Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Rio Tinto was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
- Rio Tinto supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments of up to 100% of salary for 18 weeks and offers the convenience of onsite daycare at its head office -- the company also provides parental leave top-up for adoptive parents (to 100% of salary for 18 weeks)
- Rio Tinto invests in ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses (to $15,000) and provides a variety of in-house and online training opportunities, including access to Rio Tinto College, which features over 3,000 online training modules that cover everything from technical courses to safety training
- Rio Tinto cultivates an ownership culture with a share purchase plan and helps employees save for retirement with a defined contribution pension plan
Join Rio Tinto and see the world
Deshnee Reddy is spreading her wings. When the South African-born chartered accountant joined Rio Tinto in Montreal in 2016 as a Senior Financial Analyst, it was not only a promotion – she had worked three years for Richards Bay Minerals, a Rio Tinto subsidiary in South Africa – but also an adventure for her. It shows that working with this leading global mining and metals group can provide a career path with development opportunities around the world.
"Personally and professionally, I have always wanted to travel and live in a different country," says Reddy. "In part, I chose the accounting profession – and Rio Tinto – in order to have that opportunity. For the next few years, I am flexible and if Rio wants to send me somewhere new, I'm game."
Employing some 10,000 full-time staff across Canada, Rio Tinto is the biggest mining and metals company operating in the country. It has recently made its Montreal office a global hub to support its operations around the world, in addition to being the headquarters for its industry-leading aluminum business, which operates aluminum smelters in Quebec and British Columbia. In the Northwest Territories, Rio Tinto runs the Diavik Diamond Mine; on the east coast it operates the Iron Ore Company of Canada; and its Fer et Titane business mines and refines illminite – used to make titanium dioxide – in Quebec.
"We are in the process of hiring to fill around 150 new roles at the Montreal hub," says Josée Girard, Vice President, Human Resources. "They will be mainly in the areas of finance, procurement and skills we need for future software engineering and artificial intelligence."
Rio Tinto invests heavily in staff development. It provides a variety of in-house and online training, including access to "Rio Tinto College," which features over 3,000 online training modules, ranging from technical courses to safety training. The company also offers tuition subsidies for external, job-related courses. "Taking into account an employee's profile and location," says Girard, "we can cover education and training expenses and even support an MBA, on a case-by-case basis."
Special assignments provide learning opportunities, too. In June, for example, Reddy spent two weeks in the company's London office, helping with the five-year plan presented for Rio Tinto's Energy and Minerals business. "It gave me insights into how higher-level executives think about the business as a whole."
In addition to a formal mentorship program for new graduates, Rio Tinto encourages its leaders to act as informal mentors to staff. Before coming to the Montreal hub, Reddy was mentored by the General Manager of Taxation, Europe and Africa. "I was able to have sessions with her on a monthly basis to discuss my career. It was valuable: my mentor was someone with whom I didn't work directly, so she could give me objective feedback on my potential."
The Montreal hub's Inclusion and Diversity Committee organizes an annual heritage recognition event where employees of different backgrounds bring servings of their culture's cuisine. (Reddy, of South Indian heritage, contributed chicken biriyani.) The committee also plans staff participation in external events such as the annual Montreal PRIDE parade.
Rio Tinto supports numerous charities across the country, such as the Breakfast Club of Canada, and encourages its employees both to donate and to volunteer. In a new initiative, the company makes a donation of $250 on behalf of an employee who has volunteered 25 hours or more a year. Says Girard: "It's highly important to us to partner with the communities in which we operate."
Montréal becomes a global hub for Rio Tinto
Martyne St-Germain joined Rio Tinto two decades ago with a CPA designation. She has worked for the metals and minerals company in its Montréal offices in various roles - in finance, business analysis, business improvement and human resources.
The company has recently made its Montréal office a global hub to support its operations around the world, in addition to being the headquarters for its aluminum business. Since March 2018, St-Germain has been project lead in the Montréal hub, leading the creation of an inspiring workspace, where people feel valued and included, know about the assets they support, and come together to collaborate in a dynamic environment.
"We are aiming to provide efficient functional and technical support to our operations around the world, including in the Americas, Africa and Europe, with a focus on being connected to the realities of our customers, markets and partners," St-Germain said.
"In early 2019, more than 700 people will work at the Montréal hub," said Josée Girard, vice-president of human resources. "This represents approximatively 150 new roles. They will be mainly in the areas of finance, procurement, HSE and skills we need for future software engineering and artificial intelligence."
Rio invests heavily in staff development, providing in-house and online training. "Rio Tinto College" offers more than 3,000 online training modules, from technical courses to safety training. The company also offers tuition subsidies for external, job-related courses. St-Germain benefited by earning a black belt and Kaizen facilitator status in Lean Six Sigma, a productivity improvement system.
Reflecting the company's commitment to health, safety and the environment, meetings in the Montreal hub begin with a five-minute "safety share," during which employees exchange tips that promote safety. "Even a reminder to switch to snow tires before the winter weather arrives can be important," St-Germain said.
The Montréal hub encourages employee camaraderie. The Inclusion and Diversity Committee organizes several activities; one is the annual heritage event where employees of different backgrounds bring servings of their culture's cuisine. The committee also plans staff participation in external events such as the annual Montréal Pride parade.
Rio supports numerous charitable causes in Montréal. They include Suzie's Baskets, a charity that delivers food baskets to needy families during the holiday season. St-Germain, who delivered a basket for the first time in 2017, found the experience so satisfying that she intends to participate annually. Rio matches each employee's personal contribution. Said Girard: "It's important to us to partner with the communities in which we operate."
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 Rio Tinto was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- Rio Tinto manages a 2-year Graduate Excellence Path, a development program to help prepare new graduates for leadership roles -- the program features a range of unique opportunities including individual coaching sessions, mentoring, collaborative networking and online learning with peers
- In the past year, the company's Montreal office hosted 80 graduates across the Americas and EMEA regions for a graduate summit, which aimed to help participants build core leadership competencies as well as develop new skills
Rio Tinto offers graduates a path to success
At Rio Tinto, Maxime Proulx is one of the many young employees preparing for future leadership positions through the company's Graduate Excellence Path. The 26-year-old joined Rio Tinto in late 2017 at its global hub in Montreal, working in finance within the Business Analysis team. Proulx focuses on joint ventures and business strategy across the value chain. He brought with him a master's degree in finance from HEC Université de Montréal and job experience with two pension investment funds.
Some 10 per cent of Rio's employees are under age 30. Like other recent graduates hired by Canada's largest mining and metals company, Proulx sees the two-year Graduate Excellence Path as a key step in his career. "As a graduate, you have access to different development opportunities and tools to make you a better leader for the future," he says.
Proulx has especially enjoyed coaching by specialist consultants which emphasizes soft skills in one-on-one sessions through the first year. "It focuses on the image you project in the workplace," he says, "and the way you communicate and listen to others as well. You also get to be part of workshops with your peers and coaches, and share your experiences with them."
New graduates spend time with the senior executives, and are matched with experienced managers who help them transition from student to professional.
"We make sure our leaders share their knowledge and experience with graduates, who will be the leaders of the future," says Josée Girard, Vice President, Human Resources.
Rio Tinto invests heavily in staff development. It provides a variety of in-house and online training, including access to "Rio Tinto College," which features over 3,000 online training modules, ranging from technical courses to safety training. The company also offers tuition subsidies for external, job-related courses.
Rio Tinto encourages staff to seize opportunities for career growth, from coast to coast or even globally, by maintaining their "universal online profile." The profile acts as an internal resume. Employees highlight their areas of expertise and skill sets, which are then matched with internal openings.
Early in 2019, more than 700 people will work at the Montreal hub. From that number, approximately 150 of them will be new roles, says Girard. "They will be mainly in the areas of finance, procurement, HSE and skills we need for the future like data science, automation software engineering and artificial intelligence."
It's not lost on new recruits that the company gives back to the communities where it operates. "When young people consider which employer they will work for," says Girard, "they want to choose a company with a higher sense of purpose, one that thinks about the long term. Rio Tinto is proud of operating in a responsible way."
Through the Rio Tinto Aluminium Fund Canada, the company's many community partnerships include its long-standing support for the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie, an important health initiative in Quebec; United Way Centraide; the Breakfast Club of Canada; Alloprof; and Pathways to Education.
Thanks to Rio Tinto, numerous scholarships supporting students in STEM studies are available in universities across Canada, as well as bursaries for Indigenous students, administered by Indspire.
Rio Tinto encourages its employees both to donate and to volunteer. In a new initiative, the Dollars for Doers program donates $250 on behalf of each employee who has volunteered 25 hours or more a year.
The company's commitment to being socially conscious also includes the reduction of its carbon footprint through innovations at its operations. Says Proulx: "Rio understands that as we move through the generational shift in the workforce, being a 21st century company is something that's important not only to outside stakeholders but to potential employees, too."