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March 8, 2024

Intelcom Celebrates Dynamic Women Station Managers Across Canada

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International Women's Day 2024 brings forth the high-impact theme of "Invest in women: Accelerate progress." This year, we are excited to bring you a series highlighting the innovative work of some of the incredible women helping to accelerate operational progress in our organization. At Intelcom, we are proud to have a diverse and inclusive team in every facet of our operations to drive us forward.

In the first of our two-part series, we have the pleasure of connecting with three incredible women station managers from across Canada. Station Managers Elaine Forbes from our Kamloops, British Columbia station; Neha Sharma from our Owen Sound, Ontario station; and Annie Morin from our Trois Rivieres, Quebec station share about their careers, what they love about their roles, and some words of advice for women in the industry.

Describe your career progression to your current role as Station Manager.

NEHA: "I came to Canada in 2018 and started my journey in logistics at a dispatch centre. I started with Intelcom in January 2022 as a Line Haul Coordinator, and after expressing my interest in managerial work and continuing to grow my skills on the job and through online courses, I was promoted to the position of Station Manager in Owen Sound. I've now seen all the business cycles in this new role. Now in my second year as station manager, I am excited to continue leveraging my experience and skills to contribute to our collective success.”

ELAINE: "Throughout most of my career, I worked in the administration field in the logistics industry. After taking a few years off to raise my family, I returned to work, enjoying a variety of different roles from packaging to payroll, cartoning to Operations customer service representative, all of which helped equip me for my current job. I started with Intelcom in 2018 as an Operations Supervisor and was promoted to Station Manager in 2022."

ANNIE: "I worked for a logistics organization earlier in my career in many different roles. I had an amazing boss and wanted to be a manager like him, so I made a few strategic career moves and received my logistics diploma. My work as a Branch Manager at another organization helped pave the way to my current role at Intelcom.”

Were there any challenges you faced as a woman in logistics, and how did you overcome them?

NEHA: "I have noticed that logistics is very male-dominated. When I was in training, most of the drivers, Independant Delivery Contractors and staff was male. I was one of two women. My approach to these situations has always been to stick to my guns and earn their respect. You must trust your judgment and make the right decisions. That's what I love about being here, in Canada and at Intelcom, because it's very multicultural, and there's always respect and equality."

ELAINE: "The main challenges I faced were the long hours needed at times. It so happened that my family was grown, so I could sacrifice a few things on the way, but I remember that being a challenge."

ANNIE: "I come from a family of strong women. I had confidence and knew I was never in doubt of my capability as a woman to be as good or even better than a man. Years ago, one of my Managers at another company told me, "Before you came in, we didn't want to hire women because there were too many challenges for them in this role." But because I was a hardworking person, they changed their mind. Today, that conversation wouldn't happen, but that supervisor told me I opened the door for women working at that branch."

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What I find most stimulating about my job are the goals we have set and been able to reach each day and the people in the workplace I get to see each day.

Elaine Forbes

Station Manager, Kamloops

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

NEHA: "I’m empowered to make what I believe to be the right decisions. I’m able to see the ripple effect of one decision influencing multiple others while embracing my role as a natural leader among a supportive team. I also have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them firsthand, fostering personal growth along the way."

ELAINE: "What I find most stimulating about my job are the goals we have set and been able to reach each day and the people in the workplace I get to see each day."

ANNIE: "As a Station Manager, we're very independent: we manage the station from A to Z. We have a lot of managerial opportunities, and that's one of the things I like. At Intelcom, we have the opportunity to grow professionally – staff can start in sorting and become customer service representatives, Supervisors, and Directors. I like to help my people grow through mentorship, learning opportunities, and on-the-job experience. We also help our independent delivery contractors grow with the company, so that's something that does motivate me."

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with women interested in getting into a similar role to yours?

NEHA: "Take certification courses: many courses are available online. It doesn't have to be very expensive. You can learn about Excel, Word, computer skills, soft skills, management, how to lead, conflict management, etc. You can also learn on-the-job skills. You can watch your seniors and how they do it and converse with them. Ask questions and get advice from your colleagues. Everybody learns from somewhere!"

ELAINE: "Always venture outside your comfort zone, always show up on time, search for valued feedback or criticism, keep learning, and always keep your word."

ANNIE: "Never doubt yourself. Believe in yourself. You can do anything you want! Ensure you have the education, and you can be whatever you want."