Championing green energy on Lake Superior's shore

Enbridge's Career Pioneers series: Part 5, Susan Fagan

Susan Fagan, Business Support Co-ordinator, Township of Dorion, Ontario

A celebration of achievement. A promise of untapped potential. An ongoing quest for equality.

International Women’s Day, fast approaching on March 8, is all of these things and more. “The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all,” says United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In honor of UN International Women’s Day, we’re profiling women in the Enbridge workforce who’ve chosen to pursue non-traditional careers. Today’s spotlight is on Susan Fagan, a business support co-ordinator for our Greenwich Windfarm in Northern Ontario.

Q: How did you end up working as a business support co-ordinator? What journey brought you here?

With the exception of a couple of typical student jobs during my school years, I began my “career” with the Ministry of Natural Resources in northwestern Ontario following my education in forest technology. Prior to Enbridge, I worked as a clerk at a construction company and before that for a local logging company in a similar role. Over the years, I moved a few times, got married, and started a family.

When the position with Enbridge in Dorion became available, I applied and was hired. I update annual contracts, maintain safety and training records, and provide support for the site supervisor through budget, expenses, and site inspection duties. It is a perfect fit.

Q: Do you have a philosophy on choosing a career, work ethic, or work/life balance?

If you aren’t happy in your job, the days can be long and tedious. That’s not to say you can always find the perfect job, but make the most of what you have. I was raised to be conscientious and to work hard. My mother was someone who was very strong and independent, and that was instilled in me and has continued with our daughters. Career-wise, seek out something that you are interested in, or good at.

Q: What is one quote you live by?

“Things always work out at the end.” I have discovered, over the years, that there isn’t always an obvious bright light at the end of the tunnel. But when the time is right and the issue is resolved, you can look back and appreciate the process.

Q: What sort of work do you do to mentor young women considering, or pursuing, a non-traditional career path?

When I have the opportunity to work with young women, I set an example. I think they need very little help being independent these days. Times have changed. In my courses at college, I was one of only two women. Now there are few courses that are strictly oriented towards one sex or another. I think traditional career roles have pretty well gone by the wayside. Women can, and do, fill roles that were previously male dominated. I think the issue isn’t women doing these jobs, but being accepted in them.

Q: Given the experience that you’ve accrued, what advice would you have for those young women following in your footsteps?

I have never been too worried about society’s notions on what women should and should not do. If you are comfortable with yourself, and have a job to do, then follow through. I think young women feel sometimes that being strong and forceful is not a female trait, but I think it is the opposite.