When Tara Hogan was growing up in Texas, she wanted to be a basketball coach—a career in freight rail wasn’t on her radar. But after high school and six years of service in the U.S. Air Force, she finished her college degree, took on a few different jobs and went looking for her next gig
She found Union Pacific Railroad on a list of companies looking to employ military veterans and landed a job as an operations management trainee in 2006.
More than 15 years later, after stints in Nebraska, Louisiana and Kansas, Hogan serves as a general manager at Union Pacific in Fort Worth, Texas, leading a team of 1,700 people as she runs the freight rail service in an active—and essential—area of the country.
Starting out: In many ways, Hogan found that her experience in the military gave her the tools to succeed at Union Pacific.
- “Union Pacific is a 24/7 operation that runs 365 days a year, as the military does,” said Hogan. “In the military, there’s a structure and a sense of certainty, and there’s comfort to that; at Union Pacific, there’s the same kind of certainty and structure. There’s a language in the military, and a language at Union Pacific.”
Paying it forward: Today, Hogan isn’t only an outstanding representative of the railroad industry in her own right; she’s also a role model for others who might be interested in a career in the sector—including individuals from communities that are currently underrepresented.
- Through Union Pacific’s UPLift program, which pairs underrepresented employees with executive sponsors, Hogan is sponsoring a woman in Fort Worth, offering career advice and networking support.
The bigger picture: Hogan’s success at Union Pacific is part of the company’s ambitious efforts to advance women throughout its operations.
- Its Careers on Track program—in partnership with the NAM’s and The Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted initiative—aims to increase the number of women in the manufacturing and transportation, distribution and logistics industries.
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