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 (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 23, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Vancouver, City of was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):
- City of Vancouver recently embarked on its fourth mentorship program for new Canadians, in partnership with the Immigration Employment Council of British Columbia and various service providers, and piloted the Connector Program, a mentoring and networking strategy to help skilled newcomers connect with professional contacts in their field
- Additionally, the City of Vancouver announced the launch of the Vancouver Immigration Partnership initiative to help increase local capacity to assist newcomers with engagement, integration and access to services in Vancouver
- City of Vancouver's police department maintains an Aboriginal Cadet Program, developed in partnership with ACCESS, to provide summer employment for 2 to 3 Aboriginal youths -- and also offers work practicum placements to students enrolled in the Applied Business Technology program at Native Education College
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 21, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Vancouver, City of was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016):
- City of Vancouver's Director of Sustainability works with an internal Green Operations Steering Committee comprised of representatives from all city departments -- the stated goal is to make Vancouver "the greenest city in the world" through the aptly named "Greenest City 2020 Action Plan", which includes goals to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels, have the best drinking water in the world and become a leader in urban food systems
- 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 -- since the plan's introduction, bicycle trips have increased by 180 percent, transit by 50 percent and walking by 44 percent while vehicle trips have decreased by 10 percent -- more recently, the City introduced a requirement that 20 percent of parking stalls in all new multifamily residential developments have access to electric vehicle charging stations
- 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 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building standards -- and has even set codes for new home construction to ensure that houses built in Vancouver will emit half the greenhouse gases compared to those built to Provincial code standards