In 2021, women railroaders made up 11.8% of the Canadian rail labour force. We can do better. The railway industry has historically been a male-dominated space — but there’s no reason it has to be. Together we can create an environment for women to contribute, grow, and drive Canada’s railways forward.
The Railway Association of Canada is proud to support and celebrate the women who keep our trains moving.
Why work in rail?
If you’re a woman and you’re on the fence about a career in the rail industry, consider this:
- Canada’s railways are a backbone of our economy ― transporting tens of millions of passengers and approximately $350 billion worth of goods across our country each year.
- Not only do railways move people and goods safely and efficiently, but trains relieve road congestion and are highly fuel-efficient, helping to limit harmful emissions to our environment.
- You’ll join the over 34,000 Canadians working in railway operations, maintenance, technology, customer service and leadership positions.
- Railway employees earn an average of more than $100,000 a year ― among the highest annual earnings of any Canadian industry. (The total comp, including benefits and pensions, is strong, too!)
- You can also choose to work at one of Canada’s largest employers (CN or CP) or at a smaller rail business, closer to home.
Resources for women in the rail industry
Currently working in the rail industry? Here are some resources to support your growth and professional development:
Resources for prospective women in rail
We’re committed to supporting and developing the next generation of young railroaders — including young women. Consider these resources as you consider a career in rail:
Violet Isabel Cumming
Inducted into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame in 2005, Violet Isabella Cumming exemplifies the contribution of women to the Canadian railway industry.
Susan Anholt is a community leader and volunteer in Kenaston, the location of an important Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) feeder line in central Saskatchewan.
Recognized as an inspirational leader and catalyst for change, Corina is known for inspiring employees to achieve unprecedented results. During her eight years as President and CEO of Ontario Northland Transportation, Corina shifted the business to be data-driven, customer-focused, lean, and strategic.
Divya Shah is an accomplished professional in investments and financial services, with extensive experience in project finance, capital markets, and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). She currently serves as a Managing Director at the Canada Infrastructure Bank, where she leads the investment team responsible for capital deployment and impact investments in the Trade and Transport and Critical Minerals Sectors.
Karima is the Chief Inclusion Officer at Metrolinx and she is building equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) capacity across the organization to create an equitable workplace and a culture of belonging. This includes embedding EDI into Metrolinx’s work – from workplace practices to how it engages and works with communities.
Pamela Ruebusch is the founder and owner of TSI Group. When she started the business over three decades ago, Pamela’s goal was to create a firm that delivered the best available talent and executive search services to clients throughout North America. She is the leading executive search firm in the transportation, logistics and supply chain sector in Canada.
Founder and CEO of ONWARD, Monsef continues to advance her vision for a world where women and their families are thriving. She is a globally recognized feminist, leader, and changemaker who equips audiences with effective DEI strategies while sharing hard-earned lessons on leadership and resilience.
Carole Michelucci is CN’s Chief Talent Officer. She is responsible for the development and execution of a company-wide talent strategy and supporting programs, leading its Talent Acquisition, Learning and Development, Organizational Effectiveness and Succession work.
Tina Sheaves, General Manager, Operations – Ontario, is responsible for CPKC’s freight operations in southern Ontario. With over 30 years of experience in the rail industry, Tina has worked for both Class 1s in Canada and has been with CPKC since 2013. Tina has held positions within all areas of operations during her career, including engineering, intermodal, mechanical and train and engine.
Tracy Power is the Senior Director of Procurement and Inventory at VIA Rail Canada. She joined VIA in 2015 as Senior Manager Procurement and in 2016 was named Director of Procurement and Inventory. In her current role, she oversees the strategic sourcing, inventory management, vendor performance management and governance for VIA Rail’s Procurement across eight provinces.