Lily Xu is quick to thank all who have supported her throughout her career with United Technologies. She joined the company in 2009, working for Pratt & Whitney in its Chengdu facility. She describes her boss at the time as a great leader and mentor.
“He was the first to suggest that I go back to school, and he introduced me to the Employee Scholar Program,” says Lily. After considering various options, she decided to pursue an MBA.
The coursework piqued her curiosity about Pratt & Whitney’s operations, from supply chain to finance to human resources and everything in between. “My local management was very supportive,” says Lily. “They introduced me to people in the various departments of the company who could answer my questions.”
Not long after receiving her MBA, Lily was recommended to participate in the UTC Operation Leadership Program, which rotates high-potential employees through eight-month assignments in various UTC businesses. “Everyone I worked with supported me and contributed to my success,” says Lily.
She currently is a UTC Ombudsman, one of only three serving the company’s 220,000 employees worldwide. The Ombudsman program acts as a confidential communication channel where employees can voice business-related concerns and receive counseling on how to resolve them.
Lily credits mentors she has met at UTC for encouraging her to transition into this role. “Patti Lynch helped launch the Ombudsman program 30 years ago,” says Lily. “She encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and develop the skill set required for this role.”