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Meet Jill Hampton, Head of Major Projects, Sales and Business Development for North America. Jill is responsible for leading Hitachi Rail's pursuit of complex rail infrastructure projects.

My Career Journey to Hitachi Rail

I’ve worked in the rail industry in various capacities and countries for the last 25 years. I started in the legal field since I’m a lawyer by background. In the intervening years, I’ve held increasing responsibility and global leadership positions in Contracts and Legal, Procurement, Construction, and Public/Private Partnerships, as well as profit and loss responsibility for Turnkey Systems in North America before joining Hitachi Rail. In the last eight years, I’ve focused on Sales and Business Development for major projects, as this allows me to leverage all of my various skills and experience. As one of my former bosses, who I still consider a mentor, used to say, “nothing happens until somebody sells something!”. This role aligns closely with my desire to be impactful and make a difference.

Life at Hitachi Rail

Hitachi Rail is a globally renowned company with an exceptional track record of expertise and successful projects - a recognized leader in the industry. In North America, Hitachi Rail is currently involved in delivering some of the most complex and iconic projects in the industry, such as the Ontario Line RSSOM project in Toronto. For me, the key to success is the people, and at Hitachi Rail, it is clear that diversity of thought and an inclusive exchange of ideas are greatly encouraged - a workplace where everyone is seen, heard, and valued is essential for success. I am excited about the prospect of winning profitable projects at Hitachi Rail and contributing to our already impressive portfolio.


Overcoming Hurdles

The rail and infrastructure industries are traditionally male dominated, and women are significantly underrepresented in positions of power in our industry. I have encountered situations where my competency, ability, and potential were underestimated, and my experience undervalued. These instances presented an opportunity to assess whether organizational culture was aligned with my own personal values. Generally speaking, women and men have different approaches to leadership. I feel that the traditional top-down approach is giving way to an approach that recognizes the importance of emotional intelligence, valuing people and their unique perspectives, a more empathetic approach to leadership. I feel more comfortable in this type of environment. Innovative leaders appreciate that gender balance in leadership positions is better for business – the evidence of this is overwhelming.

Professional Accomplishments

There is nothing quite like the feeling of leading a team in the successful pursuit of a large project. Sometimes, these projects take years to win, and they take many twists and turns over the course of the bid cycle that often goes on for several years. Quite a few stars have to align for a major infrastructure project to arrive at the point of award - the project needs the requisite political support, financing has to be secured, technical parameters have to be agreed, the whole contractual structure has to be created and the risk profile appropriately balanced between public and private sector.

"When we win a major project, not only do we effect positive change for the company, but a project of significant magnitude provides hundreds, sometimes thousands of jobs over several decades that, in turn, provide a livelihood for individuals and families. Once built, the project will positively affect countless members of the public who use the system to travel by rail - the most environmentally sustainable mode of transportation"

Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in the Transportation Industry – Advice to Women Seeking a Career in Transportation

My advice would be to stay true to yourself and always make decisions that are aligned with your values. Take opportunities that come your way, and don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for opportunities that foster growth - taking risks is the best way to learn and grow. Seek out mentors and sponsors that you respect and trust – finding good people you can turn to when you need advice and who will help you in your journey is especially critical for women in an industry where we are in the minority. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – chances are that others have the same questions - recognize that we’re all figuring it out. Very importantly, avoid falling into the trap of thinking you have to please others to be successful – constantly be aware of whether you’re in the right place, in an environment where you are valued, where you have the opportunity to learn and grow, and most importantly - where you can be yourself!

To find out more about careers at Hitachi Rail, please click here to visit our careers pages.


Jill Hampton

Head of Major Projects, Sales and Business Development for North America Location: USA & Canada