Page 20

MONTREAL’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2017

20

Pharmascience: committed to Montreal

M

any of the positives about working at Pharmascience, employees say, stem from the fact it’s rooted in Montreal. It was cofounded by Montrealer Morris Goodman and is now helmed by his son, David. So Quebec’s largest pharmaceutical employer is committed to growing in that city – defying the trend of other companies in the sector relocating elsewhere – as well as to protecting the worklife balance of employees and to giving back to the community. PHARMASCIENCE STAFF AT THEIR WORLD-LEADING RESEARCH FACILITY IN THE GREATER MONTREAL AREA

What’s great about Pharmascience is the challenging work, the opportunities for employee development, and the real opportunity to be creative. Benoit Lemelin Vice-President of HR, Public Affairs and Communications

“With Montreal being the global head office, all the decision-making is here,” says Benoit Lemelin, VicePresident of Human Resources, Public Affairs and Communications. He adds that because the company, also named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People, is present in more than 60 countries,

employees have a global impact, and there are opportunities to work abroad. Moreover, being a privately owned company means the firm is very agile. “What’s great about Pharmascience is the challenging work, the opportunities for employee development, and the real opportunity to be creative,” says Lemelin. “We have a Chief Executive Officer, David Goodman, who’s very empowering. So if I come up with an idea that’s obviously in line with what we want to do, you turn around and the next day you’re implementing what you proposed.” At the same time, Lemelin says,

Pharmascience really does care about the “life” part of work-life balance. It has a one-of-a-kind Youth Leadership Program for the children of employees – which also includes a number of disadvantaged youth from community organizations it supports – that draws close to 200 kids each year. The idea is to “help our employees parent in those difficult years and instill notions of leadership to their kids and teens.” Flexibility about work arrangements is another sign of the company’s focus on employee wellness. Sean MacDonald, Vice-President of Corporate and Business Development, says “no one batted an

eyelash” when he took time off in January because his three- and fiveyear old boys were sick. “If you’re getting your work done, you have leeway to use your judgment. So it really is just a culture in which the life piece of it is not just a statement that’s made in some HR document – the company lives by it.” Julia Keshen, Brand Manager for the cough and cold portfolio, notes that another benefit of working at Pharmascience is the emphasis on community involvement fostered by Morris Goodman (now Chairman) and his son. Among other things, there’s the Morris Goodman Community Partnership day every year, in which employees volunteer in their community as part of a regular paid workday. Says Keshen: “It’s really a unique opportunity for employees to give back.”

1,500

full-time employees in Canada

802

full-time employees at Montreal head office

712

women employed in Canada

60

nationalities represented among employees

Montréal's Top Employers (2017)  

Official magazine announcing Montréal's Top Employers for 2017. Published in the Montreal Gazette on April 20, 2017.