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 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."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Capital One hosts an entrepreneurial competition for co-op students at the end of their work term, allowing them to present their final project to a panel of executives -- additionally, students working at the company's Kitchener-Waterloo Innovation Lab have the opportunity to reimagine and develop new products and services as well as explore outside the realm of Capital One's traditional businesses
- 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
- Capital One manages the Canada Analyst Development Program to develop future talent in business analysis and data science -- the 12-month program features foundational training, technical skills, experiential learning, networking, mentoring and exposure to senior leaders
Capital One prides itself on flexibility and an open culture
When Becca Mintz graduated from McGill University with a commerce degree in 2009, she won job offers from several companies, including Capital One Canada. It was a tough decision and Mintz asked her father for advice before making her choice.
"He said that since I was a Millennial and people of my generation never stay in one place for more than two or three years, I might as well pick somewhere that would be fun," she recalls. "So I thought about how I felt during the recruiting process.
"I was impressed by the high-powered intellectual rigour of Capital One's approach to hiring, but in addition to that, some of the other companies made me feel I would need to behave like someone I wasn't. With the Capital One management team I was more comfortable, more at ease. I felt I could be me.
"Eight years later I'm still having fun at Capital One, and still learning and developing my skills and my career."
Mintz started out as a business analyst with the company's digital marketing team. Three promotions and a lateral transfer later, she's now Senior Business Manager in product and customer strategy, leading a team of 21 associates, eight of whom report directly to her.
"One of the most meaningful experiences for me at Capital One has been the exceptionally strong mentorship from my managers and senior leaders," she says. "I've always felt valued, and their ongoing encouragement has allowed my confidence to grow."
As well as formal and informal mentorship programs to support the growth of all associates, Capital One offers a variety of leadership development programs, encourages volunteering in the community, and provides an accommodating work environment.
This is all part of an open, collaborative culture, says Christina McClung, Chief People Officer. "The market for young talent is extraordinarily competitive. Differentiation of culture is a key component in finding the right people, over and above pay and benefits and other basic considerations. A flexible culture and work-life balance are areas we excel in.
"We understand life happens beyond our walls so we provide a great group of programs and services to help our associates live their lives, realizing they're all unique. For example, we offer telecommuting, flex work and generous time off."
With headquarters in Toronto, Capital One Canada has been operating in the credit card market for 20 years but "still feels more like a technology startup than a financial institution," McClung says. "In hiring we look for the values we were founded on: smart, driven people with a ton of heart."
One of the company's core values is giving back to the community. Mintz has experienced this first-hand. "I volunteer as a Big Sister, which requires a commitment to spend time with my little sister once a week," she says. "She's 14 now but when she had an earlier bedtime I was able to leave work early to see her. My need for flexible hours wasn't just tolerated -- it was embraced and supported."
Mintz's personal success has been recognized not only within Capital One but externally as well. In November 2017 she was named a winner in the Future Leaders category of the Canada's Most Powerful Women awards.
"I was so honoured. It was humbling and flattering not only to win the award but to be nominated by our President and Chief People Officer," she says. "The value they see in me has been exceptionally meaningful for me."