Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2023) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 17, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Fidelity Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2023) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
- Fidelity Canada offers three weeks of paid vacation to start, moving to four weeks after only two years on the job -- and to help ensure time off to rest and recharge, allowed employees to carry forward up to 10 vacation days into 2022
- Fidelity Canada encourages ongoing employee development through a variety of initiatives, including tuition subsidies, financial bonuses for course completions (from $300 to $2,000), secondment opportunities to let employees try out different roles, and a unique job exchange program that lets employees trade roles for up to one year
- Fidelity Canada is a certified Imagine Canada Caring Company and contributes a minimum of 1 per cent of its pre-tax profits to communities where employees live and work -- additionally, employees are encouraged to support their favourite initiatives with paid volunteer time and a financial matching donations program, where the company donates $150 for every 10 volunteer hours committed
Community and compassion reign at Fidelity
“Trust and integrity are Fidelity Canada’s guiding principles, and the bedrock upon which Fidelity’s culture and business practices are built,” explains Diana Godfrey, senior vice-president of human resources and corporate affairs. “We value authentic conversations and create programs that help our colleagues, their family and the community thrive.”
Over the years, Godfrey has worn a number of different hats – a testament to the fact that there are nearly endless possibilities for career development at Fidelity. “I always said yes to any opportunities that presented themselves, and there have been many,” she says. “I’ve moved laterally, up through promotions, and everything I’ve done, I learned from.”
Drawn in part by all the career possibilities, sustainable investment analyst Julianna Martino started her career at Fidelity as a co-op student while studying finance and economics. “I heard really great things about Fidelity’s culture, the atmosphere and the learning opportunities – and my experience was just that,” she says.
“The people were welcoming, the culture was embracing, and the work made me feel like a trusted member of the team, with a large amount of responsibility. It was clear I was making a meaningful impact at the firm and was valued for my efforts.”
That feeling of being trusted led Martino to apply for two more co-op terms before landing a full-time role at the company. “Since day one my colleagues have encouraged diverse thinking and new ways of doing things, which has empowered me to bring bold ideas to the table,” she adds. “I credit much of my growth at Fidelity to my colleagues and the culture we are a part of.”
Martino is a committee member of the Women’s Leadership Group, one of many employee resource groups at Fidelity. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she says. “Fidelity’s community is unparalleled.”
Amid the height of the pandemic, Fidelity’s response was true compassion in action. “We’re proud of how Fidelity shifted to remote work, and the commitment of our colleagues who maintained their exceptional work performance during unprecedented times,” says Godfrey. “The firm was quick to set up employees with necessary equipment, provide an allowance for home office equipment, establish flexible work hours to accommodate family and caregiving obligations and more.”
The company also enhanced its benefits package, introducing virtual health care and home delivery from pharmacies to help keep people safe. But Fidelity is always re-evaluating the support it provides to employees.
To address the growing need for psychology coverage for employees and their family members, the company doubled those benefits. They also introduced a peer group of employees who are trained to provide information about mental health services to other employees, and the company partnered with Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on a turnkey mental health program for staff.
“If people can bring their whole selves to work, if they feel that the organization understands the issues that they’re facing, they can feel more comfortable at work and more supported at home,” says Godfrey. “It makes for a better environment everywhere.”
Opportunities for growth abound at Fidelity Canada
What drew Ahfaz Toor to Fidelity Canada was the organization’s diverse and inclusive culture – both important values for Toor, business development manager, a proud Muslim, person of colour and member of the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
“Workplace belonging is embedded in Fidelity’s corporate culture and is evident on their website, social media, and at trade shows and events,” says Toor. “Until joining Fidelity, I had never felt so welcomed and valued. Everyone is dedicated to promoting inclusion – it’s a team effort.”
Toor was also drawn to Fidelity by the opportunities for personal and professional development; in fact, in just over two years, he was promoted three times. “Among the highlights of working here are the incredible training and mentoring programs and just how much they support you in terms of continued education and career growth,” he adds.
Diana Godfrey, senior vice-president of human resources and corporate affairs, has been with Fidelity for 27 years and has seen the organization go through many changes. Despite these changes, it continues to operate on the values of integrity and honesty, and the opportunities have always been abundant.
“I’ve been able to take on different projects and roles, reporting to different parts of the organization,” says Godfrey. “I embraced every opportunity that surfaced and encourage colleagues to do the same.”
In the last two years, Toor has gone through half a dozen training courses. “You’re always set up for success,” he says. “They make sure you’re not just learning soft skills, but also transferable skills and product knowledge.”
Each employee in Toor’s department is paired with a senior mentor and a junior mentee for regular meetings and check-ins. Toor is also working toward his chartered financial analyst (CFA) accreditation with the company’s full support. “CFA isn’t an easy feat, nor is it a small financial investment,” he says. “Fidelity’s tuition reimbursement program demonstrates that the firm values my contributions and wants to see me grow and achieve my goals.”
Fidelity is celebrating having everyone back together in the Toronto office after months of COVID-19-related separation. A barista who comes into the office four days a week was meant to be a temporary treat but has become part of the Fidelity family, says Godfrey. To mark the return to office, the company has hosted nearly 100 lunches and treat days from local vendors and small businesses across the communities where they live and work. “It’s really about finding ways to connect people,” she says.
Online fundraising, too, has transitioned back to in-person activities. Employee-run groups provide education on diversity and help the company identify where charitable giving may help most. “Community outreach and engagement is a priority to our employees, and we want to support them,” says Godfrey. “We have established a culture of giving at Fidelity, and we continue to champion corporate initiatives that build on this mission and enhance employee satisfaction.”
And there was one silver lining to COVID-19: Fidelity created a charitable giving group that brings all employees together to help the company determine where and how it can best support others.
“The pandemic helped us understand that charitable giving and supporting those in need is more important than ever,” said Godfrey. “It’s really important that our employees have a voice in this conversation, and so we have aligned with causes that mean the most to them. Ultimately, we want everyone to feel gratification and a sense of purpose.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 23, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Fidelity Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2023):
- Fidelity Canada provides tuition assistance to new hires who have graduated in the previous year, with new grads eligible to receive $500 in their first year, $1,000 in their second year, and $1,500 in their third year (new grads receive these awards regardless of the debt they may or may not carry)
- Many students at Fidelity Canada are offered the chance to return in a different capacity based on their career goals and work with a mentor who guides them through their next work term -- and may benefit from joining dedicated student product study groups for practicing skills and knowledge sharing
- Fidelity Canada manages a robust student program across Canada, featuring skills development workshops, Q&A with the president and senior executives, opportunities to volunteer with charitable organizations that Fidelity supports, job shadow in up to three different departments, and participation in various networking events
The learning opportunities are endless at Fidelity
At any given time, dozens of students are working at Fidelity Canada – many of them having returned to the investment company for their second or third time.
“Students are often encouraged to try different employer experiences in a variety of work environments, and to build their networks,” says Diana Godfrey, senior vice-president of human resources and corporate affairs. “But at Fidelity – we see it differently – high-performing students are welcomed back and offered a unique experience each term. In the end, students get to know us in a more meaningful way.”
The goal is to create a pipeline of talented young people who can step into roles at Fidelity as they open. “Bringing new people in with fresh ideas who communicate differently, who have been educated differently, who live and have lived different experiences positively changes the organization,” Godfrey adds.
“They’re the future leaders of the firm. They’re the future clients and they allow us to have conversations that we wouldn’t otherwise have.”
Part of the experience for the semester is the opportunity for students to go out into the community to do charitable work that is sponsored by Fidelity. And there are plenty of social activities as well. “We’ve really tried to create sort of a microcosm of our culture in one semester, that they can build on in the next,” says Godfrey. “Returning students become leaders in their own right with the new community.”
The company is committed to constant development and, whenever possible, promoting from within – a huge draw for younger talent. From mentors and coaches to training programs, learning is a constant at Fidelity. When Lauren Gardy first joined the organization in 2019, she was immediately paired with a senior employee.
“Having that mentorship was really, really monumental,” says Gardy, who is now, three jobs later, a business development manager senior in sales. “Fidelity does a really good job of preparing you for the next step.”
While she is frequently encouraged to push outside her comfort zone, she adds, she is always supported to go there. “I’m challenged every single day in terms of conversations with clients or just learning new things about our products. There’s endless learning to be done.”
Fidelity brings in experts in different fields – presentation skills, and technology – to teach or offer new perspectives to younger staff. Then the company asks for feedback. “We continue to improve the program and change the program based on what we hear,” says Godfrey. “Our goal, again, is to make sure they have a meaningful experience.”
A silver lining of the pandemic is that Fidelity now offers more flexible work arrangements – which, as Godfrey notes, is attractive to younger employees. And each semester, students can apply for a company scholarship. “We always say we’re picking one submission per semester,” says Godfrey, “but we typically pick more based on the ideas they present.”
Students and new employees alike meet with senior leaders in executive forums and roundtables. “Our goal is to give students the opportunity to advocate and express themselves,” she adds. “The student voice is important to us at Fidelity, and we do our best to create an environment that promotes ongoing communication and transparency among the organization and its employees.”
Young talent is an asset to Fidelity’s culture and success. The student program underscores the value that the organization places on its culture of belonging, where bold ideas and creative thinking are not just welcomed, but celebrated.