Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Capital One celebrates exceptional performance and achievement through a number of initiatives, including Flash! Awards for contact centre agents who provide excellent customer service, the Beacon of Achievement Award and the Circle of Excellence -- additionally, the company organizes week-long employee appreciation celebrations each year
- Capital One encourages employees to lead active, healthy lives through a variety of health and wellness initiatives, including regular health risk assessments and lunch and learn sessions on topics such as stress and healthy eating habits
- Capital One supports employees who are new parents (including adoptive) with maternity and parental leave top-up payments, to 100% of salary for 6 weeks followed by 75% for 20 weeks -- the company also offers an adoption subsidy of $5,000 and offers the option for parents to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
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 Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2018):
- Capital One recently launched a Women in Technology business resource group to support the company's focus on women in technology through awareness, outreach and education -- initiatives include student education and encouraging girls to explore STEM careers, entry-level recruiting, mid-tier development and executive involvement
- 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's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee is comprised of senior leaders who work to align programs, learning and recruitment to the company's diversity and inclusion strategy -- additionally, the company maintains 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
Diversity breeds innovation at Capital One
Capital One Canada places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion because innovation depends on diversity of thought and perspective, says Christina McClung, Chief People Officer. "Our company was built on a culture of innovation and collaboration, and we've built a diverse team that reflects the communities and customers we serve."
Capital One's success is driven by the power of perspectives at the table, she says. "Culture is everything. It's more than hiring diverse people -- it also means including them in decision-making to improve our policies and procedures. We're committed to making sure people feel understood and valued, both internally and externally. All our associates know their voice is truly heard -- and matters."
Capital One takes two distinct approaches to promoting diversity and inclusion, McClung explains. One is programmatic, the other behavioural.
The programmatic approach is based on multiple Business Resource Groups (BRGs). Driven by associates but backed by the company's leadership, these BRGs work both within the organization and through outreach programs to help break down barriers and support diverse communities.
Senior Brand Associate Julia Sanges is one of the co-leads of the CapAbilities BRG Canada. She's responsible for co-developing and helping implement the group's annual strategy. "Our mission is to make sure every associate feels they belong at Capital One," Sanges says. "We welcome associates who identify with disabilities, as well as caregivers and allies, and we focus on their abilities, not disabilities.
"For family reasons, I have a strong passion to spread awareness and provide support for people impacted by Down syndrome. Not long after I joined the bank in July 2016, I casually mentioned my passion to a colleague. That's when I learned about the CapAbilities BRG, which existed in some of our U.S. locations. I helped launch it in Canada, and now I get a voice in the room -- I feel so encouraged by this," says Sanges, who works at the company's Toronto headquarters.
In addition to the CapAbilities BRG, Capital One Canada has an Asian BRG, an LGBTQ+ BRG and a Women in Technology BRG.
Referring to that last group, which now has close to 50 members, McClung says, "It's no surprise that even today women face many barriers getting into the tech industry. The number of STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] majors has increased but it's still low. We recognize this gap and invest in programs that help bridge it. In fact, more than 50 per cent of our workforce are women."
The behavioural approach to encouraging diversity and inclusion is multi-faceted. "For example, we spend time creating a positive onboarding experience, so people feel they fit in from the very start," says McClung. "We offer them a culture of appreciation where they can feel safe and share their stories."
Other initiatives include "Not Myself Today" and a newly launched BRG called "1 in 5," both in support of mental health in the workplace. "We want our people to know we foster a safe and supportive work environment for those who may be affected by mental health issues or the challenges associated with mental wellbeing," McClung says.
For her part, Sanges has been involved not only in the CapAbilities BRG but also in a related project with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital: the FIRST Robotics Program, a partnership with the charity FIRST Robotics Canada which encourages young people in rehab to grow in STEM by building and coding robots.
Capital One also collaborates with Holland Bloorview in Youth@Work, which helps young people with physical or developmental disabilities who are entering the workplace for the first time. Through this program, four interns worked at the bank last summer, boosting their confidence and providing them with invaluable work experience.
"Our passions are really valued here," says Sanges. "It's very inspiring and I haven't seen these types of opportunities at other companies I've worked for. We can have a great career, follow our interests and truly make a difference."
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 Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- Capital One hosts an entrepreneurial competition for co-op students at the end of their work term, allowing them to present a project to a panel of executives who bid on their favourite -- in the 2017 competition, co-op students from the Kitchener-Waterloo Innovation Lab developed a budgeting tool, which was released in the beta version of Capital One's mobile app and tested so well that the feature is now being integrated into the Android app
- 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 innovative project that interests them -- ideas are presented to a panel of judges and prizes are awarded to winners, with some ideas implemented in the company
- Through Capital One's Digital Disruption Speaker Series, associates can hear directly from senior executives, other Capital One leaders and industry experts in an interactive forum about current topics that include APIs, big data, cloud, UX, agile, design thinking and more -- the sessions are offered on a regular basis, made available via video conference as well as recorded and shared after the fact