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Saskatoon-based Nutrien offers a yearlong program (Nutrien Academy) to help female employees develop leadership skills.Provided

In her 10 years at Saskatoon-based Nutrien, Heini Oguike has never lacked for opportunities to grow and advance her career. After spending nine months in the human resources department, she landed a new role in the legal department, which has proven to be a pathway for continued growth.

“I was actually encouraged to apply for a role that I didn’t even know existed, but matched with my career goals,” says Oguike, a senior analyst with the integrity group, which is responsible for ethics and compliance. “When I jumped to the legal department, I was initially outside my comfort zone, but my leaders have been supportive and invested in my professional development.”

Her team designs and implements processes, resources and training materials that help the company do business with integrity, which is one of Nutrien’s values. “We achieve results by adhering to our core values of safety, inclusion, integrity and results,” says Oguike.

Nutrien is in the business of helping to feed a hungry world with a rapidly growing population. The company produces three essential components of fertilizers – potash, phosphate and nitrogen. The potash comes from six underground mines in Saskatchewan and phosphate is mined in the U.S. Nutrien produces nitrogen in Canada, the U.S. and Trinidad.

Nutrien also serves growers and producers directly through its network of more than 2,000 retail outlets in Canada, the U.S., Latin America and Australia.

“We have a really noble purpose at Nutrien, which is feeding the future,” says Oguike. “Our senior leaders truly believe in that purpose and it cascades throughout the organization.”

“Our purpose, ‘Feeding the Future,’ is the reason we come to work each day,” adds Lori Free, vice-president of talent and organizational development. “We’re creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels safe and a sense of belonging, trusts one another and acts with integrity. The way we treat our employees and the programs we have for them are unique, because we care about investing in our people and supporting their career growth.”

Nutrien offers career growth programs for employees at all levels. Last year, the company created its High-Performance Institute to prepare director-level employees for executive positions.

“Our Leadership Development Program is for anyone who is aspiring to be a leader or may be in a supervisory or managerial role,” says Free.

The Nutrien Academy is a year-long program for women that begins in August of each year. Participants apply, with the approval of their leader, and 25 are selected. Oguike was one of those selected for the latest offering, which included training, mentoring, networking and field visits to see Nutrien’s operations.

The participants were also assigned to small groups, given a business challenge and asked to develop solutions, which they later presented to the executive leadership team. “The Nutrien Academy has been really pivotal in my career,” says Oguike. “It’s designed to help women develop leadership skills, business acumen and financial acumen.”

Free adds: “We’re proud of our leadership development programming, and Nutrien Academy in particular is key to building our talent pipeline for diverse representation at senior levels of the organization.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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