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 initiatives including tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions, apprenticeship programs, a variety of in-house training initiatives hosted at the head office's dedicated training centre as well as a dedicated women's career development program
- Shell Canada offers exceptional financial rewards, including a share purchase plan, generous year-end bonuses, a hybrid pension program, discounted financial services through the Shell Credit Union, and even discounts on gasoline purchases at the pump
- 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 each year to volunteer and matching financial donations to charities where employees volunteer their time and donate funds
- Shell Canada provides maternity leave top-up payments for new moms 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 employees 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 Top Employers for Young People (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 10, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Shell Canada Limited was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
- Shell Canada created a dedicated graduate program, a 2- to 5-year accelerated career progression program that includes structured training and placement in hands-on roles -- the program may be tailored to have a specific focus, such as technical, commercial or global functions
- Shell Canada offers "assessed internships", paid internships which provide students with an opportunity to work on projects that are specifically matched to their interests and abilities -- assessed interns join a project team, are assigned a mentor, a buddy, a supervisor, and an HR representative, are formally assessed throughout the program and present a summary of their work, learning, and achievements at the end of the term -- if successful, interns are usually placed in the Shell Graduate program
- Shell Canada's recruitment team hosts virtual and face-to-face events for interns to network, learn more about Shell and hear from senior leaders, HR staff and other employees -- additionally, the company manages a New Professional Network, which aims to create an engaged and interactive community of employees who are new to the company
Shell's learning culture produces future leaders
Emma Guppy joined Shell Canada in Calgary in the fall of 2013, not long after earning a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the university of Calgary but she didn't know much about the oil and gas industry. "I'm not a technical person and wasn't sure where you explore or how you discover oil and what the process is for extracting it," says Guppy, an Emerging Policy Issue Advisor in the Regulatory and Environment Department.
She learned in a hurry, however, thanks to the company's training and development opportunities. Shell provides employees with individual development plans, formal and informal mentoring, leadership training for personnel at all levels and a broad array of in-person and online courses through the Shell Graduate Program and Shell Open University.
Guppy got a crash course in the upstream side of the energy business - which includes exploration, development and production - through an innovative two-week onboarding program offered by the Upstream Business. She completed it with a multi-disciplinary group of other young professionals. Two senior employees facilitated the course and a panel of four senior leaders judged the work of the participants.
By the end, they were able to prepare a business case for the development of an oilfield that included everything from drilling wells to working with other industry partners, community stakeholders and regulatory agencies. "I learned a ton," says Guppy. "We're definitely encouraged to learn different parts of the business to see what you like and where you fit in."
And there's lots to learn in a big, diversified multinational like Shell, which has operations across Canada and around the world and is involved in every aspect of the oil and gas business, from exploration to retail filling stations. On the technical side, Shell hires young professionals in engineering and the geosciences as well as health, safety and environmental sciences. The company also recruits for a wide range of commercial positions, including marketing, contracting and procurement, supply chain management and human resources.
Shell has a long-standing practice of hiring recent graduates from university and college programs. "I was hired as a new graduate almost 30 years ago and we have been doing it all along," says Denise Burzminski, Recruitment Manager - Canada. "Shell is always looking for talented young people who will develop into our future leaders."
The company uses multiple platforms to attract and recruit both student interns and graduates for permanent employment, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as traditional advertising through campus career and student centres. Burzminski notes that mentors are assigned to all new hires.
"I have a formal mentor whom my supervisor helped me find," says Guppy. "I had coffee with a bunch of people and the person I landed with is a nice fit for the type of career paths I'm interested in pursuing. There's a lot of informal mentoring in the company as well."
Shell has a wide range of affinity networks open to employees at all levels, but these networks are particularly helpful for younger people. They include the New Professionals Network, the Women's Network, the LGBT Network and Aboriginal, Asian and Hispanic networks. "Our employees don't need to identify with a particular group," says Burzminski. "They may simply be interested in making new friends and learning about different groups that the employee networks represent."
Guppy has joined the New Professionals and Women's Networks and says they provide both social and professional opportunities. She is part of a mentoring circle that includes five women from different business units, both technical and non-technical, and a senior leader heads up their sessions. "It's a really robust process," says Guppy. "One of the things that sold me on Shell was the value they place on new grads and the mentoring and training you receive."
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."