Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Fidelity Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2017) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Fidelity Canada helps employees balance their work and personal lives through a number of alternative work arrangements including flexible hours, telecommuting, a shortened work week option and reduced summer hours -- the company also participates in the Partners for Mental Health's "Not Myself Today" awareness campaign
- Fidelity Canada recently increased its support for employees who are new mothers and fathers (including adoptive parents), offering maternity and parental leave top-up payments of up to 100% of salary for up to 25 weeks (an increase from 17 weeks) -- and provides the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- Fidelity Canada lets everyone share in the company's success with profit-sharing and offers a full suite of additional financial benefits, including signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses for all and referral bonuses of up to $2,000
Fidelity's investments start with its employees
Fidelity Canada is an investment company that invests in its employees. The firm prides itself on fostering a culture of continuous learning and continuous improvement. "An employee needs to have more than just a job to be engaged," says Diana Godfrey, Vice President, Human Resources. "We love to hire people who want to grow their careers with us."
Part of the global Fidelity organization, Fidelity Canada is one of this country's leading investment management firms. It is headquartered in Toronto, with regional offices in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, and has more than 1,000 full-time employees. Typical of recent positions filled are financial analyst, market research analyst, SalesPath associate and digital media specialist -- not to mention more than 30 students taken on each semester.
The company provides professional development not only by training its employees and sending them to conferences but also by offering opportunities for secondments, mentorship, project work and networking.
Allison Betts, a Content Marketing Manager, has benefited from a variety of learning opportunities. She joined Fidelity in 2013 as a sales coordinator shortly after graduating from university, then entered the three-year sales development program, which covers everything from investment knowledge to presentation training. "This was a chance to hone my sales skills, to become more proficient and comfortable in presentations," she says.
At the same time that she was taking the sales development program, Betts capitalized on the firm's reimbursement for external courses to upgrade her qualifications -- earning her Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designations.
Fidelity is also proud of its Mentor Match program. In addition to traditional mentoring, where a senior manager advises a more junior employee, Fidelity's program includes reverse mentoring, where executives are mentored by younger employees, and peer-to-peer mentoring.
"Reverse mentoring has opened up our thinking and facilitated the sharing of ideas," says Godfrey. "There is much that we can learn from people who are newer to the workforce. Technology is a good example."
Betts drew upon her earlier positions at Fidelity to mentor a peer in client services who was interested in the sales department. Having risen to senior business development manager before moving to her current role in mid-2017, Betts was able to discuss the sales development program with the mentee. She calls the experience "incredibly rewarding," and says the mentorship went both ways.
Fidelity's employee resource groups underline its commitment to diversity and inclusion. They include Pride (for LGBTQ staff), Aspire (for Black and Latino), an Asian group, a women's leadership group, and, most recently, Enable (recognition of varying abilities). "They are employee-driven communities for sharing ideas and experiences," says Godfrey. "They have taken on a life of their own, helping the business by educating us and reaching out into the community."
The Aspire group partners with Junior Achievement to teach financial literacy ("Dollars with Sense") to school children. After discussion with Enable members, Fidelity partnered this summer with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to provide placements for two students from its Ready To Work Program. "The placements worked so well that we have already offered them jobs for next summer," says Godfrey.
For the past three years, Betts has participated in the women's leadership group. She values the cross-organization networking it makes possible. "I have met women from across the firm, from different backgrounds, roles and levels of experience," she says. "It is an open and encouraging group."
Mentors and mentees Match up at Fidelity Canada
Fidelity Canada has been on a hiring boom. In the first nine months of 2017, the company filled 464 positions, of which 278 were external hires. The company now employs about 1,000 people in Canada, approximately 900 of them in Toronto.
Part of the global Fidelity organization, the Canadian organization is one of the country's leading investment management firms.
"Sometimes it is difficult for a business to maintain employee commitment when it is growing and changing, but Fidelity is able to do that," says Diana Godfrey, Vice President, Human Resources. "Our culture of continuous learning and continuous improvement makes that possible."
Employees can benefit from a variety of learning opportunities and can move into new roles within the organization. Alison Betts is an example: she joined Fidelity in 2013 as a sales coordinator and, while taking the three-year sales development program, was promoted to business development manager and then senior business development manager. She transitioned to a Content Marketing Manager role in mid-2017.
"Concurrently, while I was doing the internal training, I took external courses to earn my Canadian Securities Course and Chartered Investment Manager designations," says Betts. Fidelity fully reimburses tuition fees for relevant courses taken at outside institutions.
Fidelity also offers an innovative mentorship program. In addition to traditional mentoring -- where a senior manager advises a more junior employee -- Mentor Match includes reverse mentoring -- where executives are mentored by younger employees -- and peer-to-peer mentoring. There have been 154 mentorship pairs since the program began in October 2014.
Betts took part in peer-to-peer mentoring last year, and says the learning went both ways. "I strengthened communications skills, and learned the value of sharing my experiences as well as the importance of actively listening," she recalls.
The company runs a popular secondment program. Employees can apply to fill other roles that are temporarily open due to leaves of absence. It allows the employee to try a different role for a meaningful period of time. He or she then returns to their existing role, having acquired a new skill set.
Since mid-2014, Fidelity has conducted a company-wide listening campaign, "I'm All Ears," which encourages employees to "Empathize, Ask, Recognize, Spotlight." The campaign is about ensuring that all employees are listened to, whether it is managers listening to their reports or peer to peer.
"Listening is not about waiting for your chance to speak," says Godfrey. "It is about listening to someone, hearing what they have to say and digesting it. When you take the time to do that, you actually learn more. That has been a very successful campaign."
Fidelity's employee resource groups exemplify its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They include Pride (for LGBTQ), Aspire (for Blacks and Latinos), an Asian group, a women's leadership group, and, most recently, Enable (for employees with disabilities). Collectively, the groups have 511 members.
Fidelity encourages its employees to support worthy causes by giving them one paid day a year to volunteer (becoming two paid days in 2018). Betts devoted her day to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, taking part in playground activities with elementary school children. For 2017, she and her team planned to volunteer at the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Fidelity employees fielded a team of over 30 participants in the 2017 OneWalk to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; the company supported the cause with a $30,000 donation. "When the employees feel strongly about a cause, Fidelity is ready to match with a donation," says Godfrey.
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 Fidelity Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017):
- Fidelity Canada manages a dedicated 4-month student program to help students develop a wide range of professional skills -- the program includes skills development workshops, information sessions, Q&A with the President and senior executive team, opportunities to volunteer with charitable organizations Fidelity supports, opportunities to job-shadow up to three different departments and participation in sporting and social events
- Additionally, Fidelity Canada offers a generous Work Relocation Program to help students cover moving costs if relocating for a co-op placement to the organization's Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary or Montréal offices
Fidelity makes a big investment in its employees
Never underestimate the power of your network. Allyssa Wickens didn't, and it led her to an exceptional opportunity at Fidelity Canada.
Wickens was studying commerce in a co-op program at the University of Guelph. For her next co-op, she says, "I had heard great things about Fidelity Investments, so I attended their presentation on campus."
"It was clear within the first few minutes, after hearing the two speakers," she says. "Through their presentation, you could tell how passionate they were about the company. I knew then it was somewhere I wanted to work and I applied for the position."
Wickens ended up doing two consecutive four-month co-ops at Fidelity in 2015, working in the Advisor Sales Division of the global financial services company.
"In my first few days here as a co-op student, every single person I met had glowing things to say about the organization," she says, adding with a laugh: "At first I almost felt the employees were put up to it, but after being here for four months, I realized it really was a genuine emotion from everyone. This is an employer that puts a lot of value on how its people are treated, and that truly sets Fidelity apart."
Another aspect, she says, was the abundance of training Fidelity offers its co-op students. "I saw the investment they were making in their employees, and I knew this was an employer I'd like to grow with."
After her graduation in Spring 2016, Wickens joined Fidelity Investments as a Business Development Associate, working in a three-person sales team. She finds the company is always looking for feedback. "I might be in a less senior role but knowing that the company is always listening to what I have to say is empowering," she says. "The company is always evolving."
In fact, even the co-op program has evolved. Diana Godfrey, Vice President, Human Resources Services, says students are commonly told by their schools that they should try to have different work experiences at two or three companies. "We feel we benefit from having the students return," she says, "so what we've done is ask them to return to a different role. When they come back each semester, their experience is very different."
During the first co-op, as part of Fidelity's intensive training system, students learn skills for success beyond the area they are working in, such as presentation skills, business etiquette and emotional intelligence training.
"So they are well-suited to come back into a different role," she says. "We also augment their training with new information and we give them a coach. By working outside of their first division, they get more insight into the organization, and their schools are satisfied. And we learn more about them and develop a stronger relationship with them as a talent pipeline for the future."
Godfrey says Fidelity also incorporates non co-op summer students into the student program, and looks to have them return the following summer. In addition, new graduates can join the SalesPath program, which starts future sales people in Client Services where they get to speak directly to the kind of people they will later deal with. Again, training is key, she says.
The company is also looking for high-potential new grads for IT, finance and other corporate functions. As always, says Godfrey, "we're looking for the best and the brightest.