Global Continuous Improvement Director


Northbrook, IL, US, 60062

Job Description

We are hiring a Global Continuous Improvement Director to join our flagship site in Elwood, IL just outside of Chicago or our HQ in Northbrook, IL. This transformational role will be responsible for building Continuous Improvement (CI) capabilities across the organization and leading a portfolio of initiative supporting the company goals. This role will lead lean process improvement of capabilities of manufacturing people and systems. The leader will use lean methodologies and tools, such as value stream mapping, 5S, kaizen, kanban, and six sigma, to eliminate waste, reduce variation, and increase customer satisfaction. The leader will also manage and coach a team of continuous improvement engineers, monitor, and report on key performance indicators, and collaborate with other departments and stakeholders. 



  • Progressive experience in chemical manufacturing 10 plus years.
  • A lean six sigma certification at the appropriate belt level, such as the ones offered by ASQ or MSI.
  • A strong knowledge and experience (at least 10 years) in leading and managing lean six sigma projects and teams.
  • A solid understanding of the lean six sigma principles, tools, and techniques, such as the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) or DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify) methodologies, the fishbone diagram, the 5 whys, the Pareto chart, the control chart, the FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis), and the DOE (Design of Experiments).
  • A proven track record of delivering significant and measurable results in terms of process improvement, cost reduction, quality enhancement, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth.
  • A strong leadership, communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to influence, motivate, and coach others.
  • A strategic thinking and planning skills, as well as the ability to align lean six sigma initiatives with the organizational vision, mission, and goals.
  • A proficiency in using statistical software, such as Minitab, JMP, or R, to perform data analysis and generate reports.
  • Apply LEAN/Six Sigma problem-solving tools & techniques to solve issues.
  • Identify opportunities to improve process and execution where possible.
  • Monitor and analyze metrics to identify trends or opportunities where cost savings/cost avoidance and /or quality improvements can be realized.


  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering required with experience working in a manufacturing setting.



Stepan Company does not accept or retain unsolicited resumes or phone calls and/or respond to them or to any third party representing job seekers.

Established in 1932, Stepan Company is a major manufacturer of basic and intermediate chemicals including surfactants, polymers, as well as specialty ingredients that go into consumer, household, and institutional products such as laundry detergents, shampoos, and surface cleaners. Stepan Company currently has 22 global manufacturing locations and over 2,500 employees. We have a strong record of growth. Our growth allows us to provide meaningful career opportunities and stability to our team members. We have big goals at Stepan and know every team member will be crucial to achieving our objectives. Regardless of function, we are looking for team members who bring with them a growth mindset, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the ability to thrive in an evolving environment.


We celebrate diversity at Stepan and are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive environment. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, disability, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.





Stepan is a global specialty and intermediate chemical manufacturer that has been serving a broad range of industries for over 90 years. Today, Stepan is a $2.7 billion revenue company. Our continued success is driven by the passion and commitment of our 2,500+ employees around the world.

Why Work At Stepan?

  1. Stable & Growing
  2. Collaborative Environment
  3. Make a Difference & Be Recognized
  4. Committed to Safety & Sustainability
  5. Value Driven Culture

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Nearest Major Market: Chicago