National Capital Region's Top Employers (2021)

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ct100.ca/ncr

C O - P U B L I S H E D

p This year marks the 16th

anniversary of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers competition.

B Y A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER:

Clear communication and empathy first MEDIACORP

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THE COMPLETE LIST:

National Capital Region’s Top Employers (2021)

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DIVERSITY IN THE PANDEMIC:

Doubling down on inclusive workplaces

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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

16th Annual Edition

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS Anthony Meehan, PUBLISHER

Editorial Team:

B.GABLE/RCM

2021 Magazine p An employee in the refinery department at the Royal Canadian Mint.

Richard Yerema, MANAGING EDITOR

Kristina Leung, SENIOR EDITOR

Stephanie Leung, ASSISTANT EDITOR

Chantel Watkins, JUNIOR EDITOR

Jing Wang,

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Advertising Team:

Kristen Chow,

MANAGING DIRECTOR, PUBLISHING

Ye Jin Suhe,

CLIENT EXPERIENCE LEAD

Vishnusha Kirupananthan, JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Sponsored Profile Writers:

Berton Woodward, SENIOR EDITOR

Michael Benedict Jane Doucet Patricia Hluchy D’Arcy Jenish Bruce McDougall Nora Underwood

©2021 Mediacorp Canada Inc. and Postmedia Network Canada Corp. All rights reserved. NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS is a registered trade mark of Mediacorp Canada Inc. Editorial inquiries: ct100@mediacorp.ca

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Doubling down on supporting employees and the community

or residents of the National Capital Region, one doesn’t need to look far to see the enormous damage caused by the past year. The pandemic has exacted a terrible toll in human and economic terms, challenging even the most optimistic among us. In previous years, we marvelled at the dynamism of the region’s economy and its growing diversification, with public- and private-sector employers borrowing each other’s best practices. But this year, we saw first-hand what it means to be a progressive employer – and the difference it makes when rough seas arrive. Virtually all of this year’s National Capital Region’s Top Employers offered strong and inclusive family-friendly benefits before the pandemic, something that made it vastly easier to accommodate adapted work schedules, time off and leave policies to support employees with children or older parents. Ninety per cent of this year’s winners offer paid sick days. We also saw this year how the region’s best employers look after the communities where they operate. From the first edition of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers project 16 years ago, our editors noticed that

a correlation existed between the employers that offered exceptional workplaces and the organizations that took a broader view of their responsibilities to the community. Their remarkable stories of supporting the community are found in the pages of this announcement magazine and in our editors’ reasons for selection, released today at: www.ct100.ca/ncr To determine the winners, employers throughout the region were evaluated by editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in the Ottawa-Gatineau area; employers of any size may apply, whether private or public sector. If your organization would like to be considered for next year’s edition, please contact our editors at

ct100@mediacorp.ca

– Tony Meehan


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

Employees appreciate clear communication and empathetic ear during pandemic

BANK OF CANADA

C

OVID-19 has upended many aspects of life, particularly at the workplace. Many employers, though, have successfully navigated the challenges presented by the pandemic. Some of them are among the National Capital Region’s Top Employers this year. The National Capital Region’s 2021 Top Employers competition, which recognizes excellence in compensation, engagement and workplace culture, among many important metrics, also considered how workplaces managed their way through the pandemic. “For many employers who operate and recruit within the region, it is highly sought after to be included in our list so they can showcase themselves as a great place to work,” says Richard Yerema, managing editor at Mediacorp Canada Inc., the organization that manages several annual regional competitions, as well as Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This year’s campaign has been like no other, though, because of how the novel coronavirus has laid plain one focus for every employer: Keeping workers safe. “Across the board, we have seen with top employers that their wellness and support programs, along with related corporate policies, have really come into their own during the pandemic,” Yerema says. One such employer is Bank of Canada, which last spring quickly implemented additional safety measures for a skeleton staff that had to remain on site, while the majority worked from home. Besides additional cleaning of facilities, providing adequate personal protective equipment like masks and mandating health protocols such as physical distancing, the central bank’s management also recognized that communication was among the most appreciated measures. “Communicating in clear, actionable ways, including updating protocols as needed and offering health and safety sessions to on-site staff,” were incredibly well-received by employees, says Alexis Corbett, managing director and chief human resources officer at Bank of Canada. Besides supports on site, the Crown corporation also has provided enhanced assistance to the majority of its employees

 Bank of Canada helped employees now working from home by delivering ergonomic office furniture and even developing a home health and safety checklist, says Alexis Corbett, managing director and chief human resources officer.

now working from home. That included delivering ergonomic office furniture and even developing a home health and safety checklist. Technology giant Adobe Systems Canada Inc. also moved to a work-fromhome protocol early on to protect its Ottawa members. “We also pledged no layoffs,” says Mike Scott, senior director of customer care at Adobe Customer Solutions, as well as the Ottawa site leader. The big challenge for organizations with so many workers at home has been ensuring they feel connected to the workplace culture, considered the jewel in the crown of sought-after employers such as Adobe. “To ensure our employees feel informed, supported and safe, we’ve also increased communications, hosting regular compa-

nywide town halls to hear from our executive leaders,” Scott says. These events have not been merely opportunities for management to talk to workers, but for employees to ask questions, raise concerns and, most importantly, get some answers. Adobe engaged employees with surveys to get a sense of what it can do to support those who may be facing stresses such as caring for aging parents, a spouse out of work or children learning from home. It also increased its sick and personal days while giving staff every third Friday off since mid-September. The company tried to infuse levity into the home office, arranging fun events so everyone still feels connected, Scott says. “We’ve continued to keep our site connection strong with our virtual bi-weekly happy hours, magic shows, trivia, bingo,

name that tune and much more.” Similar initiatives have been in place at Bank of Canada. Among them is “meeting-free Friday afternoons to combat online meeting fatigue and allow employees time to wrap up before the weekend, so they can better disconnect,” Corbett says. The overarching goal, she adds, has been keeping employees safe, happy and engaged. A poll taken last summer supported this idea, finding that more than eight in 10 employees felt supported during the pandemic while “90 per cent said their leader had responded to their personal situation with empathy and sensitivity.” It’s that concern and focus that are helping businesses move forward during these trying times. – Joel Schlesinger


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ADOBE

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

CSE

 Early in the pandemic, Adobe Systems Canada moved to a work-from-home-protocol for its Ottawa employees and pledged no layoffs.

 At the Communications Security Establishment, staff received daily updates on the CSE’s pandemic response and a personal message weekly from the deputy minister.


NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

DND

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CMHC

p The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces offers a wide variety of roles for both commissioned and non-commissioned civilian staff.

p Prior to the pandemic, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp./CMHC moved to a ‘results-only’ work environment that helped many employees work more from home.


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

HOC

2021 WINNERS p Jean-Sébastien Hotte, cabinet maker, carving a desk that will be used by Members of the House of Commons, one of this year’s winners. The following organizations have been chosen as National Capital Region’s Top Employers for 2021 (employee count refers to full-time staff):

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DOBE SYSTEMS CANADA INC., Ottawa. Software publishers; 302 employees. Introduced a dedicated “Work From Home Expenses Fund,” offering up to $500 for the creation of a comfortable work from home space. ALGONQUIN COLLEGE OF APPLIED ARTS & TECHNOLOGY, Ottawa.Post-secondary education; 1,387 employees. Supports the annual “Not Myself Today” awareness campaign and offers a $2,000 mental health practitioners benefit as part of its health plan. ALTERNA SAVINGS AND CREDIT UNION LIMITED, Ottawa. Credit unions; 525 employees. Offers two paid

volunteer days to its employees and donates more than $1-million annually to community organizations and initiatives.

of up to $2,500 annually as part of their health benefits plan.

B

CANADA FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION / CFI, Ottawa. Research support services; 64 employees. Increased the annual allotment for wellness spending accounts to $1,000 to help employees set up comfortable home offices.

BANK OF CANADA, Ottawa. Central bank; 1,780 employees. Quickly ensured that 90 per cent of employees could work from home and followed up with regular online employee “pulse checks” to capture feedback during the year.

CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION / CMHC, Ottawa. Federal administration of housing programs; 1,988 employees. Unique “Results-Only Work Environment” that was adopted in 2019 helped make the transition to work-from-home arrangements much easier over the past year.

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CANADA REVENUE AGENCY / CRA, Ottawa. Federal government, general economic programs; 44,224 employees. Supports an employment equity and diversity committee responsible for

ABCOCK CANADA INC., Ottawa. Engineering services; 489 employees. Created a dedicated COVID-19 info hub to share updates, resources and promote activities to keep employees connected while working from home.

ANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS, Ottawa. Grants administration for culture and arts; 265 employees. Employees receive a mental health practitioner benefit

developing a dedicated strategy for the recruitment, inclusion and retention of persons with disabilities. CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES, Ottawa. Non-profit organizations; 2,122 employees. Created “Wellness Wednesday” videos to engage employees working from home and share tips on topics ranging from home workouts to nutrition to mental health. CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION / CIHI, Ottawa. Non-profit organizations; 754 employees. Offers a variety of flexible work options along with five paid personal days and allowed employees to carry forward up to 15 vacation days during the pandemic. CANADIAN INTERNET REGISTRATION AUTHORITY / CIRA, Ottawa. Information technology services; 98 employees. Hosted weekly


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(CONT.)

virtual staff meetings to help employees stay connected and created a virtual “cafe” channel to enable employees to drop in for casual conversations. CARLETON UNIVERSITY, Ottawa. Post-secondary education; 2,364 employees. Supports a network of over 85 “Healthy Workplace Champions” who volunteer in support of an extensive ongoing healthy workplace program. CBC / RADIO-CANADA, Ottawa. Broadcasting; 8,046 employees. Offers employees the stability of a defined benefit pension plan along with retirement planning services. CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF EASTERN ONTARIO / CHEO, Ottawa. Hospitals; 1,907 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development through in-house training and generous tuition subsidies, up to $8,000 for courses related to their position. COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT / CSE, Ottawa. Federal government, national security; 2,738 employees. Helps employees starting a family through generous maternity and parental leave top-ups for new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents. CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING FEDERATION OF CANADA, Ottawa. Co-operative housing; 27 employees. Over the past year, employees could borrow office equipment and were provided with a $300 allowance to improve the comfort of their home office set-ups.

D

EPARTMENT OF FINANCE CANADA, Ottawa. Federal government, economic programs; 757 employees. Offers a pre-retirement transition leave option for those within two years of retirement along with a defined benefit pension plan and retiree health benefits coverage. DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE AND CANADIAN FORCES, Ottawa. Federal government, national security; 94,448 employees. Helps new parents with generous maternity and parental leave top-up policies along with the option extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

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GG FARMERS OF CANADA, Ottawa. Business associations; 60 employees. Has donated millions of eggs to food banks across Canada and hosted numerous virtual events to help employees working from home stay connected over the past year.

CIRA

2021 WINNERS

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CANADA, Gatineau. Federal government, social development and employment insurance; 28,003 employees. Offers full tuition subsidies for post-secondary courses and maintains the national “College@ESDC” that offers formal and informal education opportunities. ENGINEERS CANADA, Ottawa. Professional organizations; 49 employees. Manages a comprehensive wellness program that encourages staff to engage in healthy activities at home and at work, from step challenges to lunch and learns. EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CANADA, Ottawa. International trade financing and support; 1,756 employees. Increased its spending allowance from $500 to $1,000 to help employees set up comfortable workspaces when working from home over the past year.

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ISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA AND THE CANADIAN COAST GUARD, Ottawa. Federal government, administration of conservation programs; 12,506 employees. Help employees when starting a family with generous maternity and parental leave policies as well as extended leave and phased-in return to work options.

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ENOME CANADA, Ottawa. Non-profit organizations; 21 employees. Established a “Working from Home Committee,” offering employees gift cards to local restaurants and coffee shops along with a $550 subsidy for setting up a home office.

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EALTH CANADA / SANTÉ CANADA, Ottawa. Federal government, administration of public health programs; 8,507 employees. Formal mental health and wellness strategy features a variety of resources and awareness campaigns, along with a mental health practitioner benefit of up to $2,000 per year.

p CIRA created a virtual café to help staff connect remotely during the pandemic.


NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

2021 WINNERS

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(CONT.)

HEALTH STANDARDS ORGANIZATION / HSO, Gloucester. Professional organizations; 218 employees. Offered paid family days to help employees manage responsibilities at home and hosts virtual all-staff town hall meetings and regular updates from senior managers. HOUSE OF COMMONS ADMINISTRATION, Ottawa. Legislative bodies; 1,924 employees. New parents can extend their parental leave to an unpaid leave of absence, as well as take advantage of onsite child care upon their return to onsite work.

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MMIGRATION, REFUGEES AND CITIZENSHIP CANADA / IRCC, Ottawa. Federal government, immigration services; 8,902 employees. Provides long-term peace of mind through a defined benefit pension plan, retiree health benefits along with phased-in work options for those nearing retirement.

DND

HYDRO OTTAWA, Gloucester. Electric power distribution; 701 employees. Supports employees with post-secondary aged kids through an academic scholarship program, up to $2,500 per student annually.

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces employ over 94,000 people in Canada and abroad.

INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CANADA, Ottawa. Federal government, industry and economic development programs; 5,530 employees. Offers a mental health benefit of $2,000 per year and is home to the Canadian Innovation Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace that supports initiatives across the public service.

K

INAXIS INC., Ottawa. Software developers; 460 employees. Helped employees stay connected over the past year with several virtual initiatives, including happy hour social and trivia events.

HEALTH CANADA

INVEST OTTAWA AND BAYVIEW YARDS, Ottawa. Administration of general economic programs; 68 employees. Employees can take advantage of flexible work hours and eight days of “Life Leave” that can be used for everything from medical appointments to family care.

 Health Canada employees Anjum, Caitlin and Anita working on a Young Professionals Network event.


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A CITÉ, Ottawa. Post-secondary education; 551 employees. Offers a generous wellness spending account of up to $2,000 per year and hosted virtual yoga classes during the past year for employees working at home.

LUMENTUM OTTAWA INC., Nepean. Specialty manufacturing; 288 employees. Tasked its cafeteria to provide fresh meals to shelters and charities with employees volunteering to make deliveries to shelters and long-term care facilities over the past year.

M

EDICAL COUNCIL OF CANADA, Ottawa. Professional organizations; 203 employees. Conducts regular employee wellness surveys and launched “A Year of Mindfulness Work” with the goal to help staff reduce chaos and stress in their lives.

N

ATIONAL CAPITAL COMMISSION, Ottawa. Federal government, land and building management; 460 employees. Employees are encouraged to focus on their mental health with access to a $2,000 mental health practitioners benefit a part of their health plan. NAV CANADA, Ottawa. Air traffic control; 5,174 employees. Encourages employees to contribute to community groups and initiatives that are important to them via the NAV CANADA Cares program.

O

FFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, Ottawa. Federal government, regulation of financial institutions; 862 employees. Provided up to $500 to help employees set up comfortable home offices and helped employees stay informed through weekly online updates from senior executives. OTTAWA, CITY OF, Ottawa. Municipal government; 11,584 employees. Encourages employees to expand their career options thourgh internal and external secondments, job-shadowing and special short-term assignments. OTTAWA COMMUNITY HOUSING CORPORATION, Ottawa. Administra-

tion of housing programs; 390 employees. Formal wellness committee quickly adapted to share resources online to help employees address mental and physical challenges over the past year. OTTAWA HOSPITAL, THE, Ottawa. Hospitals; 6,470 employees. Offers phasedin work options for employees nearing retirement along with the security of a defined benefit pension plan.

P

ERLEY-ROBERTSON, HILL & MCDOUGALL LLP / s.r.l., Ottawa. Law firms; 110 employees. Supports ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies as well as in-house training and opportunities for formal mentoring. PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA, Ottawa. Federal government, administration of public health programs; 2,332 employees. Set up a new virtual ergonomics program to provide guidance on everything from good posture to workstation design along with virtual support from a dedicated ergo coach. PYTHIAN SERVICES INC., Ottawa. Computer systems design services; 120 employees. Supports its new moms with generous maternity leave top-up payments to 100 per cent of salary for up to 20 weeks.

The CEO of Invest Ottawa steps onto Ontario’s first low-speed automated shuttle.

R

OYAL CANADIAN MINT, The, Ottawa. Minting and coin distribution; 1066 employees. Offers maternity and parental leave top-up for new parents and a generous academic scholarship program for parents with post-secondary school aged kids. ROYAL, THE, Ottawa. Specialty hospitals; 866 employees. Supports ongoing training and development through in-house and online training courses as well as through tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions.

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HOPIFY INC., Ottawa. Multichannel commerce platform; 4,621 employees. Announced a new Digital-by-Default approach to incorporate a “digital-first way of thinking, working and operating” to ensure the majority of employees can easily work offsite. STATISTICS CANADA, Ottawa. Federal statistical agency; 5,469 employees. Provides

OTTAWA HOSPITAL

L

(CONT.)

INVEST OTTAWA

2021 WINNERS

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

 Nurses in the post-anesthesia unit at The Ottawa Hospital.


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

(CONT.)

a full year of maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers to 93 per cent of salary and offers the option extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence. SURVEYMONKEY CANADA INC., Ottawa. Software developer; 179 employees. Offered a stipend for employees to purchase additional home office equipment and introduced two personal Care Flex Days each quarter for self-care activities.

T

parental leave top-ups, to a scholarship program for post-secondary studies.

OMLINSON GROUP OF COMPANIES, Nepean. Construction services; 1,204 employees. Quickly donated over 21,000 N95 face masks to hospitals, care homes, and volunteer organizations along with a donation of $50,000 to the Ottawa Food Bank.

U

TREND MICRO CANADA TECHNOLOGIES INC., Kanata. Software development; 281 employees. Supports families every step of the way from support for IVF or adoptions, to maternity and

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, Ottawa. Post-secondary education; 4,911 employees. Offered virtual wellness courses on a

W

ORLD UNIVERSITY SERVICE OF CANADA / WUSC, Ottawa. Non-governmental social agency; 115 employees. Offers a generous starting vacation allowance of four weeks along with additional paid time off during the winter holidays. –Richard Yerema & Kristina Leung

q The University of Ottawa campus on a July evening. TOMLINSON

q A Tomlinson Group employee working on the Rideau Canal project

NIVERSITIES CANADA, Ottawa. Professional organizations; 81 employees. Helps employees balance their work and personal lives through a variety of flexible work options, including flexible hours and working from home.

variety of topics over past year, including meditation and fitness, sleep and dreams, stress reduction and even gardening classes.

U.OTTAWA

2021 WINNERS


NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

HOC

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LA CITÉ

p House of Commons Administration employees (L-R) Lyla Malow, Ruth Hacko, Emile Antoun and Marie-Soleil Jones meet in the team’s new lunchroom.

p Employees of La Cité are able to order gastronomic food from “Les Jardins” – the school’s highly regarded restaurant training program.


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SURVEYMONKEY

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

p In Ottawa, tech company SurveyMonkey Canada Inc. believes in the importance of having a diverse and inclusive workforce.

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Top employers take diversity and inclusiveness to heart

eorge Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minn., has spurred action around the globe. In Ottawa, the staff at tech company SurveyMonkey Canada Inc. felt a deep sense of sadness and revulsion at the illustration of racial injustice when Floyd, a Black man, was arrested outside a convenience store and died after a white police officer put one of his knees on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes. And the leading provider of surveys and market research was listening to its members. What’s more, SurveyMonkey was uniquely positioned to respond as an organization for social change. “Having employees feel like they belong, have a voice and equal opportunities, has always been a major focus for us,” says Sabrina Leblanc, one of the site leads in Ottawa at SurveyMonkey Canada.

“But, it’s not just saying that we want to be diverse and inclusive; it’s about taking a stance and saying, ‘We want to be anti-racist.’” Named one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers this year, SurveyMonkey recognizes being a great place to work — particularly in the tech industry — is about more than good wages and fun, quirky perks. SurveyMonkey believes diversity and inclusion are key to attracting top talent. It even offers referral bonuses to employees who recommend under-represented minorities for job openings at the firm. A priority at the tech company is ensuring that when it comes to equity, diversity and social justice, actions speak as loudly as words. That’s why SurveyMonkey implemented initiatives such as BUILD (Black, United and Leadership Development) in the wake of the recent protests

over racial inequity in the United States and Canada. “We created this new group to have a place where our diverse workers can share ideas and concerns,” Leblanc adds. The company also puts real economic might behind initiatives to elicit change, not just in its own operations but within its partners, too. “We spend millions of dollars every year across different vendors, and so we’re looking at what those vendors are doing toward promoting diversity and inclusion, and what are they doing regarding minority representation,” she says. “In some cases, we’ve even made the decision to move our dollars elsewhere.” Of course, SurveyMonkey is not entirely unique among Ottawa’s leading employers in being the agent of social change its workers would like to see.

Adobe Systems Canada Inc. has also focused on initiatives encouraging staff to share stories about their journey as visible minorities, having different sexual or gender identities, or living with disabilities. “It’s hard to leave those conversations and not feel inspired by their stories and proud to work alongside such remarkable people,” says Mike Scott, Adobe Ottawa site leader. Fostering these conversations and promoting social change don’t just inspire a greater sense of togetherness among employees, they help attract best-in-class workers from many backgrounds who feel like they belong and are making a difference, Leblanc adds. “If you can do that as an employer, you’re ultimately going to build a better business.” – Joel Schlesinger


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PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): 1. The president of Algonquin College, Claude Brulé, hands out a President’s Star Award recognition of top employees. 2. Employees at the Canada Revenue Agency outside the CRA headquarters in Ottawa. 3. Enjoying the staff holiday party at the Medical Council of Canada prior to the pandemic. 4. A NAV Canada employee at the company’s Ottawa Technical Systems Centre.

MCC

NAV CANADA

CRA

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021


NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

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PHOTOS (FROM TOP): 1. Attending a small business workshop at Invest Ottawa.

B.WELLAND/SURVEYMONKEY

MADEMILL/INVEST OTTAWA

2. Employees at SurveyMonkey Canada enjoy a break in the Ottawa office library.


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

Algonquin College is an inclusive place to grow

D

iane McCutcheon relishes being a model example of the commitment of Algonquin College of Applied Arts & Technology to personal growth and professional development. McCutcheon joined the college more than three decades ago as a part-time support worker in the Registrar’s Office. Now, one diploma and several credentials later, she is its vice president, human resources. “Algonquin truly helps its people reach their potential,” McCutcheon says. “I have experienced that first hand.” With the college’s backing, both financial and personal, McCutcheon earned Algonquin’s three-year diploma in business administration over five years, holding down a full-time job throughout. “I grew as Algonquin grew,” she says. Besides encouraging her career path, McCutcheon says, Algonquin earned her loyalty by creating an environment that fosters inclusion and a sense of belonging. “Everyone here can be their true self,” she says. “First, I stayed for the professional opportunities, later because I felt I really belong here. Algonquin’s values are my values.” Algonquin events manager Sophia Bouris also started in a support staff role. Already equipped with an Algonquin certificate in events planning, she obtained a Royal Roads University MA in leadership with the College’s tuition support. Says Bouris: “Algonquin believes in you, supports you and wants you to grow.” When she joined the college a decade ago, Bouris thought she might remain for only a few months while she continued to manage her personal events man-

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE LAUNCHES ITS DIVERSITY AND EQUITY POLICY

agement business. “But I stayed because there is so much opportunity here, and the people are super supportive,” she says. Bouris adds: “An organization can have all the right structures in place – nice offices, good wages and competitive benefits – but if it doesn’t have great people, it will fail. The people here genuinely want you to succeed. And the college’s mix of academics and industry professionals provides a stimulating environment where everyone is learning.” When COVID-19 hit, Bouris, McCutcheon and the majority of employees left the 22-building main campus in Ottawa’s west

First, I stayed for the professional opportunities, later because I felt I really belong here.” — Diane McCutcheon Vice President, Human Resources end to work at home. The college helped staff transition their programs and services online and created detailed health and safety plans for those employees required on campus. Communications and employee events were increased so everyone remained connected. “The support was overwhelming,” says Bouris.

Despite the pandemic, it’s full steam ahead for one college program that McCutcheon is particularly proud of – a groundbreaking three-year equity, diversity and inclusion strategy. “Inclusivity and caring are essential elements of our culture,” she says. “We want to build a house where everyone feels at home.” 


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

1,373

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

30%

OF LEADERSHIP TEAM ARE ALGONQUIN ALUMNI

36,641 JOB APPLICATIONS RECEIVED LAST YEAR

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ALGONQUIN COLLEGE EMPLOYEES ENJOY FOOD AND GAMES AT THE PRESIDENT'S BBQ

YEARS, LONGESTSERVING EMPLOYEE

Algonquin College, Eastern Ontario’s largest Polytechnic institute, is an innovative, and sustainable place to study and work. Join a global leader in personalized and experiential learning.

Changing Lives

algonquincollege.com/careers


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

Canada Council’s passion for the arts inspires staff

A

s a visual artist, Mana Rouholamini appreciated the grants she received from the Canada Council for the Arts to further her work. So when an opportunity arose in 2014 to accept a term contract as a program officer with the Ottawa-based public arts funder, she saw it as a wonderful way to give back to the arts sector. “I had experienced personally what a grant can do for an artist,” says the francophone Rouholamini, who was hired permanently in 2017 and now serves as an equity, access and outreach manager. “I wanted to help other people have the same chance at putting their best foot forward when applying for grants.” Born and raised in Iran and with no bureaucratic experience, Rouholamini wondered if she was the right fit. “My fellow program officers and managers helped me frame myself so I believed I could contribute and that my opinions mattered,” she says. “As a landed immigrant, I felt like I ‘landed’ again when I joined Council.” Many artists struggle financially, and when COVID-19 arrived in Canada that struggle was never greater, with cancelled book launches, concerts, art shows and dance performances. “When you come to Council you learn about advocacy,” says Rouholamini. “It’s a privilege to be here, and we have a responsibility to be our best for the artists we serve.” Simon Brault has long been advocating for artists at the organization, first as vice-chair of the board from 2004 to 2014, then as director and CEO since 2014. “We want the arts to be perceived as essential,” he says. “With the

CANADA COUNCIL EMPLOYEES IN THE STAFF LOUNGE OVERLOOKING THE OUTDOOR TERRACE PRIOR TO THE PANDEMIC

— Mana Rouholamini Equity, Access and Outreach Manager pandemic, we needed to literally rescue the sector and talk to the government about emergency measures for funding.” With Council employees working remotely, Brault has striven to maintain connections, writing a weekly 1,500-word letter to the entire staff where he shares internal and community news and mes-

sages from artists thanking them for their support. He also shares personal information, such as how much he misses seeing his children and grandchildren. “People thank me because they feel a sense of solidarity when you open up,” says Brault. “I’m proud and touched by the capacity of

Council to do so well during the pandemic.” A shared mission continues to unite employees, says Brault. “No matter what your job is here, all of us have one purpose – to support the arts and help fund a sector we believe is very important in Canada.” 


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

265

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

100%

HEALTH PLAN PREMIUM AND FAMILY COVERAGE

3

WEEKS, STARTING VACATION ALLOWANCE

SIMON BRAULT, DIRECTOR AND CEO OF THE CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS

Join us in shaping the country’s artistic landscape

80%

OF EXECUTIVE TEAM ARE WOMEN


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

An informed CIHI keeps the nation informed, too

W

hen the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) told its employees in March to work from home, they had already spent several weeks gathering information about COVID-19. “We were getting as much information as quickly as we could from organizations like Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada,” says Allison Neill, CIHI’s internal communications lead. An independent, not-for-profit organization that collects and analyzes information to accelerate improvements in healthcare, health system performance and population health in Canada, CIHI was well positioned to inform itself and the rest of Canada about COVID-19. Unfortunately, no one knew much about it, and organizations throughout the world were learning as they went. “We didn’t know what was ahead, and important decisions had to be made quickly,” says David O’Toole, CIHI’s president and CEO since 2014. “It wasn’t just a shift to remote working. People were also balancing children and other family obligations.” While the pandemic disrupted routines and challenged organizations to operate under radically altered conditions, CIHI made communicating a priority. CIHI’s senior staff met daily to coordinate the response to the pandemic and to make sure that employees received the support they needed. Employees were asked to contribute their feedback. “I was brought in early to get consistent messaging out,” says

CIHI EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

Neill, “and to keep staff up to date.” Technology has enabled CIHI to meet the data and information needs of Canada's health systems as they grapple with the pandemic, says O’Toole, while keeping employees connected and maintaining its strong corporate culture. That culture depends on trust and relationships, adds Neill, and has been carefully nurtured in recent years. “Eighteen months ago,” she says, “our CEO met with staff in small groups, sat in a room with them and listened to their suggestions about making CIHI better. Now there’s a working group putting

We’re facing trying times, but the resilience I’ve seen across the organization is inspiring.” — David O’Toole President and CEO their suggestions into action. “So when we had to deal with COVID-19, staff knew they’d get accurate information in an open and timely way.” Not all of that information is critical to an employee’s job. “I started sharing stories and snippets of my own work-fromhome life transition with the staff,”

says O’Toole, “everything from a photo of my home office to news of my first home haircut. In return, I’ve enjoyed hearing from team members with their own stories, suggestions and favourite recipes. “We’re facing trying times,” he says, “but the resilience I’ve seen across the organization is inspiring.” 


21

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

754

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

61%

OF WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT

50%

TUITION REIMBURSEMENT UP TO $10,000

CIHI EMPLOYEES COLLABORATING

Powered by a shared sense of purpose, the highest standards of excellence and trust Faced with COVID-19, CIHI’s team adapted quickly to continue to meet the data and information needs of Canada’s health systems. Join CIHI and take your future and the future of health information further. View current job opportunities at cihi.ca.

40%

OF EMPLOYEES HAVE POST-GRADUATE DEGREES

cihi.ca Better data. Better decisions. Healthier Canadians.


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

Compassion and caring guide Carleton amid COVID-19

C

asting his mind back to the adrenaline rush of early March, Carleton University president BenoitAntoine Bacon recalls how everything unfolded so quickly. Within a week, the decision was made to send everyone home for health and safety reasons and finish the term online. “Right away, the language we started using was around flexibility and compassion, by which we meant nothing is as it used to be,” says Bacon. “When a pandemic strikes, putting people under stress, you’re literally at a fork in the road. Either we forget all we’ve said about mental health and wellness, and demand more of our people under these difficult circumstances, or we recommit to living up to our ideals of providing a workplace that is caring and adaptable and that recognizes the complexity of everyone’s lives.” For students, that meant compassionate grading options, emergency funding and migrating all support services online. For faculty and staff, it included funds for supplies and resources to finish the winter semester. Next, the university swiftly adapted its policies in an intentional and structured way so people with individual challenges could be accommodated to continue working safely. Bacon supported Carleton’s community of 35,000 people with daily messages, setting the tone for flexibility and compassion. “Suddenly, everybody was in their home offices trying to reconcile health dangers, home life and the need to continue their duties alongside anxiety about the

PROF. ADRIAN CHAN IS THE CO-CHAIR OF THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE COMMITTEE AT CARLETON UNIVERSITY

future,” says Bacon. “On day one, I wrote a long message to share information and decisions in my voice and in real time. I released a new message every morning for the first month and continue to write today, although I’ve slowed down the rhythm.” Adrian Chan, a professor in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, found the president’s messages helpful in multiple ways. First, they helped reduce uncertainty and recognized people were struggling. As a father of four

Right away, the language we started using was around flexibility and compassion, by which we meant nothing is as it used to be.” — Benoit-Antoine Bacon President and Vice-Chancellor children under 13 with a partner working full time from home, he appreciated that reassurance, as well as the flexibility for work. “The announcement early on that we were moving online for fall allowed me to prepare to teach much sooner,” says Chan. “Knowing there are lots of resources and

peer-to-peer support provides stability. If you run into problems, people are there to help you. “I also have a responsibility to provide leadership to my students and committees, which is challenging during a pandemic. The leadership by example helped me figure out how to do that.” 


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS OF CARLETON UNIVERSITY

2,342

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

53

YEARS, LONGESTSERVING EMPLOYEE

4

WEEKS, STARTING VACATION ALLOWANCE

46%

OF MANAGERS ARE WOMEN

Striving for Wellness Supporting our 35,000+ Students, Faculty and Staff

carleton.ca


24

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

A pandemic is no match for the team spirit at CSE

T

he COVID-19 pandemic has been the great leveller, obliging everyone – including those who do classified foreign intelligence and cyber security work for the Canadian government – to follow public health rules. “Part of our mandate does require working in a classified environment, which adds complications to the work-from-home aspect,” admits Jennifer Potvin, director of strategic communications at the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). But still, the 74-year-old organization managed to pivot operations overnight, with some employees remaining on site to do this critical work while others were set up at home to work on protected and unclassified files. An online system facilitated video calls and messaging, and Potvin uses it for daily all-staff updates on public health guidelines and communications around IT and administration. “Those continue today,” she says, “so I think people feel very informed and connected.” Separate channels were set aside for more informal employee communication. For liaison officer Veronique Menard, who works at CSE’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, the pandemic has had a silver lining. Menard works from home and on the road, doing unclassified work, building partnerships with organizations across Canada. Most of her colleagues work at headquarters in a classified environment, so day-to-day contact as a group is typically limited. “My manager started daily meetings to help keep everyone informed, because we were all

COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATE IN VIRTUAL CHARITABLE CAMPAIGN VIA MUSIC

working in different locations,” says Menard. “All of a sudden, we were starting the day as a team, and we even had our executives joining some of the meetings. It was positive for me!” Aside from strategic communications, CSE employees have used the online system for a fund-raising concert featuring employee-musicians, and for mental health services, Take Your Kids to Work day and a virtual Remembrance Day ceremony with a piper and bugler, among other things. “It’s brought

It’s almost like our values have been magnified.”

— Jennifer Potvin Director of Strategic Communications

us all closer because we’re in much more contact,” says Menard. “One of the things we’re good at is being innovative,” she adds. “We don’t have a choice being in the field we’re in.” So, she was not surprised at how her co-workers responded to the pandemic. “Honestly, I don’t know what we could’ve done better as an organization.”

For Potvin, too, the experience has been true to CSE’s culture. “We’re very agile and collaborative, and I think our response to the pandemic proved that,” she says. “Foreign intelligence and cyber security are team sports, and everybody works together. That hasn’t changed.” In fact, she adds, “it’s almost like our values have been magnified.” 


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT EMPLOYEES OUTSIDE THE ORGANIZATION'S VISITORS CENTRE

2,738

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

43

YEARS, AVERAGE AGE OF ALL EMPLOYEES

47

YEARS, LONGESTSERVING EMPLOYEE

207

CHARITIES HELPED LAST YEAR

Apply today at cse-cst.gc.ca

Communications Security Establishment

Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

Genome Canada’s small team makes a big impact

W

hen Catalina Lopez-Correa joined Ottawabased Genome Canada in June as executive director of the Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGen), she knew from her previous experience with the organization that it fully embraced diversity and inclusion. In 2008, when Lopez-Correa interviewed for the role of vice president, scientific affairs, at Genome Québec – one of six regional centres – she was open about having a female life partner and felt accepted immediately. “Genome Canada had no issues with that,” says Lopez-Correa. “I felt like for the first time I could be honest with an employer about exactly who I am.” Eight years later, Lopez-Correa became chief scientific officer and vice president (sectors) at Genome British Columbia before returning to her native Colombia. With her move back to Canada delayed during the pandemic, it was from Colombia that she joined CanCOGeN. “We’re a small, nimble, flexible Canadian organization working on a global challenge – that’s exciting,” she says. Genome Canada aims to understand biological systems to address serious health and other global challenges. A medical doctor by training, Lopez-Correa is co-ordinating Canadian efforts to sequence the DNA of 150,000 SARS-CoV2 viruses and the genomes of 10,000 people infected with COVID-19, collaborating with provincial labs, universities, hospitals and the private sector. The goal is to use the data to inform public health and policy decisions in Canada.

GENOME CANADA CEO, ROB ANNAN, SPEAKING TO STAFF

Pari Johnston also joined Genome Canada during the pandemic, as vice president of policy and public affairs. She was interviewed at the office before it closed but spent her first workday on March 23 at home, where she remains. After working in the higher education sector for many years, she was ready to step into a transformative new field of science that would help make Canadians healthier. In her first month, Johnston was tasked with co-ordinating Genome Canada’s federal COVID-19 response. “I thought, I’m not going

We’re a small, nimble, flexible Canadian organization working on a global challenge – that’s exciting.” — Catalina Lopez-Correa Executive Director, Canadian COVID Genomics Network to be easing into this job! I had an opportunity to do big things really fast, and I felt like part of the team even though we weren’t physically together.” Maintaining social connections has been a priority. In the summer, Johnston hosted a physically distanced meeting for team members in her backyard. Every Friday,

there’s an online theme-based “scrum” where people answer such questions as what superhero they’d like to be or what their favourite childhood TV show was. “I work with creative, curious, fun scientists, which is stimulating,” says Johnston. “It’s a very caring team, and I feel privileged to be part of it.” 


27

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

25

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

52

WEEKS, MATERNITY LEAVE TOP-UP PAY

100%

HEALTH PLAN PREMIUM AND FAMILY COVERAGE

GENOME CANADA STAFF SHOW OFF THEIR CREATIVITY WITH A HALLOWEEN COSTUME CELEBRATION IN 2019

72%

OF EMPLOYEES ARE WOMEN


28

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

The City of Ottawa keeps delivering on the frontline

I

n her 26 years with the City of Ottawa, Kimberley Steven has held many positions and taken on many challenges. None were quite like the assignment she received last spring during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 20, she was redeployed from her job with the Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department to join the Human Needs Task Force. Three days later, she and a hastily assembled team had turned a city-owned arena into a respite centre that provided showers and washroom facilities for homeless and other marginalized people. “We’ve worked with community partners since the start,” says Steven, who is operations lead and overseeing three centres that also offer meals and counselling. “We’re a boots-on-the-ground, frontline team.” Nearly three-quarters of the city’s workforce – including firefighters, paramedics, by-law officers and public works crews – deliver frontline services. “We can’t stop providing those services,” says city manager Steve Kanellakos. “When the lockdown was announced in March, the first thing we looked after was their safety.” The city limited the number of employees in trucks operated by public works crews and other outside workers. Shift start and finish times were staggered to avoid overlap and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Facilities staff have exceeded recommended protocols for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing buildings. The city has also piloted an online booking system to manage capacities within

KIM STEVEN WAS ONE OF HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEES REDEPLOYED TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY DURING THE PANDEMIC AT THE CITY OF OTTAWA

buildings and introduced a new digital COVID-19 self-assessment tool for workplace screening. The city has continued to deliver a full slate of services, although sometimes online since most administrative employees have been working from home. Senior leaders adopted a number of measures to help staff cope with isolation as well as the challenges of juggling family commitments. “We’ve told managers to check in with their employees,” says Kanellakos. “If they’re struggling with kids at home, aging parents or underlying health issues, be flexible so they can get the job done in a way that suits them.”

We’ve told our managers to check in with their employees. If they’re struggling with kids at home, aging parents or underlying health issues, be flexible.” — Steve Kanellakos City Manager Some 450 administrative employees have been redeployed to the city’s shelter system, long-term care facilities and public health roles to support the extraordinary demands due to the pandemic. “City employees deliver 110 different service lines,” says Kanellakos. “They’re doing things

for the common good in their communities. They have a sense of purpose.” And never more so than in times of crisis. “We recognized how profound these services are to our vulnerable populations,” says Steven. “That’s what molded us as a team.” 


29

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS ON THE FRONTLINE IN ONE OF THE CITY OF OTTAWA’S LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

11,584

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

67,163 JOB APPLICATIONS RECEIVED LAST YEAR

48

YEARS, LONGESTSERVING EMPLOYEE

47%

OF MANAGERS ARE WOMEN


30

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

Resilient, committed staff is the pride of OCHC

A

s a landlord responsible for 15,000 homes and apartments across the city, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation couldn’t afford to let something like COVID-19 get in the way of delivering services to its often vulnerable tenants. “OCHC’s service delivery does not stop in light of a pandemic,” says Cindy Newell, director of human resources. “In fact, because residents are at home more, we have new opportunities to increase work and collaborate with them on maintenance issues or other concerns.” In its response efforts, the organization asked for volunteers to form a specialized maintenance team, and 12 employees stepped forward. They were equipped with enhanced personal protective equipment to complete urgently needed repairs in homes where there could be an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 -- a testament to OCHC’s work culture. “Our vision is centred around improving the lives of the 32,000 residents in our communities,” adds Newell. “We are proud because every day we make a difference.” Bill Wood is on that team, and he expresses sentiments that the other members share. “I wanted to help out,” says Wood. “I knew that some work had to be done no matter what, or it would be very serious for those tenants, for the properties and for the other tenants nearby. We had to get it done.” At the same time, OCHC had to get most of its workforce set up to work from home, almost overnight. “There were some things we didn’t think were possible,

CINDY NEWELL IS THE DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES FOR OTTAWA COMMUNITY HOUSING

but COVID-19 challenged us to think differently,” Newell said. “It showed us that we can do things quite quickly when we all come together as one team.” A core team of representatives from across the corporation met daily at the pandemic’s onset and still meets regularly to respond to any emerging COVID-19 related issues. “We’ve taken every opportunity to engage our employees, getting feedback as we’ve been planning and implementing solutions,” Newell adds. Both Newell and CEO Stéphane

Our vision is centred around improving the lives of the 32,000 residents in our communities.” — Cindy Newell Director of Human Resources Giguère credit the employees’ dedication to “not missing a beat,” as Newell says. Adds Giguère: “The pandemic has showcased the best of our staff, as everyone has remained resilient through these challenging times.” More than 16,000 wellness calls were made, and staff and volun-

teers knocked on more than 7,000 doors to ensure residents had what they needed. Giguère adds: “We are extremely proud of our employees’ continued commitment and perseverance, as well as the innovative ways they have worked to improve the lives of 32,000 diverse tenants.” 


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

BILL WOOD IS A MAINTENANCE WORKER WITH OTTAWA COMMUNITY HOUSING

390

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

25

WEEKS, MATERNITY LEAVE TOP-UP PAY

100%

HEALTH PLAN PREMIUM & FAMILY COVERAGE

3

WEEKS, STARTING VACATION ALLOWANCE

Ottawa Community Housing Corporation is proud to be one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers for a fourth year in a row.

www.och.lco.ca

WE ARE PROUD BECAUSE EVERYDAY WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE!


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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

At The Ottawa Hospital, teamwork is key to success

R

N Cindy McCambley, a three-decade veteran of The Ottawa Hospital, was working at its Riverside Campus Eye Care Centre when she was deployed to the Brewer Park Arena COVID-19 assessment centre last April. She admits she was “terrified.” “You’re seeing everything that’s happening because of COVID-19, and everybody’s been told to stay home. All of that takes a little bit of getting your head around.” McCambley spent five months at Brewer Park Arena and calls it “the highlight of my career” – she’s been back at the Riverside Campus since September. “We were colleagues-in-arms at war against the pandemic. The whole team was absolutely awesome. The community sent us food and coffee every day and displayed appreciative signs outside. You felt like you were doing something really important and that the community was behind you.” The Ottawa Hospital, along with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, pulled off a seemingly impossible feat when it converted the ice-covered arena into a fully functioning medical facility in just three-and-a half days, opening in mid-March. By November, says hospital president and CEO Cameron Love, the assessment centre had processed over 130,000 swabs. Its creation reflects “our vision of providing compassionate, world-class care.” He strongly believes “the dedication and resilience of our staff is a testament to the culture and how effectively and positively people rally around a difficult situation.”

COVID-19 ASSESSMENT CENTRE MANAGER R. BICKERTON AT THE OTTAWA HOSPITAL

As well as creating the Brewer assessment centre, the hospital set up what Love calls a “regional command table” for personal protective equipment, acquiring supplies and distributing them to other regional hospitals and longterm care facilities. When some of the latter experienced COVID-19 outbreaks, the hospital provided support to eight homes. As of November, it was running three of them. The hospital and its partners also opened a separate, drive-through testing centre. “We’re very nimble, and our ability to flex up and flex

We were colleagues-in-arms at war against the pandemic. The whole team was absolutely awesome.”

— Cindy McCambley Registered Nurse

down is very good,” says Love. “If public health requests that we create more capacity, we have a good system to be able to expand.” In addition to existing wellness supports, additional resources were provided for staff including tips for managing stress related to COVID-19, coping with change and uncertainty, and mental health

webinars. McCambley says the hospital has been supportive of employees during the pandemic, including installing air conditioning at Brewer. “I’m proud of how the hospital looked after its people and also reached out and helped other facilities. There were many little pieces all around that made us proud.” 


33

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

6,470

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

450+

STAFF HIRED FOR COVID-19 INITIATIVES

79%

OF MANAGERS ARE WOMEN

59%

MANAGER-LED DAILY BRIEFINGS ARE HELD AT THE OTTAWA HOSPITAL COVID-19 ASSESSMENT CENTRE

OF EXECUTIVE TEAM ARE WOMEN

A challenging and rewarding work environment awaits you! Respect for the Individual • Compassion • Commitment to Quality • Working Together OttawaHospital.on.ca/en/Career-Opportunities OttawaHospital.on.ca/fr/Career-Opportunities

“Our Vision is to provide each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion we would want for our loved ones.”


34

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

At Shopify, your life story may help you succeed

Y

ou could say Dom DeWolfe danced his way to a job with Shopify Inc. How so? It helps to understand the way the fast-growing, Ottawa-based global commerce platform goes about hiring people, and senior developer DeWolfe’s story is an ideal illustration. As a kid, he liked computers. But he also suffered from dyslexia, and his mom learned that ballet classes could be good therapy. DeWolfe grew to love the art form, and ended up dancing with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Ottawa Ballet and several other companies – until he hit his 30s and his career was effectively over. “The problem of being a dancer is that it's very athletic,” he notes. “My knees were done.” So he returned to his first interest, computers. He took some math courses to augment his arts degree, taught himself to code and, after a few jobs in software, applied at Shopify in 2018. And that’s where his unusual career track was an advantage. A celebrated aspect of the Shopify hiring process is the “life story” interview, in which recruiters go deeply into a candidate’s background. “I had a different story than a lot of the people who apply,” says DeWolfe. “Shopify hires for future potential. Their mentality is, ‘we see that you have value, you could become a great addition to our team, and we’re going to give you a chance.’ I think that’s kind of special.” DeWolfe says the approach makes sense: ballet gave him a highly disciplined work ethic, and he has always been a tenacious problem solver. Even then, the life

EARLY IN THE PANDEMIC, SHOPIFY ANNOUNCED A 'DIGITAL BY DEFAULT' POLICY CLEARING THE WAY FOR ALL EMPLOYEES TO WORK FROM HOME

story interview was only one of some five major meetings he had before he was finally hired. “This is the diversity of identities and lived experiences that people bring to Shopify,” says Prasanna Ranganathan, diversity & belonging lead. “We have people who were artists and engineers, or worked in science. I was a government lawyer – I think I had five meetings, too. It’s a rigorous interview process, where we learn both about applicants’ technical skills and about what makes them come alive.” Shopify, he says, is a mis-

It’s a rigorous interview process, where we learn both about applicants’ technical skills and about what makes them come alive.”

— Prasanna Ranganathan Diversity & Belonging Lead

sion-driven organization, intent on “making commerce better for everyone.” Employees are actually encouraged to have side businesses, such as selling crafts online, so they can better understand the merchant experience and ultimate-

ly their own products. “What we find is that when people engage in entrepreneurship, they deeply understand the issues that need to be addressed,” he says. For employees like DeWolfe, it’s a never-ending dance. 


35

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

4,621

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

99,887 JOB APPLICATIONS RECEIVED LAST YEAR

2,500

JOBS AVAILABLE LAST YEAR

100%

SHOPIFY EMPLOYEE WORKING FROM HOME WITH FAMILY

HEALTH PLAN PREMIUM & FAMILY COVERAGE

Shopify is proud to be one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers Learn about our fully remote team shopify.com/careers


36

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

Universities Canada’s mission keeps staff uplifted essica Simoneau had been working at Universities Canada as a translation assistant just a few weeks when she found herself seated next to the president and CEO, Paul Davidson, at a meeting. “That made me very nervous, but he was so welcoming and down-to-earth,” says Simoneau. “And getting such a positive sense from our leader really set the tone for the workplace.” “During that meeting, HR shared that the most recent employee satisfaction survey results were extremely positive. I knew then and there that I wanted to work at Universities Canada for a long time.” Four years later, Simoneau is now a full translator with the organization, which represents Canada’s universities at the national and international level. That mission, says Philip Landon, vice-president and chief operating officer, “is something all of our employees hold dear to their hearts and is very important for their job satisfaction. What we do for our university members has a great impact on our country. And we recognize that having an engaged and happy staff means we serve our members best.” Universities Canada staff have many reasons to be happy: an array of attractive benefits, including generous maternity and parental top-ups, a fitness subsidy, onsite daycare, scholarships for the children of staff, and at least five paid personal days a year – plus extra days as needed during the pandemic. Maintaining esprit de corps is also important to Universities Canada, especially recently. “During

UNIVERSITIES CANADA STAFF ENJOYING THEIR HOLIDAY PARTY IN 2019

each staff meeting on Zoom, they give us a chance to catch up with colleagues in small breakout rooms,” notes Simoneau. “The groups are random, so each time we have the opportunity to chat with different people.” And while the pandemic ruled out an in-person all-staff retreat – an annual one-day affair combining work, fun and a good meal – the organization got creative. “Before our Zoom meeting, we sent out breakfast food baskets with croissants, fruit and marmalade to everybody,” says Landon.

We recognize that having an engaged and happy staff means we serve our members best.” — Philip Landon Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Creating that sense of togetherness is something that Universities Canada has been fostering throughout the pandemic, says Landon. The organization has also been striving “to show a lot of flexibility, understanding and empathy toward young parents or people who had older parents to

take care of. We didn’t try to adopt a one-size-fits all approach but to ensure that everybody recognized the different reality that their staff were working under. I think that showed why it’s an excellent place to work.” No matter who you sit next to at a meeting. 


37

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S TOP EMPLOYERS 2021

81

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

4

WEEKS, STARTING VACATION ALLOWANCE

100%

HEALTH AND DENTAL PLAN PREMIUM & FAMILY COVERAGE

74%

UNIVERSITIES CANADA STAFF ENJOYING A PAINTING LUNCH IN 2019

Bright Minds. Bright future. Thanks to our employees.

OF MANAGERS ARE WOMEN

De l’esprit et de l’avenir. Grâce à nos employés. univcan.ca


Tell us your story If you are an exceptional employer with progressive human resources programs and initiatives, consider applying for next year’s edition of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers. Now entering its 22nd year, our national project is Canada’s longest-running and best-known editorial competition for employers. For information on next year’s application process, visit:

CanadasTop100.com/2022 Applications for our 2022 competition will be released in February and must be returned later in the spring.