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Rita Dicke

Interview with Rita Dicke, Head of Liquid Purification Technologies(LPT) Business Unit of LANXESS Asia Pacific

Rita Dicke has been assigned from Headquarters Germany to China as Head of the business unit  LPT in the Asia-Pacific region since August 2013. It is a great honor that  we could invite her to tell her story with LANXESS. Meanwhile, being one of the few female leaders of business units, Rita Dicke  particularly prepared some advice for female employees at LANXESS.

You’ve been appointed as Head of LPT, APAC since August 2013. However, many colleagues don’t know much about you.  With this opportunity, could you please introduce more about yourself?

Hello,  I’m Rita Dicke. I was sent to China from Headquarters since August  2013 and was appointed as Head of LPT, APAC region.  

I majored in Chemistry and obtained doctor’s degree in Organic Chemistry before work. Then, I joined Bayer and worked at Central R&D Department, IT Department, and Strategic Development Department. After joining LANXESS, I was responsible for the corporate strategic management. In 2011, I was transferred to Liquid Purification Technologies (which was called Ion Exchange resin at that time) and responsible for the strategic development of this Business Unit. I was sent to Shanghai afterwards.

Your previous working experiences are more or less related to strategic management, Why did you choose the job at LPT that is more related to sales?

I’m fascinated by this job itself. First of all, after so many years at the field of strategic planning, I really wanted to try some work in operation. Strategic planning is important, but putting the plans into practice is also vital. I cherish this job very much, because it can deepen my understanding of the business unit and functional department, which helps in cross-function cooperation.

Secondly, I’m deeply attracted by LPT products. Our products can solve actual problems and it  makes me feel that I’m doing something meaningful.

Thirdly, I find Asian and Chinese culture  irresistable unresistable. Chinese culture is definitely different from German culture, and I am full of curiosity. Of course, I also like my colleagues here. Take my team as an example, they are enthusiastic, professional and dedicated, and I enjoy a lot  working with them.

After working at two completely different departments, have you set a final goal for your career development?

I think I’ll be with my team in the next few years. In my opinion, willing to accept opportunities is as  important  as setting up a target. For Example, nobody expected LANXESS to go independent during old Bayer time. When LANXESS was spun off, I decided to join it, because I believed LANXESS would grow and it did. Therefore, I encourage you all to embrace  potential opportunities with an open mind.

How do you balance your work and life as a female leader?

I’ve two daughters, but I do full-time work all the time. I firmly believe that this is the best choice for both my career and my  family.

I often joke that I have a globalized family. My elder daughter lives with my husband in Germany and my younger daughter lives with me in China. We miss each other a lot and also enjoy the special way of life. In my spare time, I tutor my younger daughter, travel together, and cook for her.  I also chat online with my elder daughter and try to make her feel we’re still a close family although we’re far away from each other.

Many female colleagues in China seek for sustainable career development. Do you have any advice for them?

Being optimistic is very important. I know that young Chinese ladies are facing the pressure how to balance work and family. They return to work when the children are still small. Keep an open mind, be optimistic and confident. In case of any problem, you could ask your colleagues for help. There will always be a solution.

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