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Young female professionals entering the workforce have opportunities for support and apprenticeship in the Women in Trades program at Nutrien.Supplied

Pranay Girdhar got his first exposure to Saskatoon-based Nutrien through an eight-month co-op placement while he was a math and finance student at the University of Waterloo. That experience made a lasting impression, because it led to a rewarding career with the agribusiness giant.

“Nutrien is a powerhouse in three different industries, those being manufacturing, mining and agricultural retailing,” says Girdhar, manager of the valuation and financial structuring team. “You get exposure on a daily basis and that keeps things interesting.”

Apart from that, the company’s purpose is a powerful draw for anyone who aspires to a meaningful career. “What really brings young people to Nutrien is our purpose,” says Wendy Ng, vice-president, internal audit. “We help to feed the world and we aspire to do this in a sustainable and responsible way. That’s an exciting aspect of our company.”

Given its size and diversity, Nutrien offers a multitude of career opportunities and paths to professional growth. The company operates potash mines in Saskatchewan and mines phosphate in the U.S. Nutrien produces nitrogen in Canada, the U.S. and Trinidad and has a network of more than 2,000 retail outlets in Canada, the U.S., Latin America and Australia.

The company invests heavily in professional development through a number of innovative initiatives, such as its ‘Women in Trades’ program, the ‘Nutrien Leadership Development’ program and the ‘New Grad Technology’ program. The company also makes a commitment to attracting talent through its co-op program.

“I was in an eight-month co-op with a cohort of about 20 students,” Girdhar says. “I was given meaningful work and, based on conversations with the other students, it was evident that they also had purposeful assignments.”

Both Ng and Girdhar have benefited from mentoring, which has helped them advance and provided exposure to executive-level decision-making.

Ng, a chartered professional accountant, joined Nutrien in a finance role 12 years ago and she has held four different positions since then, thanks in part to the support she received from mentors.

“One of my roles was as the adviser to the CEO,” she says. “It is a one- to two-year rotational program in which you work directly to support the CEO. I got the opportunity to attend senior leadership and executive meetings. A huge benefit of the program is that you meet people from across the company and you get exposure to all the different business operations.”

For his part, Girdhar says: “I’ve really benefited from mentorship and the opportunities I’ve received from our senior leaders. These opportunities have not only allowed me to present ideas to them but also be present during important decision-making discussions. Seeing how and why we make decisions at a very senior level has been very helpful.”

Nutrien also supports a number of employee resource groups (ERGs) in order to create inclusive and engaging workplaces. Ng co-leads the Women in Nutrien group and serves as executive sponsor of the Asians at Nutrien group. “The ERGs are an important part of building an inclusive culture and they contribute to the personal development of our employees,” she says.

Girdhar is a member of the young professionals group. “It creates opportunities for young people to connect and share their experiences,” he says. “A lot of people are focused on one of our three different industries. Networking allows them to make contacts and exchange knowledge.”

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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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