Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2024), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2023), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2024) and National Capital Region's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 16, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Carleton University was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2024), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2023), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2024) and National Capital Region's Top Employers (2023):
- Carleton University enables employees to rest and reset with generous time-off policies, including a minimum of four weeks of paid vacation to start and five days of paid holiday closure from Christmas Eve to the first week of January
- Carleton University supports the long-term welfare of employees through a unique hybrid pension plan that offers the higher of a defined benefit or defined contribution pension at retirement -- additionally, the university extends its health benefits plan to retirees, with no age limit and 100 per cent premium coverage
- Carleton University manages an extensive Healthy Workplace initiative that's focused on physical and mental health, building social connections, professional development, and meaningful work-life balance -- the initiative is managed through a cross-functional Healthy Workplace Committee comprised of 17 faculty and staff members and supported by a network of over 70 Healthy Workplace Champions, who act as ambassadors of the initiative in their departments
Carleton offers innovative career development options
When Gilles Monast started working at Carleton University in Ottawa, his first job was in the mailroom. Now, 35 years and a number of different positions later, he’s the university’s director of library administration.
He credits his career development to hard work, dedication, and having supportive managers who took notice of those qualities. It was also a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
“What Carleton has given me is the chance to grow as an employee and as an individual. There is a lot of support, there are a lot of opportunities. Even today, a lot of opportunities for staff for advancement, to join committees, to do professional development,” explains Monast, who continues to collaborate with colleagues in other departments by sitting on interview committees, for example.
Staff and faculty can participate in university committees, fine-tune skills through learning and development workshops, and engage in management training – all of which assist in career growth. Full-time employees can also access a free tuition benefit if they wish to enrol in courses. Those interested in volunteering have a number of choices, too, including Carleton’s annual United Way campaign or in the university’s nationally-certified ‘Healthy Workplace’ initiative.
Like Monast, interim president and vice-chancellor Jerry Tomberlin has held a number of positions during his 15 years at Carleton. He first moved to the nation’s capital to take on the role of dean of the Sprott School of Business. He then became provost & vice-president (academic), and, most recently, assumed the role of interim president in September.
“When you have people reporting to you, it’s all about supporting them, helping them succeed. To me, that’s always been the way I work, and I find that really kind of fits into the ethos and the culture here,” he says.
There are a number of initiatives in place at the university which help employees nurture their careers, he says. One of those programs is Carleton Leader.
Inspired by collaborative leadership principles, this initiative builds capacity by bringing together leaders from across the institution to embrace their potential to effect positive change. The initiative offers participants first-hand insight into how their staff and faculty colleagues approach leadership at the university, as well as the opportunity to form long-term, supportive networks that may not otherwise happen.
“It’s a learning platform for, ‘How do I work across the boundaries of the university?’” says Tomberlin. “We make sure that we have academics there. We have administrators there. We have employees at all levels there who've shown an interest in career development. And it’s pretty amazing.”
An initiative like Carleton Leader also helps participants get recognized and feel that they have “more of a career” at the university, he says.
“So, when positions are available, or when you’re looking for somebody to take over more responsibilities on the academic or the administrative areas of the university, that’s kind of where you look first,” Tomberlin says.
The initiative has been offered for the past decade, and Monast, who describes himself as a “people person,” was one of its first participants. “I found the Carleton Leader program really eye-opening because people don’t believe they’re leaders, but they actually are in their own way,” he says.
While participants have different ways of approaching problem-solving, “you’re all there for the same purpose: to develop your leadership skills,” Monast notes.
“There is a lot of room for growth, and there is a lot of opportunity,” he says, “and you just need to seize those opportunities.”
Change and innovation are constants at Carleton
In 2009, when John Nelson joined Carleton University as a science student success officer, he never thought that it would be the place where he would meet his wife, earn a second degree and have a rewarding career all in the same place. “Carleton has changed my life personally and professionally for the better,” he says.
Today, Nelson is acting director of the Ottawa-based university’s Innovation Hub, but in those early days he didn’t have a fixed career plan. “I was trying to decide what I wanted to do when I grew up – I still am!” he says, chuckling. “I did know that I wanted to develop other skill sets, and Carleton really supports that.”
Thanks to internal mentoring and external coaching, Nelson moved into diverse partnership development and international education roles with more responsibilities, including senior external relations officer at the Sprott School of Business in 2018. The next year he left Carleton to pursue another international education opportunity, then returned in 2020 as executive assistant in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).
“All of my positions have allowed me to mentor and support students in some capacity, and to make sure they are enjoying and thriving in their university experience,” he says.
In 2021, Nelson earned a master of engineering degree in technology innovation management from Carleton, which reimbursed his tuition. “I’m not done yet, because there’s always more to learn,” he says. “The units and portfolios here are always changing, and we have to keep pace.
That constant focus on change at Carleton motivates Nelson. “There are always opportunities to try something new, because the people and communities we serve are always changing – we serve the world,” he says. “That’s one of the most exciting things about working here.”
Another employee who has experienced a lot of change at Carleton is Lorraine Dyke, who joined in 1988 as an assistant professor at the Sprott School of Business. “I was impressed that Carleton’s business school was already more diverse by gender than most other business schools at that time,” she says, “and I got the sense that innovation was welcomed.”
In 1992, Dyke went on to establish Carleton’s Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work, as its director. After moving into several other postings, in April 2022 she was appointed vice-president of the finance and administration division. “I’ve been encouraged to apply for more responsible roles throughout my career, and I’ve had a lot of support,” she says.
Like Nelson, that support has been both professional and personal. When her brother died in October 2022, her colleagues sent beautiful bouquets of flowers that filled her kitchen. “If there’s one word to describe Carleton, it’s community,” she says.
Carleton’s 2020–2025 Strategic Integrated Plan is rooted in three directions: share knowledge, shape the future; serve Ottawa, serve the world; and strive for wellness, strive for sustainability. “People can respect and support an organization that shares their own values,” says Dyke. “When they see their employer doing good things, it makes them feel good and want to stay.”
After more than three decades at Carleton, that remains true for Dyke. “I’ve often joked that I’ll never retire because I love what I do – I’m making an impact, and the people keep me here,” she says. “We’re collaborative and collegial, and we really care about each other.”