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11/5/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Minority forum emphasizes BNSF's diversity endeavors


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On Oct. 31, Burlington Northern Santa Fe held its third minority forum, hosting nearly 200 attendees in Fort Worth, Texas.


Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Rose described how BNSF's workforce has become more diverse since 1996, according to a prepared statement.


Minorities now account for 44 percent of the railroad's employment rolls and 32 percent of salaried workers, and comprise 26 percent of new hires and 36 percent of management trainees.


During that six-year span, about 13,000 employees received formal diversity training, and the railroad enhanced its mentoring, performance management and training programs to provide more growth and development opportunities, said Rose.


However, he believes the railroad and its workers still need to do more to achieve diversity goals.


"First, we must recognize that we need to be more diverse and that each of us is responsible for making this happen," said Rose.


In that vein, forum attendees discussed ways BNSF could continue to break down barriers and foster a more diverse culture.


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