Embracing equity at Nutrien’s Aurora Phosphate site

Published: Mar 23, 2023

Earlier this month, International Women’s Day was celebrated around the globe, and this year’s theme was Embrace Equity. March is also Women’s History Month in the United States and Australia, and we’re proud to recognize Rachel Vautrin for her efforts to embrace equity and cultivate an inclusive environment at Nutrien.

Rachel wears many hats at work. She’s a Superintendent in Chemical Plant Operations at Nutrien’s Aurora Phosphate facility; co-chair of the site’s Women in Non-Traditional Environments and Roles (WiNTER) employee resource group; and the first chemical plant superintendent to hire a women operator into her department at Aurora.

Upon hiring, Rachel realized the women’s bathroom in their area didn’t have a shower. She immediately had one installed, and around the same time, helped form a WiNTER chapter at the site to discuss the need to recruit and retain women.

“We started by surveying the current women who work at Aurora to help identify opportunities for improvement,” says Rachel. “Better bathroom facilities came up over and over again.”

With more than 100 bathrooms across the site, they hired a local engineering group to complete a detailed survey of each one.

“They took photographs, which were invaluable for communicating a need for improvement with management,” Rachel explains. “We then spent a lot of time determining how to grade or rate the bathrooms to help prioritize the work. We decided to focus on bathrooms in the areas with women employees and the ones in the worst condition for both men and women.”

A big part of the bathroom improvement work was securing funding and human resources. The chairs of the WiNTER and Women in Nutrien groups met with leadership to ensure the highest level knew change was needed. Shortly after, Aurora received the financial commitment to improve the site’s bathrooms, and the feedback from employees has been overwhelmingly positive.

“To me, equity means that all of us can accomplish our goals with equal resources, support and contentment,” Rachel says. “A truly equitable world allows each of us to be the best version of ourselves and is, in turn, enriched by the knowledge, experiences and contributions of everyone.”

Updating the bathrooms is one way we’re working to embrace equity and ensure everyone has the same, high-quality facilities.

“We’re committed to making Nutrien a more diverse and inclusive place to work,” says Mike Dirham, Vice President of Phosphate Operations. “I’m proud of the work that’s being done across the organization to further diversity and inclusion, and I’d like to thank all the members of WiNTER for leading the way as advocates for equity and change.”