Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 8, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Vancouver, City of was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2017):
- City of Vancouver manages a unique FitCity Incentive Program, offering employees the chance to earn redeemable points through physical activity and lead a healthy lifestyle through sustainable behaviours such as walking or cycling to work -- the City and its employees also support the annual Bike to Work Week, the National Commuter Challenge, and the annual Car Free Day
- City of Vancouver supports its new moms with maternity leave top-up payments (varying by employee group) and offers priority access to a nearby daycare centre when they are ready to return to work
- City of Vancouver helps employees plan for life after work with retirement planning assistance, contributions to a defined benefit pension plan, and phased-in retirement work options to help smooth the transition
The City of Vancouver prides itself on diversity
The City of Vancouver's Art Deco City Hall building impressed Zhila Pirmoradi the first time she saw it. Having recently arrived from Iran, Pirmoradi recalls: "I thought this would be a place I would love to work in. It looked so welcoming." She didn't know that the 12-storey building would soon be her new workplace.
At the time, Pirmoradi was a PhD engineering student at Simon Fraser University en route to meet a manager in the City's sustainability group. He had agreed to become her mentor as part of a successful Immigrant and Employment Council (IEC) of B.C. initiative. The City has partnered with the not-for-profit IEC on the mentoring program for seven years, encouraging its staff to mentor new immigrant professionals like Pirmoradi adjust to their new surroundings and find jobs.
"The program is just one example of how the City values diversity in what it brings the workplace and the community," explains Anne Nickerson, Vancouver's Equal Opportunity Director. "Although we are not looking to recruit new immigrants through our participation, people sometimes do end up working for the City."
Pirmoradi's first session with her mentor at a coffee shop near City Hall sparked introductions to his colleagues, both inside and outside city government. As a result of shared professional interests, she discovered a job posting at the City that fit in with her desire to work with and help others. Now, 18 months later, she works as an analyst in the City's Continuous Process Improvement Program, helping other municipal business units streamline their work and perform more efficiently.
"It's all about sharing insight," Pirmoradi says about her job and life at City Hall. "There are so many things we don't know and can learn from others."
Indeed, Pirmoradi, now an IEC mentor herself, says her colleagues are just as curious about her background as she is about theirs. "Since day one on my job, I have never felt like a stranger," she says. "Everyone is so welcoming."
It is that openness to others that makes working for the City of Vancouver satisfying for so many of its employees. "We welcome differences for the richness and creativity it brings to the workplace," says Nickerson. "I love my job because of the wide variety of people I meet, work with and learn from. We take pride in our workforce diversity - for us, it's a point of excellence."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 27, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Vancouver, City of was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017):
- Working with 65 partner organizations, the City of Vancouver launched the Vancouver Immigration Partnership to help increase local capacity to assist newcomers with engagement, integration and access to services in Vancouver -- the City also embarked on its 5th annual mentorship program for new Canadians, offered in partnership with the Immigration Employment Council of British Columbia and various service providers -- additionally, Vancouver Public Library runs Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre, an on-line and in-person resource to help newcomers find employment-related information
- In partnership with ACCESS, the City of Vancouver's Police Department maintains an Aboriginal Cadet Program, providing summer employment for 2 to 3 Aboriginal youths each year -- additionally, the City's 3-1-1 Call Centre created a 16-month internship to increase the employability of Aboriginal applicants (created in partnership with Essential Skills for Aboriginal Futures)
- Vancouver's City Council recently passed two motions to support equal opportunities for women -- the first motion is to increase the number of women appointed to city advisory committees to 50% or greater and the second is to investigate the creation of a mentorship program for women interested in a career in public service
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 20, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Vancouver, City of was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2017):
- As part of its Greenest City Action Plan adopted in 2011, the City of Vancouver's stated (and modest) goal is to make Vancouver "the greenest city in the world" by 2020 -- the plan includes strategies and actions to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels, make walking, cycling and public transit the preferred modes of transport, create zero waste, and have the best drinking water and cleanest air in the world (to name a few)
- City of Vancouver's official Transportation Plan was first adopted in 1996 and formalized the prioritization of walking, biking and public transit over automobiles in planning all future transportation infrastructure -- the City's ongoing efforts at greening its fleet of vehicles includes vehicle right-sizing, reducing the overall size of its fleet, anti-idling awareness programs and adoption of low emission, hybrid and electric vehicles where possible
- City of Vancouver established green building requirements for all rezoning applications to ensure that construction of any civic buildings larger than 500 square metres will meet LEED Gold building standards