Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Shell Canada Limited was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Alberta's Top Employers (2016):
- Shell Canada encourages ongoing employee development through a variety of training programs including apprenticeships, a dedicated women's career development program and a variety of in-house training options hosted at the training centre in Shell's head office
- Shell Canada ranks among Canada's leading corporate donors, supporting approximately 600 charitable initiatives last year, and encourages employees to get involved in their community with up to 3 paid days off to volunteer each year and matching financial donations to charities where employees volunteer their time and donate funds
- Shell Canada provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers and offers assistance in finding daycare centres and nursery schools when employees are ready to head back to work -- the company also helps employees find retirement residences and eldercare services for those who are caring for older parents
Shell has the energy to offer great opportunities
Teresa Waddington followed her curiosity - rather than her passion - after graduating from Queen's University in 2004 with a degree in chemical engineering. She was passionate about the outdoors and dreamed of a job designing and manufacturing skis and bicycles. Instead, she took an entry level position with Calgary-based Shell Canada and it has worked out better than she ever could have imagined.
"Shell has given me remarkable opportunities," says Waddington, who currently manages a maintenance team of 70 tradespeople and technicians at the company's Albian Sands bitumen mining operation, located 75 km north of Fort McMurray. "I've had the opportunity to work on difficult, exciting, high-impact jobs, even as a young person, and I've been supported by a community of experienced and skilled coaches."
Shell is a diversified energy giant with operations that span the globe. It has interests in almost every aspect of the oil and gas business, from the wellhead to the gas pump, from exploration and development to refining and processing. Shell has also laid out its commitment to a sustainable future and is investing in lower-carbon energy sources and clean technologies. As such, the company offers a remarkable array of careers and promotes employee development through tuition subsidies, apprenticeship programs and a whole suite of in-house training programs.
Robert Collings joined Shell in 1989 as a junior operator at the company's Waterton gas plant in southwestern Alberta. Today, he manages a staff of 200 at the Jumping Pound and Caroline gas plants in central Alberta – facilities which strip the feed gas of methane, propane and various other components destined for a variety of uses and markets.
"I don't know too many other places where you could start as an operator on the floor and end up running two big gas plants," says Collings, adding: "Along the way, I've pretty well done every job one can do at a gas plant."
He benefitted from the company's Operator and Supervisor Development Training program. Over a three-year period, he attended nine one-week sessions at Shell's Roberts Training Center in New Orleans and honed his managerial and leadership skills.
"It was definitely a game-changer for me," he says. "I went from a command and control guy to having big ears and asking lots of questions."
Shell encourages its employees to broaden their horizons by moving from one division or line of business to another. Andrea Brecka has taken advantage of that philosophy and it has led to a remarkably diverse career. Currently, Brecka is General Manager of Shell's retail division, which employs 150 people directly and oversees the company's nationwide chain of some 1,300 service stations.
"It's been really fantastic," says Brecka, who joined Shell in 1994 after earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta. "I've been able to have a very diverse career without leaving the company."
She started in the information technology division and has since worked at the Scotford refinery in Edmonton and at head office in Calgary in the Trading & Supply and Oil Sands areas.
Brecka had also take advantage of the company's rich offering of in-house training and development programs. She has completed the Senior Leader of Teams, Senior Leader of Communities, Women's Career Development and Women's Senior Connect programs.
"The amount of effort and focus we place on developing talent is exceptional," says Brecka. "We've moved into more structured leadership development programs targeted at women, but the company makes an extraordinary effort to develop talent regardless of gender."
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 Shell Canada Limited was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):
- Shell Canada created a 14-week career development program to help female employees achieve personal and professional goals and manages "Senior Women Connect", a dedicated leadership program for senior-level women
- Shell Canada launched its fourth annual cross-regional diversity and inclusion week across Canada, Brazil and the United States, which included employee network fairs, lunch and learns, Aboriginal awareness sessions and senior leadership engagement sessions
- In addition to tracking recruitment activity, Shell Canada notes employee attendance of diverse recruitment events and shares this information with human resources through a quarterly newsletter
Shell's diversity strategy drives hiring and promotion
Lydia Courteoreille joined Shell Canada eight years ago and for her, it has been an eye-opening and exhilarating experience.
Calgary-based Shell Canada is part of a global, vertically-integrated energy company that recruits employees from diverse backgrounds and encourages them to follow diverse career paths. "From my perspective, there are lots of opportunities and it's equal for everyone," says Courteoreille. "I always felt there were ceilings for me in the past. There are no ceilings for me at Shell."
Courteoreille, a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation of Northeastern Alberta, grew up in Fort McMurray and attended Keyano College, where she earned an occupational health and safety certificate. She started her career with another energy company before joining Shell as a team leader in the safety department at the company's Albian Sands oilsands project.
She received several promotions before moving to a totally different role. Currently, she is the Terminal Manager at the Calgary Terminal, a storage facility capable of holding millions of litres of gasoline and diesel, which is distributed to retail outlets from Edmonton to the Canada-U.S. border. "Working for Shell has been an amazing journey," Courteoreille says.
She has participated in a number of professional development programs, benefitted from mentoring from business leaders, including a senior vice-president, and flourished amid a workplace that attracts talent from around the world and from very diverse backgrounds.
The diversity of Shell's workforce is no accident or coincidence. The company has a rigorous nationwide Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to guide recruitment and to ensure that the company attracts high-calibre talent that is representative of the Canadian population, says Trish Moore, Vice-President, Human Resources Operations.
"A diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment are vital to our success and are aligned with our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people," Moore says. "Shell benefits from a diverse workforce through a stronger market focus, the ability to attract and retain top talent and the strengthening of our productivity."
Shell has adopted a number of measures to ensure that diversity and inclusion are embedded in the corporate culture. Each line of business - from petroleum exploration and production to refining and retailing through its nationwide network of filling stations - has a diversity and inclusion plan. Leaders in each division set goals and measure their progress annually.
"We track recruitment of women, Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities and visible minorities," says Moore. "More important than numbers, we focus on inclusion for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their families."
The company encourages employee participation in its employee diversity networks for women, Asians, Hispanics and members of the LGBTQ community, among others. Courteoreille is a member of Shell's Aboriginal employee networking group, which has provided her with the opportunity to connect with peers from other First Nations communities, some of whom have risen to more senior leadership roles.
She is also part of an Aboriginal training and recruitment program. Courteoreille has been featured in a company-produced video distributed to high schools in Aboriginal communities to raise awareness of the career possibilities at Shell.
"We did a workbook for teachers using my story," says Courteoreille. "It explains my background, what I've accomplished and how I got to my current position. Teachers use the video and the workbook to encourage students and to help them realize that there are opportunities out there."