Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 7, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why AstraZeneca Canada Inc. was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- AstraZeneca Canada's head office features a number of onsite amenities, including a cafeteria with healthy and special diet menus, interactive "thinkSpace" rooms equipped with state-of-the-art collaboration technology and comfortable seating, and subsidized access to a shared-use fitness facility, with basketball court and sauna
- AstraZeneca Canada helps employees achieve greater work-life balance with flexible hours, a telecommuting option, paid personal days off and paid time off during the winter holidays
- AstraZeneca Canada invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for job-related courses (up to $3,000), subsidies for professional accreditation, and a number of in-house and online training programs
'Fantastic science' is blooming at AstraZeneca Canada
With the rapid pace of scientific advances and medical discoveries, working for AstraZeneca Canada, a leading biopharmaceutical company, has never been more exciting. New, innovative medicines in such areas as cancer, diabetes and Hepatitis C, for example, mean that diseases that were once considered a death sentence are now becoming chronic.
"It's really a landmark time for the industry," says Carlo Mastrangelo, Director of Communications at AstraZeneca. "Traditionally, a biopharmaceutical company would be very fortunate to launch one or two new medicines a year. Over the course of the next few years at AstraZeneca Canada, we are looking to launch more than 25 new medicines and indications, in such areas as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, severe asthma and lupus. We're seeing absolutely fantastic science."
People are at the heart of AstraZeneca -- both the patients in need of life-altering and life-saving medicines and the employees at the company who are working hard to develop and deliver these. "The organization has strong values that come to life every day," explains Gena Restivo, Vice-President of Human Resources and Communications. "Following the science, putting patients first, doing the right thing and playing to win. These values really resonate with our employees and guide our actions individually and collectively as an organization."
Restivo's own time at AstraZeneca has been "an amazing journey." She explains: "My own personal career journey reflects how AstraZeneca is focused on people development -- helping people to stretch themselves, get out of their comfort zones and reach their potential in ways they never would have thought possible."
Earlier this year, the organization introduced THRIVE@AZ, a multi-year platform that focuses on three key employee areas: building skills and capabilities; employees' (and their families') health and well-being; and cultivating a vibrant, engaged and energized workplace. "Our program THRIVE@AZ is based on a passionate belief that we are at our best as a company when our employees are at theirs -- when they are learning, growing, healthy and thriving," Restivo says.
New employees often comment on the uniqueness of the culture, where collaboration and recognition are at the heart of the company's mode of operation. Last year AstraZeneca introduced the MVP Awards -- Modelling Our Values Through Performance -- where recognizing how success was achieved is just as important as what was done. The company's values are at the core of AstraZeneca and what makes their culture so unique.
Another part of AstraZeneca's impact and footprint is its community outreach. Among other things, the company partners with the ACT Foundation, a national organization that brings CPR training to high school students. Over the years, AstraZeneca has also donated more than $25 million worth of needed medicines to global relief efforts. Last year alone, the company invested just under $4 million in charitable donations and partnerships. "These are important partnerships for us," says Mastrangelo, "because when we look at making a positive impact, we can readily see the difference we're making in improving millions of lives through both our medicines and our involvement in the community."
Employee growth and development is an important people priority at AstraZeneca. The company offers tuition subsidies for job-related courses and professional accreditation as well as in-house and online training programs. The company also runs a series of "lunch and learn" sessions called My Science Matters -- aimed at helping employees to better understand various diseases areas, the latest science, and the patient journey. "My Science Matters helps to connect employees to both great science and our purpose," says Mastrangelo. "And we have such a terrific purpose; we are very fortunate in what we do: we improve and save lives."