Anna Delheimer

What is your educational background?

I have an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Where are you currently employed and what is your job title?

BNSF Railway. Manager of Public Projects.

In 2-3 sentences please describe your current role.

In my role, I act as a liaison between public agencies and the railroad. My priority is always to improve safety. I help move critical public projects along that benefit both the railroad and the community.

Why should women think about a career in rail?

The rail industry has a lot of opportunity for growth especially if you’re willing to seek it out. Right now, there is an opportunity to make your mark. The railroad industry is going through a transition in how it operates and works with communities. Women have a chance to own that and help shape the industry.

How did you end up working in the rail industry?

When I started undergrad, I didn’t know anything about the rail industry. I was lucky enough to stumble across the AREMA Student Chapter and got involved. After my junior year, I had an internship at BNSF Railway and I have been there ever since.

What do you like most about your job?

This job is all about connecting with other people, whether it’s a big or small agency, we work with everyone. I got a lot of satisfaction from building strong relationships and helping one another complete projects.

What are the main challenges as a female leader?

One of the main challenges is being different from most people in the room. Although this can sometimes feel uncomfortable, it really is a strength. In general, women bring a more empathic and collaborative leadership style to the table, which is a benefit to all.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into engineering and technology fields?

Go for it! The industry is changing and it’s an exciting time to be a part of it.

(This interview was conducted in 2021.)

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