Montréal's Top Employers (2024)

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Montréal winners put employees first 4

 A launch party at WB Games Montréal, one of this year’s winners.

LIST OF WINNERS: Montréal’s Top Employers (2024) 6


Top employers merge innovation, work and life 12

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 Last year, employees at Longueuil-based Pratt & Whitney Canada volunteered an impressive 140,000 hours with local charitable groups on company time.

This year marks the 19th edition of the annual Montréal’s Top Employers competition, which has grown in stature since our first edition in the Montreal Gazette in 2005. Keen-eyed readers will note that the detailed ‘reasons for selection’ that our editors write about the winners have expanded exponentially in size since the launch of the Montréal competition.

The reason for the expanded editorial coverage is that many Montréal employers are now national leaders in many of the benefits and programs that our competition examines. From family-friendly benefits like parental leave top-up and reduced-cost childcare to subsidies for hiring older workers, employers in Québec have benefited from highly progressive government programs that residents here now take for granted.

The results of these public programs are plain to see: Montréal employers now lead the nation when it comes to many family-friendly benefits, which are highly valued by job-seekers and existing staff. While there is still room for improvement in areas like vacation and training, compared to employers elsewhere in Canada, the best Montréal employers set a high marker when it comes to helping staff make the most of their life outside of work.

Over the next 25 years, demographics will dramatically

reshape the Canadian workforce, as fewer people of working age will be available to enter the workforce. Readers are often suprised to learn that, despite historically high levels of immigration, Canada will have the oldest population in the hemisphere by 2050. Québec’s working-age population is already the oldest in Canada (tied with Nova Scotia), so the effects here will be more pronounced and earlier.

For employers in Greater Montréal, the combined effect of strong government support and demographic challenges have given employers more incentive to focus on improving the quality of life of their employees. In the pages of this year’s announcement magazine, you’ll find dozens of examples of this year’s winners doubling down on measures that improve their employees’ lives outside the workplace.

From helping employees to travel, work remotely without rigid restrictions, or form friendships at great social events, our Montréal winners excel at helping employees develop their lives outside the workplace. In a recruitment market that is getting increasingly tighter, this year’s Montréal’s Top Employers stand apart in understanding what it takes to attract and keep talented staff.

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program, which gives employees $5,000 and an additional week of

‘No one is resting on their laurels’: Montréal’s Top Employers put their people first
From newer enterprises to long-standing winners, top companies all share one core goal — employee satisfaction

Known as a hub of multiculturalism and innovation, Montréal is home to corporations that aim to master all aspects of business, including employee satisfaction.

From the bustling tech ecosystem to its longer established organizations, Montréal companies from a wide range of sectors have been highlighted as Top Employers in the region. The Montréal competition is organized by the editors of the national

Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which recognizes employers excelling in recruitment and retention each year.

As with the national competition, the editors of Montréal’s Top Employers annually honour the best performers. The winners are chosen based on the same criteria as the national competition, including: the work environment; work and social atmosphere; health, financial and family-friendly benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications;

performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

And the competition is more acute than ever, according to Richard Yerema, executive editor at Canada’s Top 100 Employers. “No one is resting on their laurels,” Yerema says.

Take Fiera Capital, an asset management firm specializing in personalized investment solutions. Fiera was named a Top Employer in Montréal for the first

time this year, in part due to its dedication to ensuring work-life balance and employee wellness through comprehensive benefits such as access to telemedicine and sleep-improvement clinics.

“We believe that when our team excels, our clients receive the best of us in the management of their assets, reflecting our dedication to delivering value and success collectively,” says Flora Sousa, senior vice-president, human resources at the firm.

 At consulting firm Osedea, all employees have the chance to participate in the ‘Dreams Come True’ vacation to accomplish a personal project. A.GAGNON/OSEDEA


Seasoned organizations which have been named Top Employers for more than 10 years running also underscore the importance of adapting to the demands of a changing workforce. The worldrenowned McGill University takes this approach to its workplace and its student affairs.

“We believe our policies and programs designed to support all our employees throughout their careers at the university are key to ensuring a sustainable, connected and engaged workforce,” shares McGill University in a statement. “The impact of our commitment can be seen across all campuses where we see the dedication and hard work of our staff community, going above and beyond day after day.”

Putting people first is a consistent marker for the Top Employers on this year’s list — something that audio software company Audiokinetic champions across the board.

“As our company grows, we consistently centre our discussions around how we will continue to prioritize people and preserve our vibrant company culture, ensuring that our growth remains grounded in our core values,” says Martin H. Klein, chief executive officer of Audiokinetic.

Some common priorities among this year’s winners are flexible work options, robust time off policies, inclusive parental leave programs and mental health support. Work-life balance among professionals across age groups are a key factor in growth and productivity.

Kristina Leung, managing editor at Canada’s Top 100 Employers, says she has particularly impressed by the agility of organizations coming out of the pandemic.

“Organizations were able to move quickly to facilitate remote work, to increase benefits coverage and understand that in their workforce, every individual is dynamic and has different needs,” she says.

Though employee wellness looks different now than it did pre-pandemic, HR experts who see themselves as open to listening and implementing changes are primed to succeed.

“We’re going to adapt, and we’re going to adjust, and we’re going to bend, but we’re not going to break,” Yerema says of the mindset at Montréal’s Top Employers “There’s adversity. Throw it at us.”

 A professor at McGill University works with students in the education lab.  Audio software company Audiokinetic offers employees six paid ‘float’ days annually that can be used for personal and family commitments. AUDIOKINETIC MCGILL U.


The following organizations have been chosen as Montréal’s Top Employers (2024) (employee count refers to full-time staff):

ABB CANADA, Saint-Laurent. Engineering and technology services; 3,078 employees. Lets everyone share in the company's success through a formal profit-sharing plan, available to all employees.

AIR CANADA, Saint-Laurent. Air transportation; 33,153 employees. Maintains a strong focus on ongoing employee development with in-house training, apprenticeships and leadership development programs.

ALCOA CANADA, Montréal. Aluminium production; 2,510 employees. Operates an

Alcoa Sustainable Communities Fund, investing $1-million each year in educational and environmental initiatives.

AUDIOKINETIC INC., Montréal. Software developers; 97 employees. Offers employees six paid "float" days annually that can be used to fulfill personal and family commitments.

BEACONSFIELD, CITY OF, Beaconsfield. Municipal governments; 90 employees. Provides subsidized access to the city's numerous recreational facilities, including skating rinks, swimming pools and a skate park adjacent to city hall.


Communications; 36,561 employees. Enables employees to apply for a leave

between one to 12 consecutive months to work at a registered non-profit organization that operates in Canada.

BELL TEXTRON CANADA LTD., Mirabel. Aircraft manufacturing; 1,462 employees. Encourages employees to get active through a number of company-supported sports teams, including hockey, golf, soccer and badminton.

BLUE CROSS CANASSURANCE, Montréal. Health and medical insurance carriers; 644 employees. Offers referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to recruit candidates from their personal networks, ranging up to $2,300 for successful hires.

BNP PARIBAS, Montréal. Banking; 1,148 employees. Supports all pathways to

parenthood with coverage for IVF treatments and fertility drugs if needed, to a maximum of $10,000.

BOMBARDIER INC., Dorval. Aircraft manufacturing; 10,866 employees. Helps employees access the care they need with coverage for mental health practitioners as part of its benefits plan, up to $5,000 annually.

BROADSIGN CANADA COMPANY, Montréal. Computer systems design services; 179 employees. Offers an annual wellness subsidy of $500 that employees can use for a wide range of expenses, including ski passes, ergonomic chairs, sports team fees, and wellness retreats.


 Coveo Solutions encourages staff to recommend friends for available job postings with generous referral bonuses, from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on position.


financing; 2,868 employees. Helps employees enjoy a little more downtime with a half-day off every week during the summer, spanning from Victoria Day to Labour Day.

CContinued COMPULSION GAMES ULC, Westmount. Video game developers; 85 employees. Provides maternity and parental leave top-up for employees who are new parents, to 100 per cent of salary for up to 15 weeks.

3 SOLUTIONS INC., Montréal. Computer software; 51 employees. Offers free access to an onsite fitness facility featuring weekly boot camp classes for employees only, massage therapy and physiotherapy services.

CAE INC., Saint-Laurent. Aviation and defence systems; 4,801 employees. Enables employees to pursue personal interests or fulfill needs outside of work through an unpaid sabbatical leave of up to 26 weeks.

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY, Montréal. Railroad transportation; 17,782 employees. Maintains a safety recognition awards program to highlight efforts for workplace safety and encourage employees to step up if they see a hazard.

CGI INC., Montréal. Information technology; 11,233 employees. Provides up to $1,775 in flexible benefits credits annually that can be used for additional coverage, allocated to health or well-being spending accounts, or transferred to retirement savings.


MONTRÉAL ULC, Senneville. Medical research and development; 2,639 employees. Maintains a paid sabbatical leave program, providing eligible employees with four consecutive weeks for career development or to participate in community service.

CHRISTIE INNOMED INC., SaintEustache. Medical imaging products; 194 employees. Rewards employees who have shared innovative and creative ideas to improve operations with a cash prize of $4,000 or a corporate trip for two.

CIUSSS WEST-CENTRAL, Montréal. Healthcare services; 7,291 employees. Helps employees nearing retirement transition with phased-in work options, allowing them to gradually reduce their hours.

CLARINS CANADA INC., Laval. Cosmetics manufacturing; 120 employees. Supports professional development with full tuition subsidies for courses taken externally.

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, Montréal. Post secondary schools, university; 2,934 employees. Enables employees to plan securely for the future with health benefits that extend to retirees, with 85 per cent premium coverage and no age limit.

COVEO SOLUTIONS INC., Montréal. Software developers; 603 employees. Helps employees enjoy the lighter side of work with a number of social activities throughout the year, including ice skating, comedy nights, laser tag, barbecues and apple picking.

CSL GROUP INC., Montréal. Marine shipping and transportation; 913 employees. Donates approximately one per cent of its net profits to charitable organizations each year and matches employee donations to a maximum of $1,000.

DANONE CANADA, Boucherville. Food manufacturing; 543 employees. Rewards employees whose work has led to exceptional results for the company with an all-expenses paid trip with a companion of their choice.

DRW CANADA CO., Montréal. Financial trading; 264 employees. Encourages employees to support charitable initiatives that are near and dear to their hearts with paid time off to volunteer, up to 40 hours per year.

FAIRSTONE FINANCIAL INC., Montréal. Financial services; 1,708 employees. Invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for job-related courses, up to $3,000 per year.

FEDNAV LIMITED, Montréal. Deep sea freight transportation; 203 employees. Helps employees prepare for the future with retirement planning assistance and a defined benefit pension plan.


Montréal. Financial investment management; 602 employees. Offers referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to act as recruiters for the company, to $2,500 per successful hire.

GROUPE BEL CANADA INC., Montréal. Cheese product manufacturing; 266 employees. Maintains a charitable focus on initiatives related to youth, nutrition and the environment, and encourages employee volunteerism with two paid days off to volunteer.

GROUPE DYNAMITE INC., Mont-Royal. Retail; 1,444 employees. Supports an open time-off policy, allowing employees to request time off as needed with no set limit.

IMPERIAL TOBACCO CANADA LTD., Montréal. Cigarette manufacturing; 479 employees. Offers new parents the convenience of onsite child care at its head office.

INSIGHT CANADA INC., Montréal. Technology consulting; 873 employees.

 Air Canada focuses on ongoing employee development with in-house training, apprenticeships and leadership development programs.

2024 WINNERS Continued

Maintains an internal charity to provide financial grants to employees in crisis.

INVOKE STUDIOS INC., Montréal. Video game developers; 87 employees. Supports healthy work-life balance with five weeks of starting vacation allowance as well as paid time off during the winter holidays.

KEURIG DR PEPPER CANADA, Montréal. Coffee distribution and brewing equipment; 1,395 employees. Provides enhanced coverage for mental health services, offering a maximum of $5,000 per year regardless of which flexible coverage option is selected.

LAURENTIAN PILOTAGE AUTHORITY, Montréal. Marine pilotage and support services; 50 employees. Starts new employees with four weeks of vacation allowance and offers paid personal days that can be scheduled as needed.

LAURENTIDE CONTROLS LTD., Kirkland. Process control equipment and services; 377 employees. Cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan, available to all employees.


INC., Montréal. Legal software publishing; 34 employees. Offers the option to cash in unused paid sick days at the end of each fiscal year or convert them into additional vacation days for the upcoming year.

LIGHTSPEED COMMERCE INC., Montréal. Computer software; 1,082 employees. Enables employees to purchase wellness items such as meditation apps and health supplements through a health and wellness credit of up to $500 per year.

L'ORÉAL CANADA INC., Montréal. Cosmetics manufacturing; 1,509 employees. Head office features a number of unique features such as a quiet room, regularly used for yoga classes, an onsite fitness facility, a market-style cafe, and convenient access to a variety of other food and dining options.

MAPLES GROUP, Montréal. Investment services; 331 employees. Supports employees who want to start a family with maternity and parental leave top-up, up to 100 per cent of salary ranging from 12 or 20 weeks, depending on the individual.

 Danone Canada rewards employees who contributed to exceptional results with an all-expenses paid trip for two.
 Shipping company CSL Group matches employee donations to local charitable organizations, to a maximum of $1,000. FLUX/DANONE

2024 WINNERS Continued

MCGILL UNIVERSITY, Montréal. Post secondary schools, university; 7,303 employees. Helps employees enjoy a little more time off with paid time off during the summer and winter months, separate from annual vacation entitlements.

MCKESSON CANADA, Saint-Laurent. Healthcare services and supplies; 4,209 employees. Supports employee efforts to give back to the community by matching employee donations and providing donations to charities where employees volunteer their time.

MISTPLAY INC., Montréal. Video game developers; 141 employees. Invests in ongoing employee education with generous tuition subsidies for courses taken externally, up to $5,500 per year.

MONTRÉAL, VILLE DE, Montréal. Municipal governments; 26,346 employees. Offers opportunities for formal mentoring as well as leadership development programs for employees interested in taking the next step in their careers.

MOTIVE STUDIO, Montréal. Video game developers; 177 employees. Supports all pathways to parenthood, providing subsidies for fertility treatments and drugs if needed, to a maximum of $25,000.

MSC MEDITERRANEAN SHIPPING COMPANY (CANADA) INC., Montréal. International shipping services; 412 employees. Offers generous referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to recruit candidates from their personal networks, up to $5,000 per successful hire.

NESTLÉ NESPRESSO CANADA, Montréal. Coffee supplies and equipment; 593 employees. Introduced a "work from anywhere" program that lets employees work remotely for up to four weeks anywhere in Canada.

ONESPAN CANADA INC., Montréal. Software publishers; 300 employees. Supports a number of local and national charitable initiatives each year and encourages employee volunteerism with a paid day off to volunteer.

OSEDEA INC., Montréal. Business consulting services; 54 employees. Manages the Dreams Come True program, providing employees with $5,000 and an additional week of vacation to accomplish a personal project.

 Employees at marine transport company Fednav receive help preparing for ‘life after work’ through retirement planning assistance and a valuable defined benefit pension plan.
A packed dance floor at the Groupe Dynamite year-end holiday party.


1. Game developer Invoke Studios provides employees with five weeks of starting vacation allowance.

2. Telefilm Canada offers health benefits that extend to retirees, with premium coverage and no age limit.

3. RONA offers staff a flexible benefits plan, including psychological coverage (to $3,000 per year).


2024 WINNERS Continued

PFIZER CANADA ULC, Kirkland. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 963 employees. Offers long-term peace of mind by extending health benefits to retirees, with 100 per cent premium coverage and no age limit.

POMERLEAU INC., Montréal. Construction services; 3,322 employees. Starts the majority of new employees with four weeks of paid vacation and all employees can carry forward up to one week of unused vacation annually.

PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA, Longueuil. Aircraft engine manufacturing; 6,326 employees. Impressively donated over 140,000 volunteer hours on company time in the past year.

PUBLIC SECTOR PENSION INVESTMENT BOARD / PSP INVESTMENTS, Montréal. Pension funds; 910 employees. Increased its annual maximum coverage for mental health care

from $1,000 to $10,000.

PUBLIC SERVICES AND PROCUREMENT CANADA, Quebec region, Montréal. Federal government, government support services; 17,474 employees. Supports employees who are new mothers with generous maternity and parental leave top-up, to 93 per cent of salary for a full year.

RAYMOND CHABOT GRANT THORNTON, Montréal. Accounting; 2,624 employees. Helps employees enjoy a little more time off with five paid days off during the winter and summer months, in addition to annual vacation.

RICHTER LLP, Montréal. Accounting; 571 employees. Provides financial bonuses as an incentive for some course completions, to a maximum of $4,500.

RIO TINTO, Montréal. Mining; 12,183 employees. Offers new parents the convenience of onsite child care at its

head office.

RONA INC., Boucherville. Retail; 13,154 employees. Implemented a new top-up policy for salaried employees, providing maternity and parental leave top-up for new parents to 85 per cent of salary, ranging from 17 to 43 weeks.

SAMSUNG ADS CANADA, Montréal. Advertising agencies; 258 employees. Adopted a hybrid work model of eight in-office days per month and reimburses commuting expenses on a monthly basis, to a maximum of $65.

SAPUTO INC., Saint-Léonard. Cheese and dairy food product manufacturing; 5,460 employees. Encourages employees to adopt an ownership mentality through a share purchase plan, available to all.


, Montréal. Banking; 537 employees. Offers a personal spending account of $1,000 as part of its benefits plan which can be used

for pet insurance, elder care, or gym memberships, to name a few options.

SOCIÉTÉ QUÉBÉCOISE D'INFORMATION JURIDIQUE / SOQUIJ, Montréal. Provincial government, legal services; 134 employees. Helps employees prepare for the longer term with retirement planning assistance and generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan.

SOLLIO GROUPE COOPÉRATIF, Montréal. Retail cooperatives; 15,000 employees. Offers opportunities for employees to develop new skills through in-house apprenticeships, leadership development programs, and opportunities for formal mentoring.

SOLOTECH INC., Montréal. Audio video equipment and services; 1,102 employees. Head office features a unique "jam room," equipped with a variety of musical instruments for employees to use, including drums, guitars, microphones and mixing consoles.

TELEFILM CANADA, Montréal. Federal government, cultural agency; 217 employees. Provides long-term peace of mind with benefits that extend to retirees, with 50 per cent premium coverage and no age limit.

UBISOFT CANADIAN STUDIOS, Montréal. Software publishers; 5,341 employees. Enables employees to reap the benefits of the company's financial success through a profit-sharing plan.

ULTRA ELECTRONICS TCS INC., Mont-Royal. Communication systems; 205 employees. Supports employee volunteerism with paid time off to volunteer, providing the equivalent of two paid days off annually.

UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL, Montréal. Post secondary schools, university; 5,809 employees. Offers a summer Fridays off program that lets employees work a little extra each day and earn a long weekend every weekend throughout the summer months.

WB GAMES MONTRÉAL INC., Montréal. Video game developers; 340 employees. Helps employees stay grounded with guided meditation offered on a biweekly basis and coverage for mental health care as part of its benefits plan, to $1,750 annually.

 WB Games Montréal revealed four murals, each representing a character from the studio’s ‘Gotham Knights’ game, across the city in collaboration with local artists. WB GAMES

Montréal’s top tech and engineering employers merge innovation and work-life harmony

Companies build a culture that empowers employees

Rapid changes in models of work have created both challenges and opportunities for employers across industries. In the realms of tech and engineering, employers have been determining the best ways to innovate within a shifting office landscape.

Luckily, Montréal’s unique role as a diverse hub of languages, personal

backgrounds and experiences offers a slew of advantages and new talent for entrepreneurs.

This year, 16 tech and software companies made the list of 70 winners in the Montréal’s Top Employers competition. Between 2017 and 2022, Montréal was the third-fastest growing region for tech jobs in North America, with 51,500 people hired, according to commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE.

Kristina Leung, managing editor of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, sheds light on what makes the tech sector unique in nurturing a vibrant ecosystem that values not just the bottom line, but the well-being and satisfaction of every employee.

“Those organizations and startup firms, they're often the first ones to come up with the ideas of unlimited time off or super flexible time off,” Leung says. “And

I'm certain that some of them already had work-from-anywhere policies prior to the pandemic.”

People-centric policies

Audiokinetic, recognized for the first time as a Top Employer in Montréal, exemplifies the city's approach to balancing work and play while creating the conditions necessary to foster creativity and innovation.

 Employees at video game developer Ubisoft Canadian Studios can share in the company’s financial success through a profit-sharing plan.


"This distinction is a testament to our team’s commitment to fostering a workplace where success is a result of putting people first," says Martin H. Klein, president and CEO of Audiokinetic. The audio software company prides itself on creating a dynamic atmosphere where individuals feel empowered to share ideas, fostering a culture of intellectual curiosity and dedication to excellence.

Audiokinetic’s commitment to work-life balance is evident in its flexible work arrangements and the creation of “meaningful moments” for teams. With 97 full-time employees in Canada, the organization’s smaller size provides an opportunity for robust integration of employee feedback.

“As our company grows, we consistently centre our discussions around how we will continue to prioritize people and preserve our vibrant company culture,

ensuring that our growth remains grounded in our core values,” says Klein.

A balance between work and play

A career in the high-octane world of game development can seem daunting — especially in a video-game hub such as Montréal. But Ubisoft Canadian Studios cultivates a work-life balance that allows its creatives and innovators to put their best work forward.

On the recruitment front, Ubisoft employs a strategy as dynamic and inclusive as the games it creates. The company seeks passionate, imaginative individuals who are eager to push the boundaries of what’s possible in video game development.

Through initiatives such as Ubisoft Education, which involves partnerships with educational institutions and offers scholarships, internships and mentorship programs, the company invests in the next generation of talent.

“Since we opened our studio here in 1997, we have been pushing the boundaries to create extraordinary worlds for our players,” says Catherine Lemire, vice-president, Talents, at Ubisoft. “We owe this success, in part, to the ingenuity and innovation of our employees, and we strive to provide them with a work environment that fosters this creativity.”

Empowering employees

Pratt & Whitney Canada, an RTX company, stands as a leader in Montréal’s aerospace industry. Its workplace culture promotes empowerment, diversity and innovation.

"We have amazing, passionate and smart people who come up with ideas that can change the world," says the company in a provided statement.

In the engineering industry, having the best people isn’t enough — they must be given the right tools to create innovation they are proud of. To ensure work-life

balance, Pratt & Whitney Canada offers flexible work arrangements and a comprehensive benefits program, including the ‘INSPIRE’ well-being program. The company is committed to prioritizing employee satisfaction, conducting biannual engagement surveys and offering a wide range of development and education opportunities.

Despite industry-wide trends such as artificial intelligence automation and a tough investment outlook, Pratt & Whitney still puts an emphasis on recruitment strategies. The company looks for minds that are ready to be challenged as well as excited about the work.

“We achieve this through our co-op and internship programs and our partnerships with industry partners and specialized schools that help us attract, train and develop students,” says the company.

 Aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada provides generous tuition subsidies and offers access to online training, apprenticeships, and leadership development programs.

Air Canada offers new and exciting career routes

After working in finance in Montréal for a few years, Joshua Akue wanted to explore a new industry. With a worldview informed by his childhood in Togo, West Africa, and later in Senegal, in 2017 he started a completely different career at Air Canada as a customer service and sales representative.

Air Canada is one of the most bilingual companies in Canada, and we see this as a competitive advantage. We really do reflect the melting pot of Canada in both our employee base and our values.

The Montréal-based airline is Canada’s largest by size and passengers carried. “Air Canada has a huge impact on the Canadian economy and can only offer great opportunities,” says Akue. “I’ve always been a great learner, and working on the front line at the call centre was a great way to learn the business.”

After a year, Akue moved into human resources as an employee care specialist, and in 2021 he returned to his business roots as metrics and analytics manager. A self-described “people person,” he enjoys explaining data to managers to help with their

decision-making. “Numbers have stories, and I have to put numbers into words so people can understand them,” he says.

Akue sums up the common denominator to his career development in one word: support. “I’ve had extremely supportive managers who saw potential in me that I couldn’t always see,” he says. “They pushed me out of my comfort zone to explore new routes.”

At Air Canada, support is a twoway street. When Akue started working on the employee care team, he sat near three co-workers in cubicles – he jokingly called their space the VIP Lounge –where they served as sounding boards for each other. “All four of us are still at Air Canada, and

we’ve all moved up here,” he says.

Employee travel privileges are a valued commodity. Akue is the youngest of seven siblings, and his partner is from West Africa but was raised in France, so they have family all over the world. He feels fortunate that he has been able to visit his parents in Togo often since joining the airline, most recently attending his sister’s wedding there in 2023.

As an immigrant who moved to Montréal in 2009 to earn a business degree, Akue appreciates having colleagues from other countries. “Air Canada is committed to diversity,” he says. “We come from different backgrounds and origins, and you can share stories where there will be some similarities and some

differences, which makes for interesting conversations.”

The commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) starts at the top. “Diversity is part of Air Canada’s DNA, with our employees speaking more than 60 languages,” says Arielle Meloul, executive vice president, chief human resources officer and public affairs. “We fly to multiple countries, and our customers and employees reflect that.”

Value has been added through internal initiatives such as extending health benefits to same-sex partners decades ahead of other employers, and hiring the company’s first DEI director in 2022. Through the external program Girls in STEM, middle-school students visit Air

 Joshua Akue
is the metrics and analytics manager at Air Canada.




full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year years, longestserving employee paid sick days

 Arielle Meloul is the executive vice president, chief human resources officer and public affairs at Air Canada. Canada and meet women in nontraditional roles such as engineers, mechanics and pilots.

which all tie into wellness. The mission of the employee wellness program Unlock the Best in You

or connecting one-on-one at UBY events with colleagues from around the globe.

10 was born and raised. “Air Canada is one of the most bilingual companies in Canada, and we see this as a competitive advantage,” she says. “We really do reflect the melting pot of Canada in both our employee base and our values.” 


Values are the brightest display of Broadsign’s culture

Along-held tradition at Broadsign was that at the end of every year, the company would roast people who’d been there for five years.

Eventually it became 10 years.

And now it’s 15 to 20. “We have so many five- and 10-year people that we can’t roast them all,” says CEO Burr Smith. “I think that speaks really highly to the culture of the company.”

When Smith talks about the digital signage and out-of-home advertising technology company, he uses words like “special” and “magic.” He admits that the concept of a corporate “family” is overused but says that’s exactly what Broadsign is.

If you live the values every single day and everybody sees that, then they understand that you really mean it and they appreciate it.

“We want to get better, and we want to challenge ourselves and all of that,” he adds. “But at the same time, we care about each other, and if something doesn’t go exactly right, we’re supportive and we’re there and we understand.”

Rafael Paez applied for a job at Broadsign because he’d heard how well the company treated its employees. He was hired the week the pandemic hit in March 2020, so his early months were spent working from home.

Still, the reputation held up.

Paez was educated as an accountant and started on the collections team. But he had also been trained as an IT engineer. “When Broadsign found out that I could do both, they changed my position to a hybrid role,” says Paez, now the billing and collections team leader and automation specialist. “I’m able to do what I like to do, and I feel great that they gave me the opportunity to work in

both areas.”

Some of the things he appreciates most about working at Broadsign are the company’s values. “Advertising is a very competitive industry,” says Paez. “One of the main values at Broadsign is transparency. We do our best to ensure our clients and partners that we are transparent about everything – our processes, our platform, our system, our

products. That separates us from pretty much the rest of the competitors in the market.”

That value and others that Broadsign holds dear – do the right thing, do what they say they will do, treat people with dignity and respect – are important to Paez because they align with his own values. “I have received plenty of offers from different companies,” he says. “And I prefer to stay

 Burr Smith, CEO, making opening remarks at the 20th anniversary event at Broadsign.

here because I feel really appreciated and I feel that the company and I are a perfect match.”

When Smith took over as CEO of Broadsign in 2014, he didn’t talk about values right away. Instead, he wanted employees to see what

he thought was important. “We see cynicism in the political sphere, in the business sphere, everywhere,” says Smith. “But one of the things I’ve learned is that people want to work with people with integrity. They want to see people who are

going to really try to be what they say they want to be.”

It’s good for employee engagement and it’s good for business, too, Smith adds. “If you live the values every single day and everybody sees that, then

184 3 $ 2,000


full-time staff in Canada training days, 2 volunteer days per year in paramedical coverage per year employerpaid health plan, with family coverage

they understand that you really mean it and they appreciate it. I think people inside the company understand that we’re serious about it, too. It makes them feel good, and it draws the community together better.” 

 The Broadsign finance team at its 20th anniversary celebration party.

An entrepreneurial mission drives employees at BDC

Alexandre Constant owned his own business before coming to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) five years ago as an account manager. “We have a large network and resources but I can work on my own,” says Constant, who is now a senior account manager. “It’s like being an entrepreneur inside of a company.”

At BDC, employees admire entrepreneurs. People are engaged and eager to make an impact on a business’s success.

With its headquarters in Montréal, BDC helps create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and capital. It focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“We have a strong mission to help entrepreneurs to grow their business, which helps with the growth of the country,” says Julie Santucci, vice president financing, South Shore. “At BDC, employees admire entrepreneurs. People are engaged and eager to make an impact on a business’s success.”

As a new account manager, Constant was given the opportunity to shadow a colleague who coached him through the meeting process and answered questions. As he gained experience and

referrals, he became a senior account manager on the core business team.

Constant worked with the bank to produce a series of webinars that explain how the bank works, and include practical features such as how to prepare a financial statement. With the webinars, BDC is working to attract and assist potential entrepreneurs in diverse communities.

“We want all entrepreneurs to know us,” says Santucci. “It helps to hire diverse people so we can reach out to diverse communities.”

And once an employee joins

BDC, professional development tends to come when it’s needed. Santucci joined BDC right after her maternity leave, and the bank allowed her to come in early and leave early while she looked after her young child. A few years later, she indicated an interest in another department. Her manager arranged for her to shadow someone there and, when a job opened up, she interviewed and was selected for the role. Santucci credits the mentoring she received at BDC with her ability to be successful. “It’s our senior leaders who mentor our

new leaders,” she says. “They are accessible with meetings every month, and the relationships carry on.”

Santucci and Constant both talk about how engaged people are at BDC. Constant says one reason is the employee engagement committees in each area. Every month, employees have an opportunity to talk openly about what is working for them, and what could be improved. Issues are raised to the vice president who meets with other senior leaders quarterly. “A lot has happened as a result of these meetings,” says Constant.

 At Business Development Bank of Canada, employees have opportunities for professional development in departments of interest through job shadowing.

BDC employees are inspired by the opportunity to advise entrepreneurs on what they can do to reduce the carbon footprint of their business though BDC’s Climate Action Centre. “They can encourage clients to consider

a green-certified property or let them know about available grants,” says Santucci. “Our goal is to make sure they know that green investment is not just about initial costs, but also benefits that accrue in future years. That feels good.”

And with its head office in Montréal, Santucci says this location allows people in the Montréal area to develop relationships with senior management and to influence what happens in the rest of the country.





full-time staff in Canada of employees are women employerpaid retiree health premium adoption leave topup pay

In the end, it’s the people who make the difference.

“The bank gives me the opportunity to help entrepreneurs and I take responsibility like an entrepreneur,” says Constant. “It’s on me to help them grow.” 

 Business Development Bank of Canada employees enjoying lunch in one of the rest areas at its head office.

It’s a tight-knit tech family at C3 Solutions

C3 Solutions Inc. brand designer Annie Ngo began her association with the company as a freelancer contracted to design the Montréal firm’s recruitment brochure. Learning about C3’s people, benefits and workplace culture, Ngo recalls, her first thought was, “Why am I not working there?”

We focus most on our people’s interests – what they like and where they’re strong – and on developing them, so people easily move between positions and assignments.

And in 2019, when Élise Crevier, now C3’s president, asked Ngo to become the company’s full-time brand designer, she didn’t hesitate. C3 had much that was appealing, from its top-of-the-line yard management and dock scheduling software to the employee input into the company’s community engagement. But it was the workplace culture, says Ngo, that was, and remains, the most compelling reason to join.

“It’s a very tight-knit group that at the same time is welcoming to newcomers,” she says. “There is a trust and recognition for your work from everyone, which sounds small and like something that should be automatic, but it isn’t in a lot of places. One of the things I value most about my four years at C3 is the opportunity to grow together with my colleagues. You realize you’ve become part of

a really big family.”

C3 isn’t an actual family-owned business, but “family” is a word Crevier, who jokes she was “born at C3,” consistently uses to describe it. She recently became the 12th current C3 employee – more than a fifth of the workforce – to celebrate her 20th anniversary at a company not yet 24 years old.

“That is rare in the tech sector,” the president says. “What set us apart from the beginning was

building a family culture, taking care of our people, being there for one another in difficult situations, and really loving them for their contribution.”

The family care goes well beyond C3’s custom of eating meals together or its on-site gym and “boot camps,” as Crevier calls the “mix of wellness activity and simultaneous team building” held there three times a week. A more crucial element in supporting the

family ethos, according to Crevier, is combining a non-hierarchical structure with abundant opportunity – a major factor in retaining long-term employees within a relatively small organization.

“We are pretty flat as an organization,” Crevier says. “We focus most on our people’s interests –what they like and where they’re strong – and on developing them, so people easily move between positions and assignments. As our

C3 Solutions focuses on team building through several weekly activities and an open office space.

business evolves, we make sure to put the right person in the right seat. We are opportunistic that way, the best possible way.”

The flip side of that approach, she continues, is to be sure that new employees fit the family and

its values. “When we hire people, we need to feel that they’re not just there to work and have a paycheque, but to collaborate and support others and live our culture. We have turned down highly qualified people for that

reason, that they didn’t fit in,” says Crevier. “We are not looking for homogeneity – we value diversity – but there has to be an alignment of values.”

Ngo believes that alignment and the camaraderie it builds is C3 in


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full-time staff in Canada charities helped last year annual spending on training per full-time employee voluntary turnover rate last year

a nutshell, evident to her in and out of the office. “When we go out after work, nobody talks about the office, they talk about their lives and interests,” says Ngo, “which says a lot about how stress-free the workplace is.” 

 The implementation team at C3 Solutions collaborating during their daily team meeting.

CN gets employees’ career growth on track to success

Every day is take-yourkid-to-work day for Valeria Yanez. When the senior manager of procurement and supply management at CN returned from maternity leave last October, she was able to get a spot for her daughter at the on-site childcare facilities at CN’s Montréal head office.

“It’s made coming back to work even more fun, because I commute to work with her, drop her off and I can go and see her at any point,” says Yanez. “And it helps as a woman in a leadership position, I don’t have to rush back home to pick her up.”

Talent development is something that I’ve found is very well-managed at CN. There are a lot of opportunities for movement and gaining new experiences.

On-site daycare is a great perk, but far from the only way Yanez has felt supported by CN. During her maternity leave, she says her leaders and colleagues kept in regular contact to plan for her return – and when a more senior job opened up, they tapped her for it. It meant coming back to an entirely new role after a year and a half away, but Yanez says the return-to-work transition was much easier than she expected.

“I’m really grateful for that. The fact that I was going on maternity leave didn’t delay my career

growth,” she says.

Yanez was initially drawn to CN because of its reputation as a “great school” where employees are always learning and for the ability to develop her career in the organization. So being given an opportunity to advance even while on leave was particularly meaningful.

Hoang Tran, director of passenger and executive operations, also came to CN for its professional development opportunities.

After 21 years with his previous employer, Tran says, he attended a session with a professional coach who asked him what his career ambitions were. “I said, ‘I’d like to find out if I’m a good railroader.’ And if you want to find that out, you’ve got to rub elbows with the best. In my mind, the best was CN,” he says.

Around the same time, an opportunity at CN opened up to lead passenger operations and Tran went for it. In the five and a half

years since he took the leap, he’s been handed increasing responsibilities and major files – including streamlining CN’s multiple control centres, helping to find employees new opportunities throughout the company and working directly for CN’s chief operating officer and chief executive officer.

“Talent development is something that I’ve found is very well-managed at CN,” says Tran, who now oversees CN’s agreements with Via Rail, Metrolinx,

 Hoang Tran, director, passenger and executive operations, and Valeria Yanez, senior manager, procurement and supply management, at Canadian National Railway.

Rocky Mountaineer and Exo to use the company’s infrastructure. “There are a lot of opportunities for movement and gaining new experiences,” he says. “There’s always this capacity for people to try different roles.”

CN is about more than just career growth, Yanez says. Despite it being a large organization with employees across the country, she says she feels connected and close to her colleagues. The company also puts a focus on recognizing

employees’ successes, from calling out good work in team meetings to acknowledgments during company town halls.

“People are driven to do their best because they understand CN’s importance to the North

Get your career moving CN is hiring





full-time staff in Canada weeks, maximum vacation allowance employerpaid health plan, with family coverage participation in employee share investment plan

American economy,” Tran says. “Without CN, farmers can’t get propane, gas stations run out of gas, people couldn’t get fertilizers, wood or consumer products. It’s meaningful and important work.” 

 Canadian National Railway president and CEO (centre) visiting the Taschereau team to hear their thoughts.

Innovation, impact and professional growth merge at CSL Group

Growing up in Châteauguay near Montréal, Daniel Jodoin would watch the cargo ships on Lac-St-Louis and always be enthralled. It sparked a love of sailing and passion for marine shipping, which he now gets to experience daily in his work with the CSL Group, Canada’s iconic shipping company founded in 1845.

“The history of CSL and the shipping industry are truly remarkable,” says the procurement and logistics coordinator.

“The more you learn, the more interesting it becomes and the more proud I am to be working at CSL and in this sector.”

I can see how much of an impact my position has on the operations themselves. That’s so rare.

A recreational sailor, Jodoin pursued his interest by enrolling in maritime school before studying engineering.

CSL was always on his radar as the company to work for, and after a three-year internship, Jodoin was hired full-time in 2021. The company has continued to live up to its reputation every day – from technological innovations to how it supports its employees.

“It’s very impressive to see the influence CSL has in the industry,” he says. “When CSL does something, it sets an example for other shipping companies.”

Staying in touch with both the

broader industry and the needs of employees is ingrained in the company, explains chief human resources officer Stéphanie Aubourg.

“We’re the kind of company that encourages thinking outside the box and sharing new ideas. We’re eager to hear them, and if they make sense, we’ll implement them,” she says. “It’s all part of our commitment to an innovative mindset.”

Take, for example, CSL’s new bio-diesel-powered ship, MV Nukumi. Named 2023 Vessel of the Year at the Marine Propulsion Decarbonisation Awards, it’s a product of teamwork across many departments and our commitment

to exploring sustainable advancements in the industry, she explains.

“Innovation is part of our DNA. So if you’re someone who likes to be creative and move things forward, you’ll feel at home here.”

The company is also proactive in how it gathers and implements employee feedback. Using a platform called OfficeVibe, CSL measures employee engagement weekly rather than annually, allowing it to quickly respond to employee needs.

CSL also maintains its competitive edge by benchmarking itself in the marine industry and offering industry-leading compensation and benefits, including a

defined benefit pension plan.

This big-picture approach to employee satisfaction is key to attracting talent and minimizing turnover in a highly specialized industry, says Aubourg.

“When people are vying for experts, we make sure that ours have competitive compensation but also an amazing work environment,” she says, adding that the employee turnover rate is only 4.4 per cent.

CSL also prevents stagnation through resources for professional development that are available at all levels of an employee’s career.

Jodoin, who aspires to be a vessel manager, took advantage of one such resource. The Career

 CSL vessel employees have opportunities to work with its innovative technologies in the shipping industry.

Wheel lays a path for employee goals, then provides the resources to pursue them.

“The business is grounded on training employees to their best

ever seen.”

In his current position, Jodoin says he has already been impressed by the hands-on opportunities he receives, from living on a dry-docked ship in Ontario to travelling to Europe for


ship inspections.

“I can see how much of an impact my position has on the operations themselves,” he says. “That’s so rare.”

As for his love of all things

900 $ 2,500 $ 3,000 $ 1,000

full-time staff in Canada mental health practitioner benefit maximum referral bonuses maximum health spending account

Jodoin still finds time to get out sailing in the summer and jumps at the chance to board the CSL vessels.

“I’m proud to say that I work for CSL,” he reflects. “It might be cliché, but I really am.” 

 At CSL, all employees can pursue professional development through Career Wheel, a resource that outlines ways to achieve their career goals.

How fintech firm DRW fuels professional growth

As a student in Montréal, Elena Comanici took a behavioural finance course that changed the way she looked at the world of finance. Now, as an equity trader with DRW Canada, she gets to dig into that cerebral aspect of the markets daily.

“You get to look at it from the human side,” says Comanici. “It’s more psychological where you try to understand how the market reacts to news.”

They try and set you up for success. They push you to go further. It's about continual learning while also supporting you in your journey.

Comanici started her journey to equity trader as an intern at the fintech firm six years ago. The fast-paced energy and excitement was clear from day one when she was given the opportunity to work on the trading floor.

“It was really cool to see,” she recalls. “When you’re in school, you have one idea, then you get there for real and there’s so much energy. And they were ready to include me in everything – I loved it.”

The perks of being an intern include transportation, housing if needed, meals – but above all else, a comprehensive learning experience that prepares them for a career in finance. Last year,

62 per cent of interns returned to DRW in full-time positions post-graduation.

“DRW was very supportive of my career growth,” says Comanici, who worked in various departments, including on the technical side, before landing in her dream position.

The mentorship and supportive environment of the company is a product of both its open culture and its structured learning and development opportunities, explains software development manager John Gosset.

“They try and set you up for

success,” says Gosset, who is heavily involved in DRW’s internship and apprenticeship programs. “They push you to go further. It’s about continual learning while also supporting you in your journey.”

As a leader in the financial technology space with unique software and hardware, DRW sees guiding new hires with mentorship and internal support as key.

“We have hardware that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world, so mentorship is very important,” says Gosset.

Gosset joined the team in 2019

after running his own successful technology company that counted DRW as a client. When he eventually decided to accept a full-time position, he says he knew DRW was the right choice for him thanks to the supportive and trusting work environment.

“It’s easy to be a grain of sand on the beach at some bigger tech companies,” he says. “At a multinational firm like DRW, you can have a really big impact with people that care about you in a way that I don't think is possible in big tech.”

DRW’s impact goes beyond

 DRW employees building their camaraderie over foosball in its game room.

its employees. The company makes charitable giving a priority, helping 350 charities last year, encouraging group volunteer activities and providing company time to give back to causes.

“There will always be people

who could use help and the way DRW makes it a part of the culture makes me feel good about the company I work for,” says Gosset. “It also helps build our team spirit.”

The staff camaraderie is further

nurtured through group activities picked by the teams. In a city like Montréal, known for its fabulous food scene, Comanici particularly loves it when they try new restaurants together, but activities vary from archery to skeet

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full-time staff in Canada annual spend per employee on training and development employerpaid health plan, with family coverage charities helped last year

shooting – whatever the group decides.

“It’s a good perk to have. We get to know each other,” says Comanici. “We’re all very close, we’re ready to help each other and that’s really amazing.” 

 Employees sharing ideas in a brainstorm session at DRW.

KDP Canada unlocks talent through opportunity

Stéphanie Boyer arrived at Keurig Dr Pepper Canada (KDP Canada) as a self-described “category management geek” in 2020, and rapidly expanded her scope as she rose through the ranks.

Four years later, as senior manager of partnerships, Boyer has had an eye-opening career development she says is rooted in KDP Canada’s dynamic workplace culture.

My work involves new passions I wouldn’t have dared to pursue without the opportunities KDP Canada has offered. If the company sees potential and you show interest, there are real possibilities.

“My path has shifted tremendously,” says Boyer. “What was my sales career now touches not just marketing but through my partnerships responsibilities also plays into legal and supply chain, giving me a 360-degree view of the business.

“My work involves new passions I wouldn’t have dared to pursue without the opportunities KDP Canada has offered. If the company sees potential and you show interest, there are real possibilities. For me, it has been a tremendous experience that has opened many doors,” Boyer says.

KDP Canada’s expanding business and flexible approach has created a host of opportunities

for its employees to display their talents, says Jean Gagnon, senior director of the cold beverages business unit. “Many of us, including myself, who came to KDP Canada in 2019, have been faced with situations and challenges that were unrelated to our past experiences,” Gagnon says.

“So those who have the agility to learn, are curious and willing to embrace the pace, and have what I call the ‘owner mindset’ that’s needed to make things happen, can achieve a lot, even if it’s not

something that they’ve done in the past,” says the senior director.

Boyer and Gagnon agree that for all the beverage-maker’s employee benefits – including exceptional parental leave policies and enhanced mental-health practitioner support – it’s the corporate culture that matters most in recruitment and retainment.

And not just on the opportunity front. “Colleagues genuinely care for one another,” Boyer says. “My main value has always been family-first. And here, I have

work-life balance in a way I haven’t seen before, because it’s embraced by everyone I have worked with or reported to.

“This is a key value at KDP Canada, and something that has truly resonated with me for the past four years,” says Boyer.

That balance is just one of the interconnected values that collectively fuel the workplace, says Gagnon. “Our employees know that the organization understands and appreciates their diverse backgrounds and personal situations.”

 The Atypique team at Keurig Dr Pepper including Stéphanie Boyer and brand founder Étienne Boulay, during a successful media event in June 2023 (photo credit: Arthur Mola).

KDP Canada’s eight employee resource groups – AfricanAmericans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Young Professionals, Hispanics, LGBTQ+, Parents and Caregivers, Veterans and First Responders, and Women – which

all have “and allies” as part of their names, are active and influential parts of workplace culture.

Flexibility, Gagnon adds, flows through KDP Canada. “It’s rare in Canada for a consumer packaged goods company like us not to be

entirely headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area, but half the Canadian leadership team is based in Montréal and half in Mississauga in the GTA, meaning both cities can support people in their career development.

1,395 $ 5,000 18


full-time staff in Canada mentalhealth practitioner benefit  weeks, maternity leave topup pay compassionate leave topup pay

“Sometimes employees seek out these opportunities,” says Gagnon, “other times we offer them, or initiate a discussion that creates an opportunity. We see their careers as a shared responsibility between employee and employer.” 

 Keurig Dr Pepper employees volunteering at a One Drop Foundation event that focuses on increasing safe access to water.

LPA uses teamwork to navigate challenges

Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA) is a small organization with a major impact on Canadian, U.S. and global trade. The company uses sophisticated technology to guide ocean-going ships up and down the St. Lawrence River, one of the most important navigable waterways in the world.

“It all used to be done with wooden ships on a board,” says CEO Marc-Yves Bertin. “Now we use a series of screens with maps, computer tracking systems and the latest technologies around plotting vessels. We’re much more like an air traffic control tower now.”

It’s a job that captures the imagination.
Making sure trade can occur in an efficient, safe manner is a huge responsibility for a small organization like ours.

Professional pilotage on the St. Lawrence River has a history stretching back more than 400 years. Navigating the river has always been a risky proposition, and there have long been skilled local pilots ready to come on board and guide the helm. But as ships became bigger and more complex, Canada moved to a modern era of pilotage service half a century ago by setting up LPA as an armslength Crown corporation.

Today the company oversees more than 200 commercial pilots, with five forward operating bases and a small fleet of pilot boats –monitoring the whole complex ballet from the LPA Transit Control Centre in Montréal.

LPA’s mission is one that attracts a certain type of person, says Bertin. At its heart, pilotage is an adventurous and even romantic career, one that keeps transportation infrastructure running in North America and globally. “It’s a job that captures the imagination,” he says. “Making sure trade can

occur in an efficient, safe manner is a huge responsibility for a small organization like ours. Given our mandate, we need to be incredibly agile, and we’re fortunate to have incredibly dedicated people who know this business inside out.”

Keeping lines of communication open so that every member of the team can collaborate is vital, says Bertin. “People want to be a part of the strategic conversations. It enables them to do their work better because they understand the context. We’re putting a heavy emphasis on inclusion

– something we can do effectively with a small team like ours.”

“It’s a question of collaboration,” says LPA talent and culture agent Sophie Picard. “We have a lot of different expertise within the organization and that helps us to face challenges from every angle.”

The environment that LPA operates in is fraught with challenges: lumpy supply chains caused by COVID-19 and global conflict; a drive to achieve greener operations with a goal of net zero by 2050; and the need to replace older, highly skilled pilots and

 Sophie Picard, talent and culture agent, in a talent and communications meeting with a colleague at Laurentian Pilotage Authority.

ship captains who are reaching retirement. LPA is also being asked to expand its operating area to the North Shore of Québec – a much different pilotage environment than the St. Lawrence River.

Picard says LPA makes sure she

feels ready for the challenges with regular training, skills upgrading and support. She joined the company five years ago as an executive assistant and made the jump to HR with encouragement from LPA.

Now, when she wants to improve on an old strength or develop a new work-related skill, she takes classes and participates in webinars with LPA covering the cost. The company offers her job security, but more than that, LPA’s


60% 25


full-time staff in Canada of executive team are women weeks, adoption leave topup pay employerpaid health plan, with family coverage

small size makes her feel like she’s making a big impact. “The work is never routine here, but LPA never forgets to put people at the heart of the decision-making process,” she says. “That’s one of our real strengths as a small company.” 

 Employees can upgrade their skills through classes and webinars covered by Laurentian Pilotage Authority.

At the Maples Group, there is always room to grow

After a successful 20-year career in the financial services industry, Valérie Jetté was ready to expand. Last year, she joined the Maples Group, a legal and financial services provider. “I’d reached a stage in my career where I wanted to contribute differently to the success of my organization,” says Jetté, senior vice-president in fund accounting. “And what attracted me to the Maples Group was its more entrepreneurial and nimble culture.”

What attracted me to the Maples Group was its more entrepreneurial and nimble culture.

To Jetté, it was important to have the opportunity to make a difference, and that’s what she found at the Maples Group. “I feel really close to senior management,” she says. “I feel like my expertise is recognized, that my skills are valued. And I’m given the latitude to manage my time effectively and make decisions.”

Those opportunities trickle down to employees at every level. “It’s part of the culture,” she adds. “It’s about empowering them, recognizing their skills and giving them that room to grow.”

There is the formal process for establishing and monitoring goals, both business and personal. In addition, employees have access to training programs, either technical in nature or around soft skills.

Jetté herself recently attended an emerging leaders program at Trinity College Dublin.

The company also has a mentoring program that gives younger employees access to senior leaders, who meet them regularly and help them with advice or questions. “We really make sure our managers are coaching their employees and asking them where they want to go next,” she says, “and then we base the development goals on that.”

Olga Vellopoulos started at the Maples Group as operations manager almost three years ago, during the pandemic, and her early days were spent in an almost

empty building. “It was challenging but great all at the same time,” she says, “because the learning curve was incredible.”

In fact, during the pandemic, the Maples Group hired more than 100 people in Montréal and embraced a hybrid work policy to accommodate everyone. Continued growth necessitated an office expansion, however, and with it, the chance to design a physical environment suited to the new normal.

The result is a new state-ofthe-art space, designed with the employees in mind, Vellopoulos says. “There’s a lot of collaboration space to foster connection

among employees. We have larger lunchrooms where employees can sit comfortably, a multi-purpose room in which we host meetings and client events, and Zoom rooms for private conversations with colleagues working from home or in other offices. It’s been a great project, and the employees love it.”

Most of the Maples Group’s social events are now held in the new space – the monthly new hires meet-and-greets, bagel birthday celebrations, ice cream days and more.

Diversity is also a cornerstone of the company’s operations in Montréal. With more than half

 Valérie Jetté, senior vice-president in fund accounting (left) and Olga Vellopoulos, operations manager, at the Maples Group

the employees being female, forming a professional women’s networking group made perfect sense. Both Vellopoulos and Jetté are part of the group – Jetté is a co-founder – which meets monthly and is focused on supporting

and elevating women’s careers and celebrating their successes.

At its inaugural event, more than 50 participants met with leaders and had open discussions about work-related issues of importance to women. “It was a huge success


53% 34


full-time staff in Canada of managers are women years, average age of all employees job-related tuition subsidies

Group, Jetté knows she made the right decision. “The culture is just really great – that’s one thing I noticed when I started,” she says. “The collaboration, the client focus, the dedication to excellence and, of course, the people.” 

 The new office space at the Maples Group was designed for collaboration and multi-purpose events as part of its recent office expansion.

Pfizer Canada lives out values through volunteerism

As part of the access and value department at Pfizer Canada, Daniele Bolap works with private insurance companies to help patients achieve optimal access to the pharmaceutical company’s medicines and vaccines.

“It’s rewarding work because you can see the impact it has on people’s lives,” says Bolap, senior manager, market access.

Being able to have a positive impact is what fuels me and keeps me going.
— Daniele Bolap Senior Manager, Market Access

Equally rewarding, she adds, is the advocacy and volunteering she gets to do, both within Pfizer and as part of company-sponsored community outreach initiatives in Montréal.

Bolap, who joined Pfizer seven years ago, is involved in several employee committees focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, including the women’s leadership resource group.

She also recently led the launch of the Montréal chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, an external organization dedicated to advancing the impact of women in the business of health care, which global Pfizer Inc. has long supported.

In addition to all of that, Bolap volunteers with organizations like Montréal’s Cedars Cancer Foundation, which works to

improve the health and well-being of both pediatric and adult cancer patients.

“It’s about being the change I want to see,” says Bolap, who emigrated to Canada from Cameroon at age 10. “I want to share with others the experiences I’ve had. There have been times in my life when I’ve been the only woman or Black person in the room. I want to help other women have the support and confidence to be their authentic selves at work.”

Bolap credits Pfizer for engaging employees in initiatives that impact health care delivery and benefit the larger community.

“You get to work for something

that is greater than you,” she says. “Being able to have a positive impact is what fuels me and keeps me going.”

Pfizer Canada president Najah Sampson says the company’s commitment to community outreach and volunteerism is very much rooted in the company’s core values of courage, excellence, equity and joy, as well as its central purpose – breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.

“We are all about health care, but we realized a long time ago it’s not about how much medicine you sell,” says Sampson. “It’s about addressing health care disparities and barriers that prevent people

from accessing treatments.”

For example, the company works closely with First Nations communities on health care awareness initiatives and improved access to care.

The company also supports Canadians in need through patient assistance programs and provides access to medicines to vulnerable communities around the world through its association with Health Partners International Canada.

Team members are given paid days off to volunteer and the company matches a portion of employee contributions to registered charities of their choice.

 Daniele Bolap, senior manager, market access, is involved in several employee committees focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, including the women's leadership resource group at Pfizer Canada

While November is designated as a month of giving at Pfizer, Sampson says that on any given day or month of the year, team members can be found volunteering at community blood drives, food banks and other

front-line activities.

There is also an urge to innovate. Looking for new ways to support the community, colleagues at Pfizer’s Montréal office recently decided to establish an on-site community garden, with the fruits

and vegetables being harvested and delivered to The West Island Mission food bank.

It all ties back, says Sampson, to a workplace culture that is collaborative, supportive and connected to a central purpose


65% $ 2,000


full-time staff in Canada of managers are women mental health practitioner benefit staff volunteer hours last year

that extends well beyond the office walls.

“We try to make sure people are reminded that what they do, both at work and in the community, is all about putting patients first and making a difference.” 

 Pfizer Canada employees volunteer in communities across the country with organizations that help underserved Canadians.

Opportunities and DEI make Pratt & Whitney Canada shine

When Myriam Ben Aoun was studying aeronautical engineering in her native Tunisia and then pursuing a master’s in mechanical engineering in Canada, she learned about Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) and its international parent company.

And she began dreaming about working for a firm such as P&WC, the world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. Getting hired in 2022 at the firm’s headquarters in suburban Longueuil has been “a once-in-alifetime opportunity,” she says. “I had admired Pratt & Whitney for a long time because of the quality of its engines.”

Our people can have extraordinary careers with the opportunity to grow in and leave their mark in areas beyond their imagination. That’s what attracts talent and keeps our team motivated every day.

It’s not just the cachet of working for a major player in its field, along with the formal training P&WC provides, that makes working there a pleasure. It’s also what she calls the “beautiful” culture.

Ben Aoun is part of the company’s three-year, three-department rotational program for new hires. “In my two placements so far,” she

says, “I have felt like I’m part of a team that actually cares about me. There’s a lot of guidance, learning and support. The team recognizes your achievements, too.

“A lot of the time I go to the office and unexpected things happen,” she continues. “Certain assignments turn out to be amazing opportunities for discovery.”

That climate is key at P&WC, says Fannie Jacques, vicepresident of human resources. “We’ve been in business for more than 95 years because of the unparalleled contribution of our employees. Our products are extremely complex; what we do is hard. And the people who deliver the products and the

services to our customers make the difference.

“Our people can have extraordinary careers with the opportunity to grow in and leave their mark in areas beyond their imagination. That’s what attracts talent and keeps our team motivated every day,” says Jacques.

Another way P&WC bolsters staff, she notes, is through its longstanding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. “We want our campuses to reflect the general population and for our people to feel comfortable being their own selves at work.”

All employees experience at least 90 minutes of training on micro-aggression and unconscious

bias. And Jacques notes that the Canadian organization has seven employee resource groups (ERGs) involving about 1,500 staff.

Existing ERGS at P&WC include ones focused on women and Black employees, military veterans, workers at its manufacturing facilities, and staff of South and East Asian and Pacific Islands backgrounds. This year, Jacques says, P&WC will see the creation of an LGBTQ+ ERG and a Latin American ERG.

For Ben Aoun, P&WC’s focus on diversity has enhanced her integration into the company. “I’ve learned so much and have met people I don’t work with but that I now consider friends through our

 Pratt & Whitney Canada has over 15,000 employees worldwide, of which approximately 2,000 are working in engine manufacturing, assembly and testing operations in Québec.

ERGs and their events.”

P&WC is also committed to employees’ physical and mental well-being, Jacques points out.

“We have a program called Inspire meant to improve our work environment and encourage our

people to make positive personal choices regarding their physical, mental, social and financial health. It includes health challenges, health and wellness centres with health practitioners in our various major sites, along

with webinars and on-site conferences hosted by best-in-class specialists.”

The organization also has on-site nurses and doctors in several of its Canadian facilities, she notes. It has a peer-support

6,521 $ 20,000

141,183 $ 30,000

full-time staff in Canada   annually per employee in tuition subsidies staff volunteer hours last year per employee, charitable donation match

network for mental health. And at the Longueuil campus, P&WC provides electric bikes so that employees can ride from one building to another or commute home in the evening and come back in the morning. 

 Pratt & Whitney Canada has employee resource groups that infuse diversity, equity and inclusion across the company by driving initiatives aligned to its DE&I strategy.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton still thrives 75 years later

Since joining Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton 13 years ago, Gautier Péchadre has steadily grown his expertise while never losing passion for his job, thanks to ongoing coaching and support from his employer.

One year after joining the Montréal-based firm, Péchadre received his chartered accountant title, then started the process of becoming a trustee and earning a chartered insolvency and restructuring professional designation. During the three years it took to receive his trustee designation, his employer offered him continuous one-on-one mentorship, classes and financial support.

The values we are guided by at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton are collaboration, leadership, agility, integrity, respect and excellence. I live by them. As senior managers, we always try to implement them with the team.

“For the company, it was very important that I was well accompanied through the process,” he says. “They sponsored me all the way.”

In the six months leading up to his final exam, Péchadre met weekly with one of the firm’s

partners. They would spend up to two hours together going through test exams in preparation. Now, as a senior manager at the leading Québec professional services firm for businesses, he spends about 50 per cent of his working hours coaching and mentoring his team so they too can evolve into more senior positions.

“The values we are guided by at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton are collaboration, leadership, agility, integrity, respect and excellence. I live by them. As senior managers, we always try to implement them,” he says.

Aligning with the firm’s key values is integral to its success, says Nathalie

executive vice president and chief operating

 Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton supports the growth of employees with one-on-one mentorship with leadership, classes and financial support.

2,745 23

$ 2,500

full-time staff in Canada   weeks, biological and nonbiological parental leave topup pay annual spend on training per full-time employee job-related tuition subsidies

100% years because we maintain our entrepreneurial spirit, evolving at the pace of our talent and clients. As a leader in our industry, we will continue to set the example and put people at the center of everything we do,” she says. 

Rio Tinto encourages employees to open every door

Amra Basic, vice president, people, at Rio Tinto, began her 17-year career with the company in Salt Lake City, moved to its U.K. headquarters, then back to Utah before coming to Montréal. So she has every personal as well as professional reason to say employees can “wander the world with Rio Tinto.” It’s even possible, she adds, to do that within a hub like Montréal.

“Many of our people in Montréal support not just our Canadian operations, but some are performing entirely global roles,” Basic says. “We are unique here in providing opportunities that go beyond helping us make Rio Tinto stronger in Canada.

There are opportunities to work with other hubs like Brisbane


Australia or our headquarters in London – Montréal is a great place for crosspollination and talent development.

“There are opportunities to work with other hubs like Brisbane in Australia or our headquarters in London – Montréal is a great place for cross-pollination and talent development.”

Even the Montréal offices have been reshaped for collaboration, encounters with different teams and chances to learn new aspects of the business. “We have a space

for everyone: brainstorming areas and open desk spaces that encourage teamwork and collaboration, inspiration rooms, conversation spaces, quiet corners when in need of deep concentration, and access to the technology to keep people connected virtually,” says Basic.

Rio Tinto’s framework for talent management strongly encourages employees to articulate their career and development goals, and provides ample opportunity to explore them. That, in turn, is a powerful force not just in retention but also in recruitment, says Tania D’Amico, performance and value lead, Northern Hemisphere,

with Rio Tinto Safe Production System.

“I had worked in other industries previously – pharmaceuticals and aerospace – and what attracted me to Rio Tinto six years ago was they were just starting their internal consulting group,” D’Amico says. “I thought it was really brave and bold to move towards internal consulting at a time when there was a lot of outside consulting happening in other industries.

“It meant using teams of their own people, not outsiders, to consider issues, and that offered access to different cultures, ways of work and leadership styles,

plus opportunities to work with different commodities,” she adds. “It meant people moving around, whether inside the Montréal hub or to other sites. And every leader I’ve had really pushed the personal development front.”

Rio Tinto’s ultimate goal is to attract, develop and maintain a strong talent pipeline, says Basic, pointing to the company’s holistic approach to employee health, safety and well-being, and the broad spectrum of benefits the company offers. “If we want to stay in business and attract the best, we have to make sure that people are excited to come back to work the next day.”

 Rio Tinto employees can collaborate with different teams in its brainstorming areas and open desk spaces.

Hence the continuous development focus, which includes structured training programs, coaching, mentoring, job sharing, opportunities to work on crossdisciplinary projects, and regional and global assignments that

involve moving to another country for a period of time.

“The only way we can deliver on our performance is when people are engaged and performing to their full potential,” Basic says, “and this is when both company

and employee can thrive.”

For D’Amico, Rio Tinto’s approach enriches the employee experience just as much. “What I tell people about working here is that, if you have a passion for learning and continuous improve-


56 18 $ 500

full-time staff in Canada years, longestserving employee  weeks, parental leave topup pay annual wellness spending account

ment, if you have a growth mindset and want access to new things, this is the right company for you. It will expose you to so many opportunities.”

And even, literally or figuratively, move you around the planet. 

 The Rio Tinto courtyard at the Montréal office.

RONA, at 85, is building an even better work culture

In 2004, after a 33-year career at a financial institution, Jean Belley retired and started a new career – as a sales employee in the seasonal department of RONA Inc., the home improvement retail giant that is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2024.

For Belley, the benefits of working at RONA are simple: he’s 80 years old, works 40 hours a week, likes dealing with the public and enjoys the people he works with. “What makes my day is what I accomplish and the support I get from my colleagues and management,” he says.

We believe in owning your development. We encourage our employees to seize all opportunities because this is a really big company.

Belley’s department is close to the front door of the RONA store where he works, so he’s often the first person customers see. “There are more and more white-haired people in our area,” he explains, “and they come in and see me and say, ‘Oh, you’re the one who knows everything – I want to ask you a question.’ The most important thing to me is the response of the public.”

For RONA, having a mix of employees from different generations and backgrounds is invaluable – especially in stores, where more experienced workers often act as

mentors for younger colleagues.

“There are so many opportunities at RONA and there’s really a place for anyone wanting to make a difference in our customers’ journey and help them create the home they want,” says Marie-Eve Tanguay, director of culture and talent development. “Some people come in for a season, some join us on the tail end of their career, and others stay with us their entire career, growing with us and sometimes making it a family affair.”

Having been hands-on in the construction of two houses of her own, Tanguay had long been a

committed RONA customer. So when she was offered a job at the company six years ago, she jumped at the chance. “I thought it would be great to join personal and professional interests,” she says.

Since she started, Tanguay has held a few different roles – not unusual for employees at RONA. “We believe in owning your development,” she says. “We encourage our employees to seize all opportunities because this is a really big company, so there are natural and easy ways to advance in your career.”

RONA has many formal and informal programs in place to help employees do just that. Among other things, the company just launched a new leadership series to support all leaders throughout the year.

The company has even developed an app called Discover, a coaching tool on product knowledge and development for store associates and managers. “We believe in continuous development,” says Tanguay. “And we believe that building this learning culture is actually propelling the business forward and ensuring the

 Marie-Eve Tanguay is the director of culture and talent development at RONA.

business continuity.”

As RONA’s anniversary approaches, the company continues to move forward, not only by improving how it serves Canadians but also by focusing on building an even better culture

for its employees. One key aspect of that is its business resource groups (BRGs), which contribute to fostering a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Currently, RONA has two such autonomous and stand-alone

groups – one for women and the other for the LGBTQ+ community. “Promoting inclusion in the workplace is key and fundamental at RONA,” says Tanguay. More BRGs are expected in 2024.

The company’s survey results

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Your name


49 $ 3,000


full-time staff in Canada years, longestserving employee mental health practitioner benefit charities supported last year through RONA Foundation

indicate that employees feel that RONA is moving in the right direction with initiatives like these, she adds. “It’s employee-focused while maintaining alignment with the organization’s goals. So it’s really a win-win.” 

Your name

 RONA employees noted its friendly and welcoming work environment as a top strength in a recent survey.

Solotech teams have a passion for world-class AV tech

Simon Bonami feeds off the energy of taking a team of Solotech employees, showing up in an empty space, and bringing in everything that’s needed to produce a world-class event or show.

“That’s what I really enjoy the most,” says Bonami, a project manager with the Montréal-based company. “It’s the boots on the ground, in the field, with a team of people – to get all those people together and to see it take shape.”

It’s a culture of passion and teamwork where employees like to have fun.

Solotech has two divisions. The live productions division designs and provides audiovisual (AV) for live events such as Osheaga and for some of the biggest artists in the world – including Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, The Weeknd and Michael Bublé. The sales and systems integration division is recognized internationally for AV systems integration for projects like the Bell Centre, Resorts World Las Vegas and Outernet London.

“We have the best experts in audiovisual, whether it’s in video, audio, lighting or rigging,” says Claudine Ricard, chief human resources officer. “We are not the artists on the stage. We are the techies making it happen.”

It’s Bonami’s job to plan, deliver and execute live shows, including 3D computer models of the setup beforehand to account for any risks and, hopefully, any surprises.

“What we do is never the same. Every single show or project is different.”

To meet the creative vision of the artists and companies they work with, and to stay at the forefront of AV technology, requires a commitment of lifelong learning from employees and a strong training program from Solotech.

“We can feel the passion from our employees for learning new things,” says Ricard. “We have a full onboarding experience. We have a full learning path for each role.”

Within the Solotech Academy there’s a blended program of hands-on learning with the equipment as well as online classes.

“We look at each person individually, their strengths and what they want to develop,” says Ricard. “We offer a learning environment for people to grow.”

Bonami has seen an increased commitment to classroom learning from the company through its academy, and he particularly appreciates having new staff start in the warehouse to familiarize

themselves with Solotech’s unique processes.

“When you start, a lot of training is also through osmosis, because you work next to someone who is very knowledgeable,” says Bonami. “We’re very lucky to have this knowledge transfer. It’s a great synergy in the field.”

Solotech offers a strong summer intern program, partnering with post-secondary schools to hire in tech, operations, marketing, HR, sales and other roles. At the end of the program, 63 per cent of interns are hired full time.

 A Solotech employee in the warehouse equipment repair department.

The company has been expanding quickly in recent years, with 10 acquisitions since 2018. It now has 20 locations in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Asia. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the corporate culture, says Ricard.

“There’s a strong commitment from the top down to the values of respect, collaboration and supporting our communities,” she says. “It’s a culture of passion and teamwork where employees like to have fun.”

Bonami sees this collaboration and teamwork every day, as Solotech employees come together with what he describes as a laser focus to deliver the best results.

“It’s something that stands out to me. People of all types of




full-time staff in Canada employee engagement score Solotech Academy courses completed annually by employees of interns retained by Solotech after graduating

63% backgrounds and experiences and generations are working with this common goal to deliver. And the energy that all these people put in together is larger than all those differences. It’s very special and I’m super proud to be part of it.”

 A live production project at Solotech.

There’s time for work and play at WB Games Montréal

Valerie Pouliot is excited. It’s her first day in her new job at WB Games Montréal, five years after she started at the video game production company as a game tester.

It took Pouliot a year to find a spot at WB Games Montréal after she graduated with a degree in 3D modelling. She moved up to a job as a production coordinator after a couple of years at the company. “I wasn’t sure at first if I’d actually like it because I wanted to be an artist, and this was more of a production job, but it turns out that I actually love it,” she says.

We want people who are a master in their craft, but more importantly we are trying to build a team.

“I love organizing things, planning things, so it’s a good fit. As of today I’m an associate producer and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.”

The Montréal studio is a branch of Burbank, Calif.-based Warner Bros. Games, a major producer of video game and interactive content, and its location in Québec is no accident.

Emilie Beauchamp, manager of art and environment at the Montréal company, says the city and its community of game studios and schools teaching industry skills means that “we have a big pool of young talent to be able to hire from.”

It’s a thriving industry with a lot of room for growth. “We always look for strong portfolios,” she says. “We want people who are a master in their craft, but more importantly we are trying to build a team and we are looking for people with strong communication skills, willing to participate, with team spirit.”

As is common in the game business, the WB Games Montréal office and workplace are unconventional, with no dress code and flexible schedules that accommodate crucial project deadlines and delivery dates.

“We are in a creative field,” says Beauchamp, “and we want people to feel comfortable to produce

their best work. The layout of the studio is set up in a way that promotes communication and spontaneous interaction. And there are spaces dedicated to gaming, where we can relax or do research or recharge.”

In an industry where technology evolves rapidly, staying current is crucial. So the company offers

 WB Games Montréal focuses on creativity by setting up a studio for spontaneous interactions.

100-per-cent tuition subsidies in addition to training partnerships with developers. “Keeping up with the updates, the software and trends is essential,” says Pouliot.

There are also yoga instruction and meditation classes on offer

for employees, on top of catered meals when teams work overtime to deliver games to the market. Even when many employees are working from home, WB Games Montréal has a monthly breakfast and a Christmas party for families.

And in a youthful workplace there are plenty of social activities, both planned and spontaneous.

“It’s a really, really good environment,” says Pouliot, “and I’ve made quite a few friends over the years.

“I’ve never had any drama;




$ 1,750

full-time staff in Canada job applications received last year years, average age of all employees mental health practitioner benefit

it’s very prone to creativity. I’ve worked in customer service for over a decade and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a healthier workplace. I don’t want to sound like a cliché but everybody is so nice, everybody is having fun.” 

 A WB Games Montréal employee working on a character design.

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