Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2022) and Montreal's Top Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 17, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2022) and Montreal's Top Employers (2022):
- Bell Canada has been a pioneering voice in helping to raise mental health awareness through "Bell Let's Talk" initiatives with a financial commitment of over $155-million over 15 years -- and the company recently introduced unlimited mental health coverage for all employees (and their families) through their health benefits programs
- Bell Canada recently introduced the "Bell Workways" initiative that helps employees develop hybrid work models that offer greater flexibility, collaboration and support in how and where employees work, from hybrid and telecommuting to flexible hours
- Bell Canada's family-friendly policies include maternity and parental leave top-up for new mothers (up to 70 per cent of salary for 36 weeks) as well as parental leave top-up for new fathers and adoptive parents (up to 70 per cent of salary for up to 19 weeks) -- and supports new parents to be with generous fertility support payment, up to $15,000
Working as fast as the future at Bell Canada
Today, the typical lifespan of digital products, services and applications may often seem short to consumers, but that is what makes work so exciting at Bell Canada, where keeping pace with the perpetually evolving digital landscape is job one.
“The whole digital universe is continually expanding,” says Anuja Sheth, senior vice-president, technology services and information technology at Bell Canada. “Think about machine learning, the internet of things, the cloud, the endless new streaming services. These technologies and services are powering the digital experience of the future and we’re invested in all of them.”
Eloi Minka, director of digital media development with Bell Media, leads a team responsible for creating the software that powers Bell Media’s expansive suite of digital offerings, which includes the Crave streaming service as well as websites for media properties like TSN and the French-language Réseau des sports.
“Those websites have to be built, they have to be maintained and they have to be operated,” says Minka. “In addition, for all those brands we also have applications. And, these days, we have to be present pretty much everywhere our customers are on every type of device.”
In a world of breathtakingly fast change, it’s important for the organization to have a fresh infusion of talent and ideas. “We hire about 1,000 students every year and this is a combination of interns and new grads. A big portion of our hiring is STEM focused,” says Sheth, referring to science, technology, engineering and math.
Some come out of university knowing where they want to start and can contribute from day one, especially new graduates who may have had two or three internships with Bell. Others will go into a rotational program in which they work in different business units.
Given the scale and scope of Bell, that can be advantageous. “As I always say, if you think about our products and services, there are many companies within the company at Bell,” says Sheth. “You can fill so many roles.”
Bell also supports employee professional growth through mentoring and career planning, which very often involves upgrading skill sets or learning new ones. “The literate of the 21st century are not those who can read and write, but those who can learn, unlearn and relearn,” says Sheth. “That cycle is so important for our industry because technologies change so often. Things can become irrelevant within a year.”
The company offers a rich array of learning materials and resources through what it calls Bell U. “If you happen to be in a particular position and want to learn something from a technology standpoint, you can access a universe of course content, materials and resources online,” says Minka. “You can enroll in a course within Bell and get the training that way.”
Minka adds that all leaders at Bell are encouraged to make time for professional development within their teams, be it technical development, leadership, diversity or mental health learning and resources, which means understanding where employees want to take their careers and assisting them on their journey.
Bell Canada advances by keeping people connected
Tanya Nasehoglu became director, network provisioning and deployment, Québec, for Bell Canada on March 9, 2020. The next day, COVID-19 restrictions came into effect and many Bell team members, including Nasehoglu, began working from home.
Not only did Nasehoglu assume a new role at the start of a global health crisis, it was in an area of the company that she had not worked in since joining Bell after graduating from Polytechnique Montréal with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
Nasehoglu oversees a team of hundreds of employees and is responsible for 14 facilities that deliver high-speed internet services for Bell customers throughout Québec.
“COVID did not slow us down. Our employees have shown great flexibility in adapting to different work environments and developing new ways to work,” she says. “It’s a crucial time to not only maintain, but improve our network.”
A communications leader since its founding in 1880 in Montréal, Bell is rolling out high-speed internet to several areas of Québec. As part of Operation High Speed, in partnership with the Canadian and Québec governments, Bell will provide 100-per-cent fibre internet connections to more than 30,000 homes and businesses in nearly 100 Québec communities.
In an effort to help accelerate high-speed internet deployment in Québec, Bell put in place several resources to give telecommunications providers easy access to support. This includes the Centre of Excellence, which shares best practices with service providers, works to improve project communications and provides a toll-free line for assistance.
“We work on innovative projects that impact people in every part of Québec,” says Karine Moses, senior vice president, content development and news, and vice chair, Québec. “There is incredible progress being made in how Canadians connect with each other and the world.”
Montréal was one of the first cities where Bell launched its 5G network and most regions of Québec now have 5G access following an aggressive expansion to municipalities across the province last year. Bell leads the Canadian communications industry in research and development investment, including a partnership with Université de Sherbrooke to develop 5G applications across the internet of things, innovative manufacturing and more.
Nasehoglu has witnessed first-hand how Bell aligns its business strategy and human resources policies to promote employee engagement and growth. She has also seen how the entire Bell team has adapted and found new ways to collaborate.
“We’ve been able to problem-solve and strategize virtually with teams from different business units and with team members in the field working on essential services,” she says. “We’re reaching our goals, but we’re taking a new approach to get there.”
Particularly during COVID-19, Bell has put an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration for its more than 50,000 team members. With a new recognition program, Better Together, team members can connect through a best-in-class engagement platform that enables simple and timely recognition and collaboration for everyone.
“In addition to our ongoing investment in transformative technologies, we continue to invest in our team members by building a more collaborative workplace that will foster creativity,” says Moses.
Nasehoglu describes the technological advances she’s seen during her 17 years with the company as nothing short of amazing. “It forces you to learn something new. You can never get comfortable, you have to stay agile.”
In her new role, Nasehoglu says the technology might be different, but the dynamic hasn’t changed. “Everyone is motivated to continue to improve,” she says. “We want to deliver the best products for the customer.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2022):
- Bell Canada's virtual career fairs provide students and new grads opportunities to connect virtually with recruiters and access to different events and activities, including webinars, application workshops, speed interviewing, and question and answer sessions with Bell’s leadership team
- Bell Canada manages a number of graduate leadership programs to help cultivate the next generation of leaders -- participants work in a variety of different departments for periods ranging from 18 months to three years, and also attend the company's annual Grad Leadership Summit
- Bell Canada's summer internship provides an early introduction and fast-track opportunity for students to join the company's Graduate Leadership Program -- over the course of the internship, students are assigned a buddy and participate in a variety of unique events including networking sessions with Bell executives, managers, and other grads, volunteer opportunities at CAMH and North York Harvest Food Bank, and prior to COVID-19, various social activities such as team dinners, visits to Bell Media, or an afternoon at a local arcade
- For 23 years, Bell Canada has partnered with Career Edge to provide work-term placements to candidates, offering over 1,200 placements to date and hiring approximately 300 interns into full-time roles -- Bell Canada also works with Lime Connect to recruit students and new graduates with disabilities
New grads can learn from the best at Bell Canada
In the short time since she joined Bell Canada in the fall of 2020, Susan Zhao has gained a broad base of experience with the company.
Initially involved in marketing and communications with Bell Mobility, she spent nine months engaged in cross-functional teamwork and working with outside agencies on direct marketing campaigns. More recently, as social media and content marketing consultant, Zhao supported strategic initiatives to promote The Source's technology products.
“I’ve been able to enhance my skills and gain valuable experience, while making an impact with my day-to-day work,” says Zhao. “It’s a dynamic work environment where everyone is welcome to bring their ideas forward.”
Zhao joined Bell as a member of its Graduate Leadership Program after gaining a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto.
The program offers post-secondary graduates the opportunity to work in different disciplines across Bell’s many business units. Participants also receive regular mentorship from senior leaders and have extensive networking opportunities with team members across the country.
“We have leaders and teams that are among the best in their fields,” says Claire Gillies, president of Bell Mobility. “Our new grads have the opportunity not only to learn from them but to work directly with them on innovative projects.”
Gillies, who leads Bell’s national wireless operations including Virgin Plus and Lucky Mobile, started her career at the company in much the same way as Zhao.
“Some 20 years ago I was a grad myself, which helped to propel my career forward at Bell,” says Gillies. She joined as a co-op student in 2000 and advanced through several senior roles before assuming her current position in January 2020.
“Whether you’re joining Bell as an intern or new grad, you can be sure you’re going to learn quickly through first-hand work experience.”
Zhao first learned about the program after joining Bell as an intern in 2019. She was one of about 1,000 students hired annually by Bell. The company works with several organizations, including the Onyx Initiative, to provide internship and full-time opportunities to students and new graduates. Bell has already met its target for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour representation among intern and graduate hires of 40 per cent by 2025.
Participants in the program spend their 18-month placements gaining experience in areas such as network, business intelligence, media, customer operations and human resources. Bell is a leader in network and service innovation, and new grads work on the latest technologies including Fibe, Crave, Alt TV, cloud computing and Internet of Things.
Zhao is nearing the end of her second nine-month rotation and has kept in touch with other new grads from the University of Toronto who are interested in potential careers with the telecommunications company.
“A lot of them express interest in Bell because of the diversity of jobs and the opportunity to work with the latest tech,” she says.
As a global leader in 5G innovation, Bell offers immersive mobile experiences with its exclusive TSN 5G View/Vision 5G RDS app and recent collaboration with TikTok that brings creators together with Paint Portal augmented reality effects.
Young people are playing a key role in advancing 5G technology as Bell has research partnerships with Western University and Université de Sherbrooke to build and accelerate Canada's 5G innovation ecosystem.
As Gillies explains, “the innovative steps we’re taking in connectivity and critical infrastructure will continue to change the way Canadians live and work.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2022):
By Kristina Leung and Stephanie Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 7, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2022):
- Bell Canada launched an accessibility advisory group in 2019 to focus on improving employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, making the workplace physically accessible, reviewing its programs and service delivery for accessibility, and reviewing the accessibility of its technology (computers, smartphones, and other technology) -- the group has since increased to 228 team members who speak to lived experiences and help provide a better understanding of the needs and challenges to succeed
- In 2019, Bell Canada launched the Black Professionals at Bell employee resource group during Black History Month with the aim of supporting professional development, raising cultural awareness, and engaging and attracting new talent -- more than 700 employees have joined the ERG since its launch, which celebrated Black History Month last year with nine events under the theme of "moving forward" towards a better and bright future, professionally and personally
- Bell Canada partners with the Military Family Services Spousal Employment Network to support career development among military spouses, and has hired more than 470 veterans and veteran spouses since 2013 -- the company also provides dedicated training internally to ensure recruiters understand the transferability of veterans' skills
As a child of immigrants from Hong Kong, I grew up with a clear understanding that my parents had moved their lives to Canada for me. [...] My parents were so proud when I first started at Bell Canada, what an iconic Canadian brand and organization. I’ve essentially grown up here over the last 20 years, building a career in Human Resources. [...] I’ve been inspired by so many amazing leaders, mentors and colleagues who have pushed me to grow, who have lifted me up, helped me find my voice and cheered me on. Having that support has meant so much to me and it is part of why I am so passionate about mentoring, coaching and genuinely caring about the development of others. Angie Harrop, Director of Talent and Engagement
At Bell, diversity makes everyone better
Alicia Jarvis joined Bell Canada in August 2021 as senior product manager, accessibility portfolio. It was her second stint with the company, having originally been hired as an intern after earning a bachelor’s degree from York University in criminology.
“I have an interest in technology and a passion for human rights,” she says. “Working for Bell gives me the opportunities to learn constantly while working to improve the customer’s experience with our products.”
Alicia explains that advances in technology and people’s understanding around accessibility have grown significantly in the past 10 years.
“Not only are we working with cutting-edge technology, we’re placing a big priority on making it accessible so everyone has an opportunity to use new, unique products.”
With its new Accessibility Program, Bell is committed to building a barrier-free environment for team members and customers, and Jarvis is playing a key role. As part of her job, she is working with product teams to help them understand accessibility requirements, standards and best practices and make adjustments where necessary.
A Canadian communications leader since its founding in 1880, Bell’s focus on meeting the unique needs of its customers has led to an innovative, accessible and inclusive approach.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion has been at the forefront of our discussions for supporting our team members and our customers,” says Farshad Kajouii, vice president of pricing, operations and out-of-home advertising, who joined Bell almost 25 years ago. “By employing people who reflect the diversity of the communities we operate in, we can better serve our customers and bring in new ideas that will improve how we operate long term.”
Born in Iran, Kajouii came to Canada at the age of nine. He has seen the evolution of Bell’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and has personally experienced its diversity of opportunities. When he joined the company he worked nights while completing his studies in business during the day. Since then, Kajouii has held 15 different positions, including eight as a director, in six different groups within the company, ranging from network to technology to media.
Accessibility is just one aspect of Bell’s commitment to DEI. Led by its Diversity Leadership Council and employee resource groups, the company has made DEI a part of everything it does, from hiring practices and employee engagement to business strategy.
Its employee resource groups, which include Black Professionals at Bell, Pride at Bell and Women at Bell, continue to see their memberships grow. They offer a variety of virtual events and learning opportunities to all team members. Bell has been building relationships with inclusion-focused organizations for years and recently forged partnerships with Ascend Canada, Black Professionals in Tech Network, Catalyst, Indigenous Works, Lime Connect and The Women in Tech Network.
“People drive ideas, expertise and perspective, which lead to momentum, opportunities and value,” says Kajouii. “Having diversity of experience leads to better results. It’s a win-win for the customer and the company.”
Bell has taken meaningful action to address the impact of systemic racism on Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC). For example, it set targets for BIPOC representation in senior management of at least 25 per cent by 2025 and has already reached its goal to make at least 40 per cent of its student and graduate hires from the BIPOC community.
“It’s easy to talk about, but actions, not words, drive outcome and Bell is committed to taking the right steps,” says Kajouii. “That’s something I love about this company, it always recognizes that there’s more to be done.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 19, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
- Bell Canada manages a consumer-facing e-waste collection program that covers everything that goes out, including mobile phones, television receivers and modems -- in 2020, more than 2,537 tonnes of electronics were diverted from landfill through these programs
- In partnership with community programs, Bell Canada has introduced electric vehicle charging stations at over 20 sites in Québec, Ontario and Manitoba -- with over 100 installations and the addition of more sites every year
- Bell Canada operates diesel hybrid and solar systems at nine remote work sites in the Northwest Territories -- and the Whitehorse, Yukon solar power system generates 130,000 kWh of renewable energy every year or the equivalent of saving over 300 tonnes of CO2 annually
For Bell, sustainability brings opportunities to innovate
Catherine Jacques-Brissette joined Bell Canada almost 10 years ago as a consultant in the company’s pension and actuarial services group. As a qualified actuary, she managed long-term financial risks for the company.
“I personally felt a need to do something I was more passionate about, and that drew me to the environment, which has always been close to my heart,” she says.
As Jacques-Brissette discovered, Bell has been reducing the environmental impacts of its activities for over 25 years. The company has been setting increasingly ambitious environmental performance targets, which are overseen through its certified ISO 14001 environmental management system. When she joined the company, environmental leadership was already a critical tool in its long-term competitive strategy.
“That commitment to the environment drives internal opportunities,” says Marc Duchesne, vice-president of corporate security and responsibility. “It builds on innovation and gets team members engaged in identifying energy reduction initiatives.”
In 2021, Bell launched Bell for Better, a long-term commitment to create better outcomes for all stakeholders, including Canadian communities everywhere, employees and customers. The company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership is integral to the corporate culture.
Bell’s commitment to sustainability extends throughout the company and to its customers and suppliers as well – aiming to produce a more sustainable future.
In the last five years, for example, Bell has exceeded its e-waste targets and has recovered millions of phones, TV receivers, modems and mobile phones. More recently, it has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund Canada to donate the proceeds from its recovery programs to help with the fund’s climate-change initiatives.
“We’re committed to becoming carbon neutral in our operations by 2025,” says Duchesne. “For 2030, we have set science-based GHG emissions reduction targets that are consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, in line with the most ambitious temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.”
Bell’s environmental initiatives correspond with the concerns and priorities of its employees and other stakeholders. In a survey conducted last year, they identified climate change as the most important environmental issue facing the company, followed by energy conservation and the adoption of electric vehicles.
Jacques-Brissette moved from Bell’s pension group to its corporate responsibility and environment team as a business intelligence senior analyst. “I learned how actuarial science can contribute to fighting climate change,” she says. “I discovered that this is an area where I can use my actuarial expertise to make a positive impact.”
To minimize the company’s carbon footprint, Jacques-Brissette analyzes data collected by Bell’s environmental coordinators throughout the country and converts it into carbon emissions.
“Then we set ambitious carbon reduction targets and build the business case for executive approval.”
From the board of directors to the technicians installing network equipment, Bell takes its environmental commitments so seriously that the company has now embedded sustainability into its strategic imperatives.
“It’s a double opportunity,” says Duchesne. “We already operate in a sector that doesn’t emit a lot of carbon, but we also create and sell technology that enables people to reduce their carbon footprint. Not only can we do the right thing, but we also create products that help other people to do it too.”