Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 31, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Canadian National Railway Company / CN was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
- CN encourages employees to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles through its health and wellness program, CN Traction -- additionally, employees working at the company's Montréal head office have free access to an onsite fitness facility with a variety of instructor-led classes such as kickboxing, aerobics, yoga and Zumba
- CN cultivates an ownership mentality through a share purchase plan, available to all employees, and encourages employees to save for the future through the security of a defined benefit pension plan
- CN operates the impressive employee and pensioner-run "Community Fund", which has raised more than $14.7 million over the past decade -- and also manages the "Railroaders in the Community" program to provide grants to charitable organizations where employees, their families, and retirees volunteer their time
CN employees step aboard digital transformation
When Nayan Bharadwa joined CN in December 2016, he wasn't leaving the high-tech world behind. As Senior Director, Operations Technology, he is leading one of the largest digital transformations in Canada. "The fact that the CN team is completely committed to embracing leading-edge technology to leapfrog forward was a key factor for me," he says.
The largest railway in Canada is at an inflection point similar to that of the airline industry in the 1970s and '80s. "Back then," Bharadwa says, "the industry introduced instrument landing systems and on-board flight and traffic control systems into planes, towers and runways to improve safety and reliability as well as increase capacity."
CN is seeking similar gains from its Operations Technology (OT) group. "We don't call it fly by wire; we call it rail by wire," says Bharadwa. The idea is to build a connected railway that gathers valuable information in real-time, leveraging the power of IoT (the Internet of Things), big data, geo-positioning and "always on" networking to transform locomotives into mobile data centres.
The OT group now has 60 employees, and will continue to hire in 2018. The desired skill set for candidates includes hardware/software reliability, safety engineering, embedded control systems, big data, complex systems management, and communications.
Candidates with these skills who possess experience in rail, aviation, telecom or critical infrastructure are highly sought. "It is a challenge to find people with these core competencies as well as industry experience," says Bharadwa. "There is a great deal of excitement and energy that we are creating the railway of the future, and people want to be part of it."
While much of the hiring for OT is done externally, CN has been recruiting employees with the right skill sets internally as well. Nancy Deschamps, who has 20 years of service at CN, joined OT last May as a Manager, Product Demand and heads a team of 15 employees.
Her previous role, in Business Engagement, involved assessing and defining projects' business value, as well as evaluating the requirements for Positive Train Control (PTC), a still-developing, highly advanced safety system for controlling train movements to reduce certain types of accidents.
Now her role consists of product management and evolution for PTC and OT. "The OT culture is innovative," says Deschamps. "And CN is an employer that allows you to build your skills and your career."
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