, such as engineers or chemists. Each of us has different strengths and we support each other to move forward. With a clear goal in mind, we work even more closely together and bring our different perspectives and strengths to bear to achieve an outstanding result. In our team, communication is particularly direct. The focus is not on the success or failure of the individual, but on the result of the entire team."
How do you benefit from diversity and inclusion?
Kayla: “Diversity and inclusion give me an equal opportunity to participate in production and process activities. In the team, everyone’s voice can be heard. When we conduct troubleshooting or process optimization, everyone tends to contribute ideas. I can share my own views as well as learn different perspectives from my colleagues.”