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 Manulife was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Manulife invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses directly and indirectly related to an individual's current role -- and offers unique opportunities for skills development through the newly-created Labs of Forward Thinking (LOFT), which allows teams to operate in ways that mimic startups
- As part of Manulife's Wellness Matters initiative, the company provides resources and services to support the physical and mental well-being of employees, including information on mental health, nutrition, fitness and personalized wellness programming -- Manulife also employs Wellness Consultants and a Wellness Champions Network to increase employee participation in related events
- Manulife encourages employees to adopt an ownership mentality through a share purchase plan, available to all employees, and offers a full suite of financial incentives including signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses for all, and generous referral bonuses of up to $5,000 for successful hires
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 Manulife was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017):
- Manulife maintains an extensive co-op program, providing students with opportunities to participate in a variety of activities including job-shadowing in different departments, events with the company's executive team and a practical co-op project which involves the creation of a real business tool or analysis of a current business problem
- Co-op students recently participated in a hackathon organized through Manulife's newly created "Lab of Forward Thinking", which aims to encourage innovation through the organization -- the 2-day event was hosted in Toronto and featured 140 participants -- the winning team received $10,000 for their innovative idea
- Manulife nurtures student talent through a Canada-wide internship program which offers a broad range of opportunities in finance, risk and accounting as well as in human resources, information systems, operations, marketing and communications and legal disciplines
From co-op placement to a career: Manulife delivers
Studying actuarial sciences didn't appeal to Manisha Dias, but working with actuarial colleagues did. In her first year of the Bachelor of Mathematics honours actuarial program at the University of Waterloo in 2008, the Halifax-born student found the curriculum too theoretical and formulaic for her liking.
"I was set on switching to economics. It was not until my second co-op term - and my first placement with Manulife - that I really committed to the actuarial profession," she recalls, "because then I was able to see what real actuarial work is in practice."
Toronto-based Manulife is a leading international financial services group providing solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. The company provides financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.
"Offering real work experience with diverse and challenging opportunities is one of the many ways we promote the development of young people at Manulife," says Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We've made it a priority to ensure they can grow their skills and build their careers through internships, mentorships, continued education and leadership development programs. This approach ensures our employees are engaged in meaningful work that helps both our customers and employees achieve their dreams and aspirations."
Dias is inspired by Manulife's commitment to improving the way it does business to better serve its customers - and how in her work she can have a direct impact on that. She was recently involved in a systems transformation initiative, moving from inefficient models to more sophisticated ones using the latest software.
Hired full-time in 2013 after graduation, Dias had previously completed five co-op placements with Manulife - two in Waterloo, and one each in Toronto, Hong Kong and Boston.
"I expressed my interest in working in Asia to a senior actuary in Canada who had a contact in Hong Kong, and in one phone call, he set the wheels in motion," she says. "That's what I like about Manulife and my colleagues: if you ask for something, they listen and will work with you to make it happen. The team dynamic is great here - we always go the extra mile for each other."
Manulife draws most of its students from programs in advanced analytics, IT, accounting and actuarial sciences. In Canada, 3,366 Manulife employees, 26 per cent of the workforce, are age 34 and under. "We're committed to bringing a fresh, diverse perspective into the company. We want our students to express their opinions, generate ideas and question the way we do things," says Kristin Ezekiel, Director of Campus Recruiting & Strategic Sourcing for North America.
With 37 major office locations across Canada, the U.S. and Asia, workplace flexibility is a top priority for Manulife. Its program, which includes redesigning offices, new collaboration tools and remote working options, has enabled Dias to work from Toronto for a team based in the U.S.
The opportunity to keep learning and achieve her career goals has been a highlight for Dias. She has acquired her FSA (Fellow of the Society of Actuaries) and her CERA (Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst) designations thanks to continuous learning support from Manulife, which can include tuition reimbursement and paid time off to study for exams.
Working at Manulife has also helped Dias accomplish personal goals. She is now a RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher), a certification she earned by completing a 200-hour training program. She took up yoga during her 2012 co-op term in Boston, and now teaches classes twice a week for co-workers in the fitness facility at Manulife's headquarters in Toronto. "It's a nice way to start and end your work day," she says.