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Meet Lisa Chen, Global & EH S&OP Manager

From China to Dubai, Lisa Chen seizes new opportunities

Over almost two decades with Vallourec, Lisa Chen has built a dynamic career from Supply Chain Management in China to Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) in Dubai.

Could you tell us how you started your career at Vallourec?

I joined Vallourec early in my career in my hometown of Changzhou. After majoring in International Trade and Finance, I was working for a German company when an acquaintance told me about an open position at Vallourec. They were looking for a logistics expert for their first factory in China.

I joined as a Logistics Specialist with the opportunity to be part of building up that fantastic new factory. We installed the equipment, set up management quality systems, and I put together my teams.

How has your role evolved over the years at Vallourec?

Toward the end of my 12 years with Vallourec in China, I got an International MBA and started thinking about how I could advance my career.

I discussed different possibilities with my manager. Then, the regional Human Resources VP invited me to interview for a position in Dubai in supply chain management. When I was then offered the job, I said yes right away! I was open to trying something new.

What is it about Vallourec that has made you want to stay for 17 years and counting?

I’ve been a part of so many fascinating projects over the years. In the beginning, setting up the plant in Changzhou was an incredible experience of teamwork where we really built something from scratch.

I have also had a lot of support over the years. I participated twice in the Women@Vallourec mentoring program. I have a great relationship with my first mentor. He helped me recognize my job value and even my personal value.

My current mentor is terrific — very kind, supportive and hands on. She’s helping me prepare for a potential future move to a new sector at Vallourec.

From the left to the right: Veronique Asselin, Execution Performance Manager Supply Chain EH, Siska, Supply Chain Manager PTCT, Lisa Chen, Sebastien Klein, VP Supply Chain EH, and Anis Atig, Data Analyst Supply Chain EH

What do you love about your job?

I love being a part of Vallourec in Dubai because the culture is very diverse. We have French, Indian, Filipino, Pakistani and Chinese employees, to name a few.

I also love my current position for the global vision and wide network of the S&OP group. Having a wide network allows me to connect with all of our teams – sales, marketing, manufacturing, development, innovation and planning – and bring them together for projects.

What skills have helped you succeed in your job?

It’s important to have the courage to be challenged and to be a good communicator. People ask me a lot of questions — I have to be confident responding, and in asking others for support when I don’t have an answer.

I’m a link to bridge people together and fill in communication gaps. Being a careful listener who can hear different voices and different needs: that’s really important.

What advice would you give to other women in your field?

Be open-minded to new opportunities so that you don’t hesitate to say yes when one comes your way. Let the major factor that impacts your life be what you really want to do, even if it’s something you’ve never done before.

I’m grateful to have a happy life. For example, I spend my holidays traveling to different countries with my family, enjoying nature and experiencing different cultures. On weekends I do traditional Chinese dance.

It’s not easy for women to find work-life balance, but I prioritize following my heart both in my career and in my life outside the office.