Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Suncor supports lactation room for nursing mothers


Jennifer Burke, a Mine Operations Manager who provided feedback on the lactation space before taking maternity leave herself, sees Millennium Mine's new addition as a positive sign that anyone is welcome to work anywhere at Suncor.

“To me the lactation room signifies that no matter what your situation is, you can feel comfortable here. There are many mothers making incredible lives for their families while working in the mine. It’s nice to give them a space to do the things moms need to do,” said Jennifer Burke, a manager at the mine who is on parental leave herself.

The recent addition of a lactation room at Millennium Mine has made it much easier for women returning to work after parental leave to collect valuable breastmilk.

Tina Markovic, Vice President, Mining Business Improvement, was on a ride-along with her team in the field when a HEO suggested a lactation room.

“I spent time with a female operator who flagged an important issue about supporting breastfeeding moms returning to work after parental leave,” says Tina. “She got me thinking: What if our workplace could provide a private and hygienic facility to express milk? This would help eliminate a barrier for some women in our workforce, or potentially aid in their decision-making process about returning to work.”

Tina pitched the idea to two Mine Operations Leaders, Amanda Bona and Neal Tattrie, and the rest, as they say, is history — or herstory. The Infrastructure Production Team, led by Amanda and Neal, made the Millennium Mine Diversity Facility a reality. The facility includes a dedicated quiet space for meditation or prayer, as well as the site's first lactation room for nursing mothers.

Amanda, an Infrastructure Production Day Leader, wanted to make sure the space was peaceful while also providing important amenities like hot water and a comfortable chair for those who used it. To ensure the lactation room remains private, secure, and quiet, swipe access is required.

“I asked pregnant colleagues what they would need in the space to make expressing milk as easy as possible for our operators, who typically spend the majority of their 12-hour shift in the cab of their heavy hauler,” says Amanda, who is currently pregnant herself.

“This project really embodied the Stronger Together mentality, to support the ever-changing needs of our diverse workforce, and in this case, women specifically.”

While the lactation room at Millennium Mine is the first in the industry, it is not Suncor's first. A lactation room was added to Suncor's headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, in 2019, with a second space planned for 2022. Suncor is also proud to support many inclusion and diversity programs and initiatives across our operations, such as smudge-friendly spaces and prayer and meditation rooms.