Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers
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):
- 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."