Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in the rail transportation industry will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. The video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Rail transportation and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated rail transportation field.
Career Options for Women -- Rail Transportation:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in rail transportation:
- Brenda Cox, a yard foreman who loads and organizes rail cars for train assembly
- Rebecca Mann, a technical officer who tests the structural and mechanical limits of rail cars
- France Robert, an electronics systems technician who performs safety tests on passenger trains
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Rail Transportation video:
Brenda: Yard Foreman
Brenda Cox is a yard foreman. Brenda organizes rail cars for loading and assembly into trains that travel East, dropping cars off en route. She likens it to a chess game with extra big pieces to move around.
Brenda got her start with a major railway several years ago. She competed against hundreds of applicants and was one of only 12 people hired. Her first job interview was held at 3:00 a.m., just to give her an idea of what the shift work was like. She got the idea, and the job.
“What I like about my job is I have a lot of autonomy. As much as I am given instructions by somebody, it is up to me to figure out the best way to perform those tasks…”
Brenda is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Her pager may go off at any time and she will be expected to come to the yard within 2 hours. As Brenda gains seniority, she will know when she is going to work ahead of time.
Brenda's rail yard is part of an intermodal transportation network. What does that mean? Containers arrive by ship and are loaded onto rail cars. These are eventually unloaded and put on trucks for final delivery, or vice versa. Some containers are also transported by plane. Four modes of transportation: intermodal. Coordinating train movement to and from the ship docks is also part of Brenda's job.
Rebecca: Technical Officer
How would you like to get paid to smash rail cars into each other? How about freeze them into something resembling a large ice cube? Maybe you'd prefer roaring around in a military vehicle to see what it can really take? That's just part of the fun at Rebecca Mann's workplace. She's a technical officer for the Centre for Surface Transportation Technology located near Ottawa, Ontario. Her job is to see what a rail car can really take.
Rebecca did a college field trip to the Centre and was very impressed with its facilities. So she applied, and applied, and applied. Finally she got a job in the railway department. “I prefer hands-on tasks over theoretical work...The tests are different every time, so it's very interesting and exciting.”
Crashing rail cars together is only part of Rebecca's job. She's also been able to travel to Germany and the United States on business. The job's a good fit for the theory aspect of her university education and the more industry-oriented college program she attended.
France: Electronic Systems Technician
Have you ever wondered what it takes to stop a rail car going 160 kilometers an hour? Just your hand, if it's pushing a button configured by electronic systems technician France Robert. France touches the lives of many simply by doing her job well.
France assembles and tests electronic systems for passenger trains. It takes a lot of concentration, attention to detail and patience. Some pieces are very tiny, so France has to be very good with her hands.
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University