Video: LEAD marks 20 years of empowering women at Union Pacific

Carrie Powers, AVP of Financial Reporting and Analysis at Union Pacific Railroad

Last month, Union Pacific Railroad’s employee resource group (ERG) LEAD — which stands for Lead, Educate, Achieve and Develop — marked 20 years of helping women advance their careers within the railroad’s ranks. On Oct. 3, 200 employees attending the 2023 LEAD conference in Bellevue, Nebraska, celebrated the group’s efforts to empower women at the Class I. 

The event’s speakers included Beth Whited, who is the first female to serve as UP's president and the second person to serve as LEAD’s president. Whited, a LEAD founder, went to work for UP 35 years ago shortly after graduating from the University of Iowa When she was promoted to UP’s executive ranks in 2000, about 20% of those leaders were women, according to the company’s Inside Track report. Today, that percentage is 26% and continues to grow.  

LEAD is one of nine ERGs at UP. Recently, RailPrime Senior Editor Julie Sneider interviewed Carrie Powers, UP’s assistant vice president-financial reporting and current LEAD president, on how being active with LEAD has helped her career and how the ERG has impacted the lives of her colleagues at UP.