A major inclusion milestone for the Joffre team

Published: Sep 20, 2022

Thanks in large part to the Women in Trades program, Nutrien’s Joffre Nitrogen Operations team in Alberta made history earlier this summer, when it deployed a dayshift operations crew that was 60 percent women.   

“We are very proud of this achievement and our progress towards establishing a diverse team of employees,” said Jennifer Mercer, General Manager, Joffre Nitrogen Operations. “This has never happened before at our site, and it will now take place every five weeks from this point forward.”

The dayshift crew on July 26, had five operators working and three of them were women: Melanie Merrill and Cristine Jamito who are both in the Women in Trades program and Rajal Trivedi, Operator, in the Operator in Training program.

The Women in Trades pilot program has been instrumental in helping Nutrien make a fundamental shift in recruitment and provides access to all individuals who are interested in working as operators at the production sites.

Cristine joined Nutrien in January 2022 through the Women in Trades program and has since received her Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) Third-Class steam ticket, because of the creation of this program. The program provided her access to the necessary support for steam time, education time, and exam preparation.

“I struggled to get this certification because my industry experience was very limited. I wanted a better life for my family back home in the Philippines, so I kept on applying for jobs everywhere,” says Cristine. “I was hired with Nutrien through the Women in Trades program and without the program, I would honestly say that I would not get any opportunity close to what I have now.”

The program, which Nutrien launched in 2021 in co-operation with three Alberta trade schools, is being piloted in Alberta, with four Nutrien Nitrogen facilities participating. Due to its success, the program is now being expanded to N&P sites in Trinidad and the United States.

“We as a company needed to think outside the box about how we can develop a pool of female operator talent in an environment where it’s non-traditional and this program is helping us do that,” Jennifer says. “This program allows us to think differently and go over and above to provide opportunities to women that may not have been as easily accessible as before.”

Cristine is excited to be part of this historic milestone at Joffre. Her hope for the future? “That the program will continue to expand so that more women like myself can support ourselves and the people we love.”