Cle Leatha Shaw - Breaking the Glass Ceiling!



Cle Leatha Shaw began working in the transportation industry in 1986 with Midway Airline in Chicago. After the shut down of Midway Airlines she ventured over to the trucking faction of transportation, where she learned everything from invoicing, collections, dispatching, billing, hazmat processing, customs processing, shipping and receiving, and dock management.


While working for Hercules Forwarding, Cle Leatha was approached by a truck driver who told her of a mass hiring opportunity with Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS). She applied and was hired in February 1998 as a Track Standing Order Clerk. Again, Cle's drive to learn all she could about the industry led her to working several positions at Norfolk Southern. The most challenging position being a tower operator at Landers Intermodal Yard in Chicago.


In 2002, Cle Leatha realized she had reached a glass ceiling at NS. Cle Leatha applied for several positions that she was qualified for that had a higher grade than tower operator. But, she was always told, “we don’t hire clerks for that position." This caused her to look for employment elsewhere. She applied to Metra and was hired as a crew caller in 2002. Cle Leatha worked as a crew caller and gained all the knowledge she could by being proactive in doing her job.


After 15 yrs. she began to feel that the glass ceiling at Metra was lower than the one at NS. She applied for several positions at Metra, interviewed well, but somehow was stuck in the Crew Management department. She was told by friends and family that “if it's for you, no one can keep it from you.” Cle Leatha kept that in mind each time she applied for a position. She strived to be the best Crew Caller and continued to be proactive. On December 1, 2017, it all paid off, Cle Leatha was promoted to manager of Crew Management. Cle Leatha is enjoying her new position immensely. She has taken several courses provided by Metra, which she uses to improve her department and provide her team the proper tools to perform their duties. “I face a new challenge every day but I’m prepared, I have my armor always ready!” Looks like diligence, patience, and a hunger for knowledge helped Cle Leatha break that glass ceiling!


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