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Happy International Women’s Day

March 8th 2012 by Laurent Caron

Today marks the 37th annual International Women’s Day. Along with many other celebrations of equality and diversity, VIA Rail takes this cause to heart.

This year Canada celebrates Strong Women, Strong Canada – Women in Rural, Remote and Northern Communities. As providers of essential transportation to rural areas, this is a topic we at VIA can appreciate.

According to the Census of Canada, women represented 26.6% of the Canadian labour market in 2006. Last year, women were 30.8% of VIA Rail’s workforce, and growing.

We recognize that women are still under-represented in certain professions within the rail industry, and we’re doing our part to change that. Part of the challenge is in attracting equal numbers of qualified men and women from all over Canada to join our varied workforce. Sometimes this is due to differences in the labour market from one province to another, or the individual choices that lead people to choose certain professions.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that we recently saw our first all-woman crew of locomotive engineers operate a VIA train on the Quebec City–Toronto line. It was a proud moment for us and one we hope to see repeated.

To keep things moving in the right direction VIA has a comprehensive Employment Equity Program in place. This year we will launch an internal Employment Equity Network. And in line with this year’s theme, we’ve created outreach programs to ensure that under-represented communities in rural and remote areas are aware of job opportunities at VIA Rail. We may not be perfect, but our focus, as always, is on improvement.

Happy International Women’s Day! We celebrate all the women who work with us, in every department – from the maintenance center to the Board of Directors – and make us proud to be VIA Rail.

About Laurent Caron

Laurent Caron
Laurent F. Caron joined VIA in March 2010. As Chief People Officer, he oversees leadership development, succession planning, labour relations and enforcement of the Code of Conduct, and ensures that VIA's core competencies are aligned with all the activities under his supervision.
2 Comments Leave one →
  1. Joy permalink

    Impressive. Good on you VIA Rail..perhaps I should move from New Zealand and come work for you…you make it sound like working for you is a good place to, Our daughter lives in Vancouver, and is now a permanent resident of your beautiful country, we were lucky enough to visit last November and did a trip with you from Vancouver to Jasper and return. We enjoyed the experience very much, your people made the trip very enjoyable. We look forward to the day when we can again enjoy your hospitality. A trip from Vancouver to Toronto is on my list.

  2. Kevin permalink

    VIA Rail should be praised for their work promoting women in the workforce, and without any doubt, seeing Canada by means of VIA’s service, is a superior way of exploring the country. It should be noted though that VIA have a long way to go to find a fair and equitable process of allowing job applicants present their credentials to their HR department. Their “online career site” has significant constraints, not permitting foreign residing individuals holding Canadian citizenship, to present their education experience, even at an MBA level, if that education was not successfully completed at the limited defined set of colleges/universities detailed in their database. It is a sad state of affairs when a fine entity like VIA limit themselves to more qualified job candidates due to a restrictive poorly functioning online mechanism.

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