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 Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Through the company's "Who Wants to be a Philanthropist?" competition, Capital One offers employees the opportunity to shape the organization's charitable involvement -- participants present their charity of choice to colleagues, who vote for their favourite cause -- the charity that receives the most votes is awarded a donation of $35,000
- Capital One encourages employees to lead active, healthy lives through a variety of health and wellness initiatives, including health risk assessments and lunch and learn sessions on topics such as stress and healthy eating habits -- the company also participated in the Not Myself Today campaign to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace
- Capital One supports employees who are new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for the first 6 weeks, followed by 75% for 20 weeks) -- and also offers parental leave top-up for new fathers and adoptive parents (to 100% of salary for 6 weeks, followed by 75% for an additional 6 weeks)
Bring your heart to work at Capital One Bank
Two years ago Robyn Hunt almost didn't take the job of Internal Communications Associate at Capital One Bank. Now she's happy she did.
She had been employed by public relations agencies for the previous five years, where "I wasn't doing much more than working," she says. "There was no such thing as work-life balance. I knew it was time for a change. Then I overheard someone from Capital One talking about how great their job was."
The idea of working for a bank made her nervous, however. "I thought I was way too creative and cool," she says with a laugh. But she took a chance when an opportunity came up on the bank's internal communications team and she has never looked back.
"I'm so glad I took the job. I can't believe how it has changed my life," Hunt says now. "Our team works to make sure everyone is informed, and also to inspire them to think boldly. We work with other teams so I collaborate with many different people, all the way from new hires to senior management."
"Culture is totally top of mind here, and it starts with people," says Christina McClung, Chief People Officer for Capital One, which specializes in credit cards. "We hire based on all the usual attributes -- we want people who are smart and motivated and so on -- but we also look for people who bring a lot of heart to their work.
"We're recognized for our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we know that work-life balance is important. I've stayed at Capital One because it's fantastic at realizing we have a life outside work. We can have a family and a rewarding career. There's generous time off, great benefits and we offer flexible work schedules."
Hunt has experienced the benefits of that flexibility. "I had two spine injuries a couple of years ago," she says, "and I still have to go for an appointment once a week, so I'm empowered to work one day a week from home. I have the sense that the company cares about me as a person."
Telecommuting is common at Capital One, McClung says, but employees who work in the bank's offices find they are so comfortable "that you almost feel you want to live here. Our physical space is open and collaborative, designed to inspire people to be their whole selves. And it's just going to get better at our new location."
In April 2018, Capital One will consolidate two Toronto locations in the northern part of the city into one new downtown head office at 161 Bay Street.
"It will be the cutting edge of space for collaboration," says McClung. "There will be all kinds of cool stuff: writable and magnetic walls for posting ideas, AV integrated throughout, and white-noise sound masking to allow private conversations within the open-concept environment. It's important for us that people can do their best work, so we invest to make it happen.
"Another reason I'm here," adds McClung, "is the bank is really committed to getting involved in the community. We think about how we can make a difference in a meaningful way."
One way Capital One makes a difference is with the annual Gift the Code Hackathon, in which technology teams create apps and redesign websites in support of Toronto-based charities.
Hunt worked on the hackathon last year. "It was a proud moment for me to see how many of our people volunteered to take part," she says. "The solutions that were created benefit the charities, not us, and they're open-source so anyone can use them.
"I'm having such a great time here," Hunt concludes. But can she still be creative and cool? She laughs again: "Yes, I think I can."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 9, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017):
- Capital One maintains an 18-month Finance Rotation Program which includes rotations in areas such as accounting and treasury, corporate planning and line-of-business finance -- participants may also be eligible for an international rotation to continue their development abroad
- Capital One exposes new analysts to marketing strategy, product development, risk management and corporate strategy through its Canada Analyst Development program -- the 12-month initiative features job-specific training, participation in a business case, two distinct job experiences and various leadership opportunities
- Capital One encourages employees to harness their creativity through 48-hour "Innovation Days" which allow employees to break from their regular jobs and work in teams on an innovation that interests them -- ideas are presented to a panel of judges and prizes are awarded to winners, with some ideas implemented in the company
Capital One: Where community and personal development collide
Sara Rodier was standing in the middle of the room last October during Gift the Code, a charity "hackathon" run by the Canadian branch of Capital One Bank. As the 30-year-old Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility for Capital One Canada scanned the crowd, she noticed a man in a red hoodie giving participants directions and answering questions. She realized right away it was Capital One Canada President Shane Holdaway - and she felt a little flush of pride.
"I really value the importance that Capital One places on giving back to the community, and our leadership sets the tone from the top," says Rodier. "They provide great opportunities for young people to make an impact."
Gift the Code brought together more than 140 participants for 40 hours one weekend last fall to solve technology challenges faced by six Toronto-based charities. It's expected to become an annual event, and is only one of the many ways the financial services firm gives back. According to a national survey, 81 per cent of young Canadians want to work for an employer that contributes to the community, says Chief People Officer Christina McClung.
"That's something that perfectly aligns with our values," she adds.
"We want to recruit people who are cause motivated and want to support various impacts - and not all on their own time."
Capital One associates are encouraged to do volunteer work on company time - a fact that sets it apart from many other companies, says McClung. Some choose to get involved in company-supported causes, like Gift the Code or the Enactus World Cup, an international competition that challenges post-secondary students to create entrepreneurial ventures that improve the world. Associates also have the chance to promote the charity of their choice each year through the Who Wants to Be a Philanthropist pitch competition. Associates across the organization cast their votes, and the company donates $35,000 to the winning charity, $25,000 to the runner-up, and $10,000 to the third-pace finisher.
When it comes to talent, Capital One's entire approach is to hire smart people and empower them to do their best work, says Rodier. To help them find their passion, it offers a number of 12- to 18-month rotational programs that give new recruits the opportunity to work in a variety of areas within the company. The 18-month Finance Rotation Program, for example, includes two stints in sectors such as accounting and treasury, corporate planning, and line-of-business finance. Program participants may also be eligible to participate in a rotation outside of their home country.
Once they've discovered their niche, there are mentorship opportunities that match new associates with a mentor who can help them thrive in their careers. "We're really focused on supporting growth and development," says McClung.
Capital One's culture also emphasizes innovation. Every quarter, it offers Innovation Days to help unleash the creativity of its associates. The 48-hour events allow them to break away from their regular jobs and work in teams on a new product or service. Ideas are presented to a panel of judges and prizes are awarded to the winners.
Even the open, contemporary design of the company's Toronto office is engineered to inspire communication, collaboration and creativity. It comes complete with a range of amenities, including a cafeteria with subsidized meals and a barista, and a lounge with a foosball table and a 60-inch TV.
And because active minds depend on healthy bodies, every associate has a sit-stand desk, access to an on-site fitness facility and a very competitive benefits package. Work-life balance is actually considered a business priority, says Rodier. "It's a place where you come into work, but you don't feel it's like work," she adds. "And that's when you know you've hit the jackpot."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 27, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017):
- Capital One created a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, comprised of senior leaders who work to align programs, learning and recruitment to the company's diversity and inclusion strategy -- additionally, the company recently launched a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, comprised of representatives from the diversity and inclusion team, support groups, associate network leads and diversity and inclusion champions from each line of business
- Capital One offers training on a variety of topics including unconscious bias awareness and inclusive leadership (depending on employee) -- and also maintains a digital learning library which features materials to facilitate diversity workshops, information on best practices and recommendations for external speakers on related diversity topics
- Capital One recently hosted a career day for students of the Triangle Program (an LGBT high school in Toronto), providing opportunities for students to learn about the company's interview process and hear from a senior LGBT associate
At Capital One, inclusive culture drives innovation
Even as an economics student at McGill University, Alex Severance saw banks as conservative, stuffy institutions: not necessarily the best place for a young, gay man. That perception quickly vanished three years ago when Severance, a Senior Business Analyst at Capital One Canada, arrived for his first day on the job with the Toronto-based financial services firm. His team included co-workers with Iranian, Korean and Swedish roots.
"It completely shattered any latent fear I had of having to go back in the closet at work," he says. "And over the past three years, I've seen a very deliberate commitment to encouraging diversity and inclusion at Capital One."
By reflecting the community in its associates, the company believes it can better understand its customers. "Our goal is to create the best experiences for our associates and our customers," says Chief People Officer Christina McClung, "and it has to begin with an inclusive culture where every voice is heard and matters. It's not only the right thing to do, but it's ingrained in our culture."
That commitment begins at the very top. Capital One's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee is made up of senior leaders who work to align programs, learning and recruitment to the company's diversity and inclusion strategy. In addition, the company recently launched a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, comprising representatives from the diversity and inclusion team, support groups, Business Resource Group leads, and diversity champions from each line of business.
Capital One offers training on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics, including unconscious bias awareness and inclusive leadership. And its Diversity and Inclusion Digital Learning Library includes materials for diversity workshops, a wealth of information on best practices, and recommendations for external speakers on diversity topics. Pulse, the company's internal online network, frequently features profiles of associates from diverse backgrounds.
Capital One's inclusive culture also drives its continual effort to give associates the support and opportunity they need to let their talent shine. Its Business Resource Groups (BRGs) were originally established to give associates from diverse communities the chance to network and share knowledge through a variety of programs, resources and tools. The resource groups include the Asian BRG, LGBTQ+ BRG, Women in Technology BRG, and the Capabilities BRG.
"Business resource groups are also tapped by HR for their perspective when developing or updating internal policies to ensure every voice is heard and valued," says McClung. Increasingly, the BRGs are also playing a key role in Capital One's dynamic corporate social responsibility program by participating in community events to help groups in need.
In the past, Capital One has hosted a career day for Toronto students enrolled in a program for LGBTQ young people. Students learned about the company's interview process and listened to a presentation from a senior LGBTQ+ associate, who discussed his experiences in the workplace and answered student questions. Capital One has also provided grants to assist the school's lunch program and to help equip its digital learning lab.
"We're much more than a financial services provider - we're a participant in the community," says Severance, who serves as co-lead of the LGBTQ+ BRG. "I think that's pretty powerful."
Capital One's dedication to diversity is based on the principle that individual perspectives are shaped by our unique experiences and differences, says McClung. "Having the freedom to bring our uniqueness to the table is when true innovation happens," she observes, "and that's when we bring our best self as an organization to our customers."