Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Canadian National Railway Company / CN was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017), Ten Best Companies to Work For (2016) and Montreal's Top Employers (2017):
- CN provides maternity leave top-up payments to employees who are new mothers, ranging from 70 to 100% of salary for up to 17 weeks -- additionally, employees working at CN's head office receive subsidized access onsite daycare
- CN invests in long-term career development with generous tuition subsidies for courses related to an employees' current position (up to $4,000) as well as subsidies for professional accreditation
- With a strong national presence, CN operates the impressive employee and pensioner-run "Community Fund", which has raised more than $13.5 million over the past decade -- CN also manages the "Railroaders in the Community" program to provide grants to charitable organizations where employees, their families and retirees volunteer their time
All aboard CN, the high-tech rail network
When Vicki Gillis graduated from university with a bachelor's degree in the arts, she didn't envisage a career in high tech. However, friends working in the Information and Technology (I&T) department of CN encouraged her to apply for a position there, saying she could learn on the job.
That was 20 years ago. Today, Gillis is CN's new Manager Infrastructure & Telecomm Transition, leading a team of nearly 20. It's the fifth position she's had in I&T and her friends' words still ring true. At every step, CN has provided her with the knowledge and resources she's needed to succeed, whether through specialized training programs or more informal on-the-job coaching.
"I've been able to work on some really interesting projects, such as implementing our Enterprise Resource Planning System, Supplier Portal and our I&T Workforce Management Strategy," says Gillis.
CN is the largest railway in Canada and a backbone of the economy, transporting more than $250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors. It is the only transcontinental rail network in North America, with over 32,000 kilometres of track and integrated transportation services, making it a true supply-chain enabler.
This vast enterprise requires a myriad of technology, from logistics to safety systems and much more. Most of it is handled from CN's I&T department in Montreal where some 1,500 employees and contractors work.
For Serge Leduc, Sr. VP, Chief Information and Technology Officer, the variety is compelling. "It's a very dynamic environment," he says. "We have a breadth and depth of opportunities for any kind of I&T professional. If you want a new challenge, you don't need to change companies."
More opportunities await as CN moves forward with implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) technology across its U.S. network. PTC involves numerous systems and is not an off-the-shelf technology. For CN, this represents a multi-year, US$1.2 billion investment.
Leduc's team is playing a vital, leading role in the project, developing and implementing CN's PTC technology. The workload is creating new positions for everyone from recent college and university graduates to senior personnel. "We hired 150 people in I&T last year," says Leduc, "and we're looking to hire another 150 this year."
For her part, Gillis appreciates that CN is building for the future. At the same time, CN's past adds to its allure. Says Gillis, "I'm very proud to work for such an iconic Canadian company."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 27, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Canadian National Railway Company / CN was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017):
- CN created the Aspire program in 2012 to help educate young women about opportunities in the railroad industry and to encourage them to consider careers in non-traditional roles -- the company also recently launched a dedicated internship program to provide women with exposure to transportation, mechanical, engineering, and intermodal disciplines
- CN is committed to developing respectful and sustainable relationships with Aboriginal peoples, recently participating in the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples' Creative Leaders symposium to discuss strategies for career advancement and employment opportunities -- the company also maintains an Aboriginal internship program and developed Aboriginal Affairs Cultural Awareness training in partnership with Amik, an Aboriginal consulting firm
- CN maintains a diversity scholarship program for women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, military veterans and people of Aboriginal heritage (up to $3,000 for one academic year)
"Taking the initiative to organize ASPIRE this year is fulfilling because it inspires and influences young women the same way I was inspired by leaders when I joined CN." Aya Gedeon, Supply Agent, Transportation Technology Services