If you’re a Metrolinx customer, these are the transit experts, and our partners, working to make your journeys better than ever.
We actually do like to brag.
At least when it comes to those who work for, or with, Metrolinx. Because we believe the talent pool we draw from is deep and worth celebrating – and hearing from.
For International Women’s Day 2019, we’re focusing on all of the women at Metrolinx and its partners who work together to connect our communities to get you there better, faster, easier. The theme for this year is ‘Balance is Better’. Here at Metrolinx we agree.
One of our key objectives is to achieve gender balance in our workplace to 50 per cent for senior managers and above by 2021. Good leadership is only possible when you include diverse voices at the table, reflecting the communities we serve. On gender balance, we’re there with our Senior Management Team and we’re just about there with our Board of Directors. Work continues to achieve our goal of gender balance across the organization.
Our President and CEO, Phil Verster, spoke about the importance of the makeup of our workforce at Metrolinx at an International Women’s Day panel hosted by ULI Toronto.
Verster: I want diversity not because it will feel better, but because it will make my team better. Diverse teams are more innovative, make quicker decisions, and are better equipped to change course. #SheWithHe#WLITorontopic.twitter.com/H1P7riV7OU
To mark the day, as well as Women’s History Month, we asked female staff members, along with those individuals Metrolinx has partnered with: “What makes you proud of your work?”
Story by Manuel Pedrosa, Metrolinx director of communications and stakeholder relations.
Aubrey Iwaniw, Senior Advisor, Mobility Integration, Planning and Development – “Facilitating a change in the way we think of construction as the strategic time for customers to explore their trip options to GO”
Janet Ecker, Metrolinx Board Member – “I am most proud of the team here and the quality of the work that they do.”
Lindsay Lashley, Manager, Utility Preparatory Activities – “As a Manager of Utilities, I am proud of the several stakeholders that I am fortunate to engage with while performing my work. These stakeholders are diverse in their backgrounds, skill sets and interest levels. As a result, I am provided with varying perspectives that allow me to make more informed and balanced decisions during project/program execution.”
Jennifer Sawyers, (A) Manager – Payment Equipment Solutions “I am a woman who has worked her entire career in a STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field and I am currently part of the PRESTO team that is enhancing our payment devices as we move towards the 2025 vision and beyond. I am proud to play a part in making the future of public transit in our region a reality.”
Wilma Lee, Tech. Roadmap and Release Planning Manager – “I am most proud of finding ways to help our customers travel seamlessly.”
Antonia Hammer, Senior Manager, Universal and Sustainable Design “I’m helping to build transit that everyone can use and future generations will feel proud of.
Rail Corridor Access and Control Team – The women of the Rail Corridor Access and Control team are most proud of their coordination of safe and productive access to the Metrolinx Network. We schedule, plan, and prioritize work events and arrange track protection for maintenance and construction projects across the network. We ensure that work events are safe, efficient, and have the smallest possible impact on customers. We are proud of our contribution to building transit at Metrolinx. Back Row (L-R): Leanne McIntosh, Natalie Killin, Chelsea Bogias, Victoria Plochec , Erin Tng, Patricia Henriques, Caroline Crawford, Tess Gulla-Abacan Front Row (L-R): Hayley Platt, Rachel Ferries, Kirsten Lewis.
Meghan Wong, Manager, Land Development, Corporate Real Estate – “I am extremely proud of the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Market Driven Strategy that our team put forward to the Board in December 2018 and the initial implementation work we have done since, in partnership with the wider Planning and Development team to ensure it is a success! “.
Shalin Yeboah, Project Director – Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination Office, City of Toronto “I am most proud of my ability to engage participants with disparate perspectives and establish effective working relationships to achieve collaborative solutions. Every day my footprint becomes more pronounced and together with the footprints of many others, we are forging an unstoppable path that will transform the way we move around this region today and in the future, which is very exciting!”
Alka Johri, Senior Advisor, Planning Analytics, Planning & Development – “Leading the business case guidance and business cases my work informs accountable and transparent decision-making for transit investments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area”
Krystal Perepeluk, Manager, Municipal Engagement, Third Party and Agreements – “Over my years at Metrolinx I have been fortunate enough to work in Operations, Planning, with PRESTO and most recently in Capital Projects. My role is a new one, and I’m proud to get to work with project teams to help them build strong relationships with their stakeholders around the region. There’s a lot that goes into a project before shovels hit the ground and I get to be on the inside track, seeing the future of our region, and being a part of the negotiations, relationship building and agreements that make the build happen.”
Terri Cowan, Senior GIS Analyst, Enterprise GIS, AssetLinx – “I am most proud of the increased adoption of GIS in the organisation, specifically by the Track Group in Corridor Maintenance as an integrated field safety auditing and reporting tool to replace paper surveys; by the Capital Project Group project teams for data visualisation and coordination of RER projects; and by the Rail Corridor Access Group as a planning and conflict detection tool. It is my hope that through the continued efforts of the EGIS team and the AssetLinx Program to enable and sustain these capabilities in the organization, other business units will utilize this powerful technology which is available to them.”
Adriana Deboveanu, Project Manager Systems, Electrification – “I am very proud of being involved in electrifying the GO network and the opportunity to learn how to electrify the GO System since electrification has never been done in Ontario. From connecting to the Ontario power grid, high voltage substation design, IESO Rules and Regulations, contributing to Electrification Performance Specifications and Standards, to implementing of these requirements into ongoing projects and being in the forefront of the action, I have the opportunity to enhance my knowledge and to contribute to a program that will help transform the region.”
Martha Turner, Organizational Change Management Lead, I&IT Assetlinx – “I’m proud to be part of a team that is transforming how we access, share, and store Metrolinx records and content. Information – and increasing collaborative, secure and consistent ways to access it – is the WD40 to keep things moving!”
Danielle Bury, Senior Advisor, Hamilton LRT – “I am proud to be able to contribute a blend of technical knowledge and creative thinking to a project that will transform my community. I love my role because I know that the drawings and documents I work on every day will eventually come to life as a real, tangible piece of infrastructure that I and so many others will be able to interact with. When a line on a drawing becomes a rail in the ground it provides such a sense of accomplishment and pride.”
Kelly Anderson, APR, Manager of Communications & Engagement, City of Hamilton – “I am very proud to play a role in one of the largest, most complex infrastructure projects in Hamilton’s history. Proactive and regular communication with stakeholders and the broader community is a very critical factor in the overall success of this project. Although a project of this nature comes with its challenges, it is very rewarding to build relationships with stakeholders and ensure they have access to accurate and timely information throughout all phases of implementation.”
Lee Weiss Vassor, Manager, Hamilton Light Rail Transit, Capital Projects Group – “What I am most proud of in my role is that it deals with so many different facets of the project: real estate, public and private utilities, the freight railroads, etc. I am proud of the positive team environment we have between the engineers and technical advisors. We work together really well.”
Priyani Wijesinghe, MSc, P.Eng., Manager, Kitchener & UP Express Corridor Infrastructure – “I am proud that I contribute my time and knowledge to build the transportation infrastructure to improve the lives of everyday people in the city. Making a change for better.”
Meghan Bratt, RPP, Environmental Project Manager – “Every day but especially on International Women’s Day, I am proud to recognize and support gender diversity and equality. For me, International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on the change led by women over the years, celebration of women’s achievements, and an opportunity to continue to raise awareness about gender equality.”
Luiza Sadowski, Manager, Community / Stakeholder Relations and Communications – “I am passionate about the work that I do because I can see the difference our work makes in the community we serve. I am tremendously proud of my team and I contributing to our #IWD #WomenBuildingUPFinchWest campaign this March, which celebrates the many great achievements of women living and working in the Finch West community. I hope I can continue to support, inspire and motivate other women throughout my work as a leader and mentor and provide opportunities for them to thrive #BalanceforBetter #InnovateforChange.”
Leslie Woo, Metrolinx chief planning and development officer. On what now drives her – “I have become much more deliberate in the choices I make tying my professional interests with my community interests. The transition from ‘player’ to ‘coach’ has also been a positive experience – looking to focus as much on the success of others as my own success.”
Sabrina DiNicolantonio, Senior Advisor to the Chief Planning & Development Officer – “Ability to constantly learn, evolve and improve by working closely with a strong female leader, and being involved in an array of work.”
Rhoda Potter, President, Agincourt Village Community Association – “In my role as President of Agincourt Village Community Association I am most proud of meeting our diverse caring residents. It is my honour to represent our group whose purpose is to protect our historic community and the safety of its residents by having a collective voice in changes that affect our neighbourhood.”
Karyn Allicock, Senior Manager, Customer Strategy – “I am most proud of building a high performing team and our commitment to consulting our customers to ensure we provide products and services they really want. Using these insights, I am equally proud of our ability to strategize, execute, design, build and launch new products.