Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 30, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Canadian National Railway was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
- Through the company's health and wellness program, CN organizes a number of initiatives to support healthy habits and active living throughout the year, including a 1-month wellness challenge with employees tallying nearly 411-million steps (the equivalent of travelling across CN's entire rail network 10 times)
- 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 $16.7-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 is on track in developing its people for success
Employee development and support are among the touchstones at CN, North America's only transcontinental railway and supply-chain service company. Despite its size - with more than 16,000 Canadian staff and close to 2,000 full-time employees in Montreal - CN manages to be employee-focused.
"The root of CN is the people," says Catherine Corbeil, who is based at CN's Montreal headquarters. "The company invests a lot in its employees."
Corbeil, the delivery lead for an internet technology initiative called the Enable Program, cites her own trajectory at CN as an example: she started as a computer programming graduate and moved up through the ranks, taking advantage of multiple training opportunities. "At CN, you'll have more than just a job - we'll help you grow and develop as professionals and build a rewarding career," she says.
Annual check-ins on employees' career development plans are a huge boon, she adds. "We look at how people are growing as individuals. We're really focused on expanding our employees' skill sets and aligning them with opportunities." CN recognizes that its success as a company depends largely on how it develops its people and helps them achieve their full potential.
Joy Lynn Datinguinoo says she's also benefited from CN's commitment to employee growth. As the test lead of IT application management and delivery, Datinguinoo has advanced her career at CN amid dramatic transformation in the company's digital arm, which has come to embrace leading-edge technology.
Apart from her work, Datinguinoo is proud of the company's commitment to the community, and she regularly participates in charitable events through the CN Employees' and Pensioners' Community Fund. Over the past 10 years, the fund has raised more than C$14.7 million in support of a range of non-profit organizations to help the less fortunate in Canada.
Recently, she brought two teenage cousins to Montreal's Light the Night Walk to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, which is supported by the CN Employees' and Pensioners' Community Fund. "I'm so happy that the warmth of the CN community means family members are welcome at these events," she says. "Being Filipina, I'm from a culture that's deeply rooted in family."
Corbeil and Datinguinoo also cite a plethora of advantages as reasons for choosing CN, including the company share program, robust benefits, onsite daycare and the gym at the Montreal headquarters, where a variety of fitness courses and equipment are available.
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 28, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Canadian National Railway was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
- CN created the Aspire program in 2012 to help educate young women about opportunities in the railroad industry and encourage them to consider careers in non-traditional roles -- additionally, the company offers grants to support post-secondary education of women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, military veterans and people of Aboriginal heritage
- CN works with Canada Company, a non-partisan organization that connects businesses and community leaders with the Canadian military -- the company participates in the Military Employment Transition program and attends annual networking events to connect with veterans and reservists
CN stays on track in promoting women and many others
When Sonia Behar was at Montreal's Delta College in the early 2000s, she was among a mere handful of women studying computer programming. She was very heartened that, when she landed an internship at CN, her immediate and senior managers were both female. Over the years, as she rose through the ranks to her current position - Manager, Infrastructure and Technology - she has found the organization to be entirely woman-friendly.
"My previous director was a woman," says Behar. "She was an inspiration to me and always there whenever I needed help, always there to guide me. Women in IT are celebrated at CN and women executives and managers have given me a lot of good advice over the years."
In Canada, women account for almost a quarter of the staff in CN's IT department. For Behar, who was promoted to management in 2016 at the age of 36, it feels like the sky's the limit. "Ultimately," she says, "there are exactly the same opportunities for men and for women at CN."
Michael Foster, Senior Vice-President and Chief Information and Technology Officer, says that Montréal-based CN - North America's only transcontinental railway and supply chain service company - is committed to greater inclusivity for an array of diversity groups, including women.
"CN believes that having a diverse employee workforce allows for diverse thinking. It helps us succeed at delivering better and richer products and services to our customers, and better experiences to our employees.
"In fact," he continues, "we're in the middle of a four-year diversity and inclusion plan steered by a cross-functional committee that also includes union leaders, and we review it on a yearly basis to make sure we're on track. We have a wide range of employees who are part of that committee and 83 per cent of the members of that committee are part of our diverse employee base. From the bottom up, we're using employee feedback and employee input to make sure that we stay on track with our plans of becoming more and more diverse."
The statistics, Foster says, show that CN is making progress. In 2018, 36 per cent of total Canadian hires were from diverse groups. Women now account for 10 per cent of corporate and operations staff; First Nations people, five per cent; visible minorities, 11 per cent; and persons with disabilities, just under two per cent.
This year, CN received the Progressive Aboriginal Relations Bronze Certification for its commitment to working with Aboriginal communities and businesses. CN is the first Canadian transportation company to receive this award. The company's Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training is available to CN employees and has been used by other organizations to train their staff. CN plans to continue to provide cultural awareness training as well as participate in Aboriginal events and Indigenous national associations.
Foster points out that CN has opted for diversity hiring best practices. "A panel-style interview process has been put in place to expose biases and address them should they arise," he says. "It is a multicultural and multi-discipline panel that ensures we are walking the talk on being committed to diversity in our hiring practices. We are strong and consistent sponsors of many events that promote diversity in the workplace."
On the female equity front, in 2019 CN is launching a program that will provide hands-on experience and opportunities for women in non-traditional roles. CN will continue to work with its recruitment partners to host various industry and company-specific camps in which women can gain first-hand knowledge and experience of trade positions at CN.