Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
- Along with creating the national "Let's Talk" initiative, Bell Canada helps employees prioritize their own health and wellness with a dedicated site on the company's intranet (with related articles, videos and training), and expanded coverage for mental health services as part of its health benefits plan (to $3,000)
- Bell Canada cultivates a culture of recognition through a number of initiatives, including the Bravo Awards (presented at an annual gala which has featured musical guests such as the Sam Roberts Band and John Legend) and the President's Wallet program to commemorate employee retirement (a tradition since 1931, retiring employees receive an embossed leather wallet with a signed thank you letter from the CEO)
- Employees working across Bell Canada's various locations enjoy a variety of local and onsite amenities -- head office employees receive subsidized membership to a fully-equipped onsite fitness facility as well as access to nutritionist, massage therapist and physiotherapist services, while Bell Media's historic downtown Toronto office houses CP24 and other programs, and is in the heart of the trendy Queen Street West neighbourhood
At Bell, embracing change means creating the future
You may have heard the saying, "the best way to predict the future is to create it." At Bell Canada, it's more than just a visionary sentiment (originally attributed to Abraham Lincoln) - it's seen as part of the culture.
Embracing change is considered second nature for employees at Canada's largest communications company, whether it's expanding Bell's extensive fibre network across the country, launching new media platforms and content, or readying 5G wireless to power real-time Internet of Things applications.
Bell's strategic investments in fibre and wireless networks have also given employees a variety of options to choose from when it comes to their careers - working in fields as diverse as network engineering, marketing, broadcasting, IT, finance, human resources and legal.
For David Bauslaugh, Director, Customer Care, being on the leading edge of developments that make a difference for customers is, he says, an exciting proposition. Bauslaugh joined Bell seven years ago as part of the first group to go through the company's award-winning Graduate Leadership Program.
"The program gave me the chance to develop my skills and led to an incredible opportunity to map out our strategy for leveraging the potential of transformative artificial intelligence technology," he says. "Bell is a real leader when it comes to enabling communications solutions that can transform the way we live and work."
With customer needs at the centre of discussions about future products and services, Bauslaugh has embarked on a new role focused on technological and operational innovations aimed at creating the best possible service experience for Bell customers.
The ability to move between groups offers a unique experience that few organizations can match, says Bernard le Duc, Bell's Executive Vice President, Corporate Services.
"Our dynamic work environment offers many opportunities for growth, and we encourage our team members to embrace change throughout their careers," he says. "We understand the importance of providing an innovative and collaborative workplace and encouraging employees in all fields to be creative and challenge the status quo."
Rupinder Dhillon, Director, Business Intelligence, sees the impact of that commitment in her own team.
"Bell not only supports diversity as we traditionally define it, it also promotes diversity of thought," Dhillon says. "People from a wide range of backgrounds bring different skills and perspectives to the table and that enhances our innovation and creativity."
Bell is also at the forefront of changing attitudes toward mental illness, working to reduce stigma and drive action through its high-profile Bell Let's Talk initiative. The company practices what it preaches, with internal awareness campaigns, a broad range of workplace support resources and mandatory mental health training for leaders.
"Our ground-breaking support of mental health is a tremendous source of pride for our team," says le Duc. "Our team members feel that we are making a positive difference on an important national issue and improving people's lives both across the country and in our workplace."
The theme of fully supporting employees carries over to Bell's approach to career development - where finding the right people, and continuing to invest in them through training, education and development, is a top priority.
"I was able to complete my MBA, take on new challenges and raise two young children working here," says Dhillon. "The ability to achieve this balance shows Bell's level of commitment to its team members and it's incredibly motivating. I see a great future here."
Bell's transformation creates opportunities of the future
As a Fleet Specialist at Bell Canada's Montréal headquarters, Simon Therrien is one of more than 50,000 Bell team members who are helping to transform the communications landscape across Canada.
Therrien designs customized vehicles for technicians who build Bell's advanced fibre and wireless networks and install communications services in customer homes.
That requires him to stay on top of the latest advances in technology and work closely with multiple teams. "I love the creativity I bring to my job," says Therrien. "The whole process, from 3D modeling to prototyping to seeing the final solution in action, is very satisfying."
Since Bell was founded in Montréal in 1880, it has become Canada's largest communications company, leading the way in delivering the latest innovations to the city and the country.
This includes Bell's $854-million investment to bring direct fibre links and the fastest Internet speeds to over 1 million locations throughout Montréal. The largest communications infrastructure project in Québec will create 2,700 jobs and spur $2.2 billion in economic activity, making the province one of North America's most connected jurisdictions.
That type of investment keeps Bell employees busy in Montréal and other centres across the country as they help revolutionize how Canadians communicate. This involves delivering the fastest wireless speeds, implementing the latest TV and Internet innovations, and developing services that support self-driving vehicles, connected homes, virtual reality and smart cities.
Being on the leading edge provides opportunities to work in new and different ways, navigating careers of the future today. For Marie-Josée Boivin, Bell Vice-President of Human Resources, that means good things for career development. "You can build a diversified and exciting career working at Bell, with unparalleled opportunities to learn and grow," she says.
Boivin also leads Bell's workplace mental health programs, supported by the groundbreaking Bell Let's Talk initiative. Her team provides support and training to help end the stigma around mental illness. More than 9,300 Bell leaders have been trained in mental health best practices.
"Whether it's our commitment to mental health or supportive workplace programs, our objective is to create healthier work environments," says Boivin.
For his part, Therrien, the father of two young girls, benefited from that support when his eldest daughter underwent brain surgery in 2016.
"Bell really came through when my family was experiencing rough times," he says. "It's clear the company cares about making a difference on many levels and that's a great legacy for the future."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2018):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 1, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2018):
- In addition to managing the widely recognized "Bell Let's Talk" campaign, the company maintains an internal mental health policy and offers enhanced benefits coverage for mental health care -- Bell Canada also supported the creation of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and is the first company to adopt the standard internally, providing all managers with Workplace Mental Health certificate training
- Recruiters and members of Bell's diversity and inclusion team participated in a career market organized by Our Children's Medicine to help job-seekers from First Nations communities obtain resume-writing and skills-assessment training -- Bell Canada also participated in a similar event organized by the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
- Bell Canada established an LGBT network in 2009 to support the inclusion and professional development of LGBT employees and developed formal guidelines and resources to support employees, their leaders and their teams through the gender transition process -- resources include information on gender identity and expression at work, an FAQ for leaders and a terminology guide
Diversity drives innovation and creativity at Bell
When Hélène Vallée joined Bell Canada in 1999, she was hesitant about coming out as a lesbian to her new colleagues and worried about how it might affect her career. After making the decision to bring her partner to a company gathering, she quickly discovered that she was, in fact, part of an inclusive team and valued for who she is.
"I was relieved," says Vallée, "and happy that Bell supports people for being themselves. It's been positive and transformative." As her career has advanced, she's taken an increasingly active role in promoting diversity and inclusivity by volunteering at Bell and other organizations in her hometown of Montréal.
"I believe that when you can bring your authentic self to work, you can use that energy to help your colleagues, the company and your customers," says Vallée, who is now a Senior Service Proposal Advisor with Bell Business Markets.
Bernard le Duc, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, agrees. "Bell is committed to building a fair, inclusive and accessible workplace that reflects the diversity of our customers and the communities we serve."
He also notes that Bell appreciates how workplace diversity enhances innovation and creativity.
"Our team members bring a wide range of backgrounds, skills and perspectives that allow us to develop multiple ways to solve a problem," says le Duc. "Our unique corporate culture means we're more likely to come up with solutions that hit the mark, resulting in best-in-class service to customers throughout the country."
Bell's diversity and inclusion strategy focuses on enabling all team members to reach their potential regardless of age, gender, family status, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability.
The company demonstrates its commitment in numerous ways. Its Diversity Leadership Council ensures Bell's business strategy and human resources policies are in line with its diversity and inclusion goals. Council members include senior leaders from across Canada who are responsible for developing plans that foster a workplace environment where all employees feel valued, respected and supported.
This includes events, education, specific supports in the workplace, as well as a supplier diversity program and recruitment partnerships to help attract a more diverse, inclusive workforce.
"There's been an evolution in the company's diversity goals over the past few years," says le Duc. "Today, diversity is not a destination. It's a journey -- and I'm so proud of the journey we're on."
While it's still important to accommodate team members with specific needs, le Duc says there's now a greater focus on actively promoting inclusion. This includes the company's inclusion networks, such as the LGBT Network and Women at Bell. Led by employee volunteers, the networks promote events and provide professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities throughout the company.
Bell is also a leader when it comes to mental health -- the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada. Supported by the groundbreaking Bell Let's Talk initiative, programs include enhanced mental health coverage and a range of online and in-house resources to help team members and their families.
More than 9,000 Bell leaders have been trained in mental health best practices, providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to support colleagues in need. As a result, Bell now sees growing numbers of individuals who are comfortable coming forward when they experience difficulties, says le Duc.
Vallée echoes the sentiments of other employees when she says Bell's mental health initiatives are a source of pride for her. So too is Bell's overall approach to diversity and inclusivity, with programs that are regionally and culturally distinct.
On Canada Day in 2017, for instance, Bell was a sponsor and media partner for Montréal's Pride Parade.
"Holding hands with my partner in front of that float was an extraordinary experience," says Vallée. "It's clear that Bell does much more than accept our differences. It welcomes and celebrates them."
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2018):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 18, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2018):
- Bell Canada added over 40 electric vehicle charging stations for employees looking to plug-in at work and partners with Add Énergie and the Québec government to install e-charging stations at locations across the province -- head office employees can also sign out mountain bikes and helmets as needed
- Through its new phone upgrade program and the Bell Blue Box recycling program, the company ensures that its products are properly recycled through store locations as well as Virgin Mobile and participating The Source locations -- over 2 million phones, batteries, phone accessories, modems and television receivers have been diverted from landfill since 2003
Connecting innovation and sustainability at Bell
When you're looking for a new mobile device, your focus is likely on the latest features - a better camera, bigger screen or faster processing speeds. But what if choosing a new smartphone could also help positively impact both the environment and mental health?
At Bell Canada, connecting innovation with important social issues helps Canada's largest communications provider stand out as a responsible corporate citizen.
"We take great pride in making connections that aren't always obvious," says Marc Duchesne, VP, Corporate Security and Responsibility, "like linking people's passion for the latest smartphone to a recycling program that also helps support mental health initiatives across Canada."
Duchesne is referring to the successful Bell Blue Box program, which directs proceeds from the recycling and resale of products from Bell, Virgin Mobile and The Source, to the Canadian Mental Health Association, as part of the company's ground-breaking Bell Let's Talk initiative. Since 2003, more than 2 million phones, batteries, phone accessories, modems and television receivers have been diverted from landfill.
"It's a win-win-win situation," says Duchesne. "As our customers switch to the latest wireless devices, they have an environmentally friendly option that helps to drive positive action in mental health care, access and research."
That's just one example of how Bell is connecting team members, customers, and communities through its commitment to the environment as it weaves sustainability into every aspect of its business.
"Bell has a long history of innovating to meet our customers' changing needs," says Stephanie Berger, Senior Specialist in Bell's Corporate Responsibility & Environment group. "Our job is to stay out front with a dynamic and responsive approach, which is how we deliver on our commitment to lead the way in protecting the environment."
The team is responsible for ensuring that the Bell team - working in fields as diverse as network engineering, IT, customer operations, broadcasting and marketing - all have their own unique environmental plans. Depending on the business unit, plans cover everything from managing e-waste to reducing greenhouse gas emissions with technological alternatives to travel, including conference calls, videoconferencing and online collaboration tools. In 2017 alone, these initiatives helped reduce energy consumption by 300,000 MWh, fuel consumption by 500,000 litres, and diverted 100 tonnes of computer equipment from landfill.
One of the keys to Bell's success has been the engagement of its employees. They have embraced initiatives like office "sort-it" programs, Earth Hour, Earth Day and electric vehicle promotions in Quebec, where employees can plug into one of over 50 charging stations.
That kind of engagement helped Bell become the first communications company in Canada to be certified to the ISO 14001 standard - 6 years before their only certified competitor.
"Our jobs require us to think ahead," says Berger. "We are constantly scanning the horizon for potential environmental risks, developing strategies for improvement and looking for opportunities to do things better."
Bell's strategic investment in fibre to the home, one of the most extensive infrastructure projects in the company's history, has sparked one such future-looking project. As Bell continues to accelerate its direct fibre build across the country, including major urban centres like Toronto and Montreal, the environment team is focused on developing an economically sound, environmental approach for recycling left-over or damaged fibre optic cables.
"I absolutely love my job," says Berger. "The culture of innovation and improvement is something special. It inspires me more than anyplace I've worked before, and I can't wait to see what new partnerships we form, what new initiatives we will deliver to build an even greener and more successful future."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- For nearly 20 years, Bell Canada has partnered with Career Edge to provide internships to new and recent graduates, offering over 1,180 internships to date and hiring approximately 300 interns into full-time roles -- Bell Canada also works with Lime Connect to recruit students and new graduates with disabilities
- Bell Canada's 12-week summer internship program provides an early introduction and fast-track opportunity for students to join the company's Consumer Markets and Media, Business Intelligence and Field Operations graduate programs -- over the course of the internship, students are assigned a buddy and participate in a variety of unique events including networking sessions with Bell executives, managers, and other grads, volunteer opportunities at CAMH and North York Harvest Food Bank, and various social activities such as dragon boat racing and team dinners
- Bell Canada manages a number of Graduate Leadership Programs to help cultivate the next generation of leaders -- program participants work in a variety of different departments for periods ranging from 18 months to 3 years, and also attend the company's annual Grad Leadership Summit, which features senior-level speakers, a team building exercise and a networking social
Bell Canada team members connect with the future
Alexander Kowalski says he discovered how "awesome" it is to work for Bell Canada when he was a university student with a summer job helping design network infrastructure. After his contract ended, he was determined to find a way to return to Bell. So, when the company held an on-campus information session at his school - one of 40 it holds throughout the country each year - Kowalski jumped at the chance to attend and learn about the options open to him after graduation.
His eagerness paid off and Kowalski was accepted into Bell's Graduate LeadershipProgram after he completed his degree in2017. He joined the Finance stream, one of nine different streams the award-winning program offers new grads. A little more than halfway through his rotational program, Kowalski says he's already had more interesting assignments and interactions than he ever expected.
"I feel incredibly lucky to work for Canada's largest telecommunications company," says Kowalski, currently a Finance Manager for Field Services. "I've been given all kinds of opportunities to take on challenging projects working for a company that's on the forefront of technological change. Bell's grad program is rare with so many possibilities for growth."
Whether they're expanding fibre links to customers across Canada, launching next-generation media platforms and content, or readying 5G wireless to power Internet of Things (IoT) applications, Bell's 52,000 employees are focused on providing the best possible service experience.
With thousands of career opportunities, Bell offers young people a variety of well-developed options to jump-start their careers. This includes summer student placements, paid internships and university co-op programs plus the Graduate Leadership Program. Opportunities are available in fields as diverse as network engineering, marketing, broadcasting, IT, finance, human resources and legal. Plus, the company invests in long-term career growth through training, education and professional development.
Marie-Josée Boivin, VP, HR & Organizational Development, says the opportunity to do innovative and rewarding work appeals to young people who have grown up embracing change. "We're in a fast-paced environment where technology is consistently changing," she says. "That makes Bell an exciting and dynamic place to have a career."
At the same time, says Boivin, it's important to work for a corporation that plays a positive role in people's lives. The ground-breaking Bell Let's Talk initiative is a source of pride for employees, who have embraced the company's commitment to breaking down stigma, with mental health awareness, training and support both inside the company and in partnership with organizations across the country.
"Whether it's giving back to others or contributing in the workplace, Bell understands the motivation to make a difference," says Boivin. "We've become more collaborative, more agile and are embracing the diverse needs of our workforce in our company culture."
Participants in the grad program, for instance, quickly gain valuable experience in varied roles as they rotate through different departments. They also benefit from a built-in mentorship component that helps them envision their future with the company and take ownership of their own careers.
That's exactly what Natalia Gomez Diaz has done. She is one of over 1,000 grads that Bell has hired into full-time positions since the program began in 2011. Today, Gomez Diaz is Senior Manager, Strategy Execution and Planning - or what she jokingly calls her "day job."
That's because she's given herself the additional challenge of organizing Think Tank events for Bell. After the first two problem-solving events were a success, Gomez Diaz says others in the organization have approached her and her team of volunteers to host the events for their departments.
She credits the innovative culture at Bell, where executives appreciate the perspectives of different generations. "They were so open and willing to consider the contributions I could make," Gomez Diaz adds. "That's such a boost of confidence when you're just starting your career, and I've seen that commitment do nothing but continue - Bell is a great place to build your future."