Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Ecclesiastical Insurance Office PLC was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Along with supporting a number of charitable initiatives each year, Ecclesiastical Insurance Office encourages employees to be active in the community with paid time off to volunteer and financial donations to charities where employees volunteer their time
- Ecclesiastical Insurance Office makes the commute to work a little easier with subsidized parking and a generous transit subsidy of $200 per month
- Ecclesiastical Insurance Office supports employees who are new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 85% of salary for up to 15 weeks
Finding meaning and purpose at Ecclesiastical Insurance
Sometimes people struggle to find meaning and purpose in their day-to-day work lives. But sometimes it's built right into the fabric of their employer. Ecclesiastical Insurance is one of those employers.
"We start from the premise that we want to do good," says CEO Jacinta Whyte. "The values we try to inspire in people are to do the right thing for the right reasons in the right way."
Ecclesiastical was founded in Great Britain in 1887, initially to provide affordable insurance for St. Paul's Cathedral in London. It began operating in Canada in 1972 and now has offices in Toronto, Dartmouth, Calgary and Vancouver. While about a quarter of its business is still related to faith-based organizations, Ecclesiastical now meets the insurance needs of several specialty sectors, including registered charities and non-profit organizations, performing arts spaces (among them, Toronto's iconic Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall), educational facilities, retirement homes, and museums and heritage buildings across Canada.
Ecclesiastical is owned by Allchurches Trust Limited (ATL), one of Britain's largest registered charities. All net profits from Ecclesiastical are turned over to ATL and redistributed to charitable initiatives.
Mary McGolrick joined Ecclesiastical working as a filing clerk at its Toronto head office. Today, she is a Senior Underwriter who takes great pride in serving clients who, in turn, serve their communities.
"The fact that our parent company is a not-for-profit is a big thing for me," says McGolrick. "Just making money for shareholders would not bring value to my work. It's also great that so many of our clients are in the business of helping others. It's all about giving back to the community."
The beneficial relationships often feed each other, like ripples in a pool. For example, one of Ecclesiastical's clients is the Yonge Street Mission (YSM) and one of YSM's functions is serving street youth. Ecclesiastical has given some of the young people helped by YSM spots in a 12-week office placement program. The goal is to give them a credential to put on their resume to get a job. In some cases, they've ended up working for Ecclesiastical.
The synergies don't end there.
Ecclesiastical employees are given up to two paid days annually to volunteer. In Toronto, organizations like the Scott Mission, Tim Horton Children's Foundation and Kids Help Phone are among the beneficiaries of those volunteer hours.
When interviewing potential employees, Whyte says "fit" is the top priority.
"We believe we can build up expertise and knowledge," she explains. "But 'fit' means people who can collaborate, work in an interdependent fashion, and share ownership and accountability. We also look for people with a good moral compass and commitment to community involvement."
Ecclesiastical offers a two-year paid internship program designed to develop future leaders and experts. In addition to rotating through various parts of the business and earning the necessary insurance accreditations, each intern is placed on one-month secondments at two non-profit organizations.
"We find the intern program is a big draw for young people who are looking for a career that's fulfilling and meaningful," says Whyte. "It's an engaging process and it helps build a legacy that will allow this very unique company to continue to succeed."
McGolrick says she takes great pleasure in mentoring interns and other new hires. "Ecclesiastical has supported me a lot over the years, helping me to find and build a career. This is another way I can give back."
Another big advantage is the range of work on offer at Ecclesiastical.
"It's not your average square box," says McGolrick. "As an underwriter, you have to put yourself in the thought processes of the segment you are serving. Here, we have to think about assessing risks for beautiful performances spaces like Massey Hall, churches with built-in organs, heritage buildings and non-profit agencies. Our clients' needs are unique and always evolving. It's a challenge, but a rewarding one."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Ecclesiastical Insurance Office PLC was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Ecclesiastical Insurance Office manages a Business Intern Program, a 3-year rotational program for recent university graduates interested in pursuing the Chartered Insurance Professional designation -- the program includes rotational assignments in multiple business areas including underwriting, corporate services, risk control and claims, a designated mentor, in-house support, and a unique 1-month placement with a charity, museum or non-profit organization
- Ecclesiastical Insurance Office launched a Young Innovators Workshop to harness the creativity of its young professionals -- working in teams, the organization's young employees address, develop and present solutions to address important business needs
- Ecclesiastical Insurance Office partners with The Yonge Street Mission to connect disadvantaged and at-risk youth to employment opportunities, providing 20-week job placements to help youth develop employment and life skills