Nutrien supports inclusivity for women

February 22, 2023, 1:23 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts

Victoria Orenuga has been working as a Process Safety Management Engineer at Nutrien for over a year and says the company’s efforts to provide an inclusive space for all workers has been welcoming and effective.

From working at Nutrien for just over a year, Victoria Orenuga said she has been happy to be part of a work environment that provides opportunities for diversity and inclusive growth, especially for women and people from diverse backgrounds.

“Due to the nature and the culture at Nutrien, I find that people are very open to communicating their needs,” Orenuga said.

“The Employee Resource Group (ERG) has helped the leadership team to understand what the needs of the employees are, and they are able to support them accordingly.

“Often when people come and say, ‘this is what we want, this is how we want to be represented,’ it’s brought back to the leadership team. Now, we have goals to have more females on the leadership board. We have a lot of other goals too to make sure women are represented at the top of the organization and that is very encouraging for women in the company because that way when they see the representation at the top, they believe that they can also be doing more than they are in the moment.”

Since working at Nutrien, Orenuga has been involved with the company’s employee resource group Women in Non-Traditional Environments and Roles (WiNTER), as the co-lead, which focuses on supporting female workers in the Nitrogen and Phosphate business units.

“I’ve been here for about a year now, I’m in Process Safety Management Engineering. I moved to Canada in 2015 which I am proud of,” she said.

“My background is in chemical engineering. When I first joined Nutrien I heard about the Employee Resource Group (ERG) and was looking for opportunities to volunteer and to be part of something.

“Through ERG, I found Women in Non-Traditional Environments and Roles and saw that their group’s objectives aligned with what I was looking for. I applied for the role as a co-chair and I was given the opportunity.

“As a co-chair, I help to support the WiNTER groups to make sure all of the employee resource group goals are being put to practice at the different sites. I work with the leadership team to ensure that the needs of all of the women in non-traditional roles at Nutrien, are communicated back to the leadership team, and that the team supports women in these roles.”

Orenuga explained why representation of a resource group such as WiNTER is important for women who work in the field of manufacturing and mining.

“Because the industry is manufacturing, it’s an industry that is male dominated, having this representation of women is important because before we can actually meet the needs of everyone in society, it’s very important to have both genders represented,” she said.

“That’s why we want everyone on site to feel acknowledged that way we can have the right representation on site, and through ERG such as WiNTER, I believe the leadership team works well with both groups to make sure that everyone’s heard accordingly.”

Importance of representation for Black History Month
With February being Black History Month, Orenuga spoke about the different ways and programs Nutrien has been organizing to celebrate the diversity, history and culture of Black people in Canada.

“Right now the global ERG team has been putting on programs in the organization. At the moment we also have a Black Employee Resource Group (BERG), they have also been sending out a lot of communications about Black history,” she said.

“At the end of this month we’ll also have a live event where we’ll be talking about Black history in Canada and Black history across the globe in the company.”

Orenuga spoke about why she thinks a resource group such as BERG is important for employees in the mining industry.

“Personally, I would say it’s important for that representation group to exist because I believe the Black communities have suffered a lot of discrimination,” she said.

“For me, I’m an immigrant and I can’t say I’ve experienced any form of discrimination, but I believe that people knowing about Black history is important for everyone in this society.

“To know that the Black community contributed to the various successes across the globe, it is important to have, and for that community (BERG) to exist. Some people felt the need for it to be there which is why it was created because the need was there, and because it was important to have.”

Orenuga was asked why she thinks it is important for girls and women of color to see representation of themselves present in the mining industry.

“It’s important because we don’t want to maintain a stereotype that a certain gender belongs in a certain place, while this other gender does not,” she said.

“In the past you would see the board of directors consist of mostly men, but when you see a female who is a CEO or as a leader, it gives you that confidence that you don’t only belong in certain traditional roles as a female, that you can actually achieve more.

“The importance of having representation, you cannot over emphasize it. It’s very important.

“It’s a very diverse industry right now, the world is global, it’s diverse and we need that inclusive environment to be able to drive everyone, and to see that everyone has something to offer and contribute.

“We should not limit anyone to a particular level, it should be an open space for everyone irrespective to their gender, their race because everyone has something to offer and you never know where the best opportunity can come from or the best idea can come from. A collaborative environment gives us diverse ideas where we can actually grow and create opportunities for innovation.

“I believe having that representation gives young people also the confidence to push themselves beyond the typical roles and opportunities that they are used to seeing.”

Orenuga said she is looking forward to her future with working at Nutrien, and being a part of an inclusive work environment.

“I hope to grow my career here. I like the company, I like the culture and the environment,” she said.

“Being here offers me an enabling environment that allows me to be able to drive (myself). I hope to grow and become a leader in the future here, if the opportunity is open.”