MAR 08, 2021

CN Celebrates International Women’s Day

Recognizing Our Proud Female Railroaders and Introducing CN's Women's Employee (WE) Resource Group

This March, CN is commemorating Women’s History Month (US) as well as International Women’s Day to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our proud female railroaders.

Women have a long history of being a part of the very fabric of CN. While common early roles for women at CN were somewhat limited and included positions like ticket-sellers (back when CN still provided passenger services), stenographers, and telegraph operators, at present the breadth and depth of opportunities for women at CN are as expansive as the company itself

Historically, the big turning point was the onset of World War II, which greatly expanded opportunities for women across the employment landscape. At CN, this opened the gateway for women to start their professions as train operators, conductors, shop workers, welders, oilers, painters, and so much more. These early trailblazers paved the way for more inclusion and gender diversity, challenging the stereotypical conception of what it meant to be a railroader.

To celebrate our rich history, as well as to champion the women at CN who keep the supply chain moving for our customers, we have been speaking to women employees across our network about what being a railroader means to them. The Women of CN have also been sharing their own stories on social media using the hashtag #ProudFemaleRailroader.

Here are a few of the things they shared:

Introducing CN's Women's Employee (WE) Resource Group

This month’s celebrations were coordinated by CN’s Women’s Employee (WE) Employee Resource Group (ERG). The WE ERG is dedicated to supporting employees, celebrating diversity, and promoting inclusivity across CN’s corporate culture.

Laurence Nguyen, WE’s Co-chair, describes the vision of the resource group as follows: “to create an inclusive network that focuses on the professional development, retention, support, and leadership potential of all women at CN.”

Laurence sees opportunities for “our mid and senior levels of management [to more closely] resemble the communities in which we operate.” This sentiment is echoed by the WE ERG’s Executive Sponsor, CN’s Vice-President of Financial Planning Janet Drysdale, who explains: “2021 marks my 25th year with CN. We’ve come a long way during that time, but we can and must do better to ensure we have greater female representation. It is my privilege to be the WE executive sponsor. I believe that by helping and inspiring each other, we will all succeed.”

What is next for WE? Laurence explained that “building a strong foundation” is critical. Laurence, along with her fellow co-chairs, wants to ensure that CN employees know about the resource group and its mission, so growing company-wide awareness is a current focus. Other goals include launching a mentorship pilot project.

Employees interested in becoming members of any number of CN’s growing list of Employee Resource Groups should visit the Employee Resource Group Page on CN’s Intranet. Employees are also empowered to recommend new resource groups from which CN employees could benefit.

On behalf of CN, as well as the WE ERG, we wish everyone a Happy International Women’s Day.