Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2022) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 11, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2022) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
- TD Bank provides maternity and parental leave top-up of 100 per cent of salary for up to 12 weeks for birth mothers and offers "mix and match" flexible work options to allow employees to create the best schedule for their needs -- additionally, the bank maintains a Flexible Work Options Business Committee for each line of business to help ensure appropriate work options are implemented and supported across the company
- TD Bank helps employees plan for life after work through retirement planning assistance services, along with a defined contribution pension plan and access to the health benefits plan upon retirement (premium coverage varies) -- and employees may be able to take advantage of phased-in work options to help ease into retirement
- TD Bank has continued to support employees during the pandemic through a number of innovative and generous ways, starting with additional financial payments for employees who were required to come into work early in the pandemic, additional paid days off, enhanced virtual health care services, and technical support for employees working from home for such an extended duration -- and continues to work with employee groups across the bank in designing future workplace models as the situation evolves
TD empowers its people through career growth
When he was a college student in 1999, Alex-Bobbie Mason began working for TD Bank Group (TD) as a senior customer service officer after a friend encouraged him to apply. It would turn out to be a personal turning point. As a visible minority, a member of the LGBTQ2+ community and a person living with a disability, he would find a mentor – and become comfortable with his true self – at work.
“Growing up, I was bullied because of my speech impediment,” says Mason, who has been in his current role at TD as manager of customer experience since 2018. “It’s a constant struggle, with the goal of being ‘perfect’ always hovering over my horizon. I consider myself lucky because of the support I’ve received from within TD and the encouragement to challenge myself.”
Promoted to senior relocation services officer in 2005, Mason spent the next eight years helping his TD colleagues manage their moves and make relocation experiences as seamless as possible. During that time, he met Al Ramsay, associate vice president of LGBTQ2+ and Black customer segments. Shortly after, Ramsay became Mason’s mentor and made a big impact in his life and career.
“It’s rewarding to see someone grow in their career and pursue their full potential,” says Ramsay. “I recruited Alex to the Black Employee Committee at TD and nominated him to lead our community outreach pillar, where he excelled at bringing his volunteerism to life. In the process, Alex taught me resiliency and helped me understand what it’s like to be a member of the people with disabilities community.”
Ramsay first joined TD in 2005 to support diversity and inclusion initiatives, tasked with leading the community relations strategy to build the brand in diverse communities across Canada. “At TD, my Blackness and queerness has been an asset, not a liability,” he says.
Although Mason felt the same way about his own diversity within the bank, and he was doing well there, in 2012 he left to explore and focus on self-discovery. The next year, he returned to TD with a renewed sense of purpose and confidence, and chose to shift his career path and work within the customer-facing side of TD. He says the bank encourages colleagues to unlock their full potential and constantly explore new career paths and goals.
“I felt that I could give back to my community more by working in customer service,” says Mason. “Internally, I started to get more involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives, which is easy to do at TD because they genuinely believe in and prioritize equality issues. I want to work for a company that cares for me and encourages my career choices, and TD truly does.”
Upon his return, Mason joined the bank’s Black Employee Network, as well as Toastmasters to help strengthen his public-speaking skills and confidence. Embracing his new role in customer service, he enjoys working with his close-knit team at a branch in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood.
“We’re a small family, and the way we pull together for each other and our community – especially during the challenges of the pandemic – is a beautiful thing,” says Mason. “TD is committed to helping enrich our lives and encourages us to gain new perspectives and build our skill set to feel confident about our future and our career development. I’m surrounded by supportive leaders who want to help make a difference.”
And although Ramsay is now a senior leader himself, he echoes Mason’s feelings: “The executives I first interviewed with are still my biggest champions, both personally and professionally.”
At TD, career mobility means new opportunities
When Shibani Ahuja was considering leaving her job as an insurance- company executive in the Philippines to return to Canada, TD Bank Group (TD) was her first choice. “I joined TD because of their dedication to diversity and inclusion,” she says. “I knew I could be my authentic self.”
As a member of the LGBTQ2+ community, TD’s progressive diversity and inclusion policies and practices appealed to Ahuja. In 2017, she was hired as an associate vice president of enterprise business solutions in human resources. The next year, she was promoted to vice president, enterprise solutions and enablement, before moving into a completely different area of the Bank.
In November 2020, Ahuja became vice president, digital performance, Canadian personal banking. “I had been working at an insurance company in Asia, and TD brought me in and moved me around,” she says. “There’s no rigid career path for anyone here.”
Mentorship has been an important part of Ahuja’s journey – in particular, the Women in Leadership ‘Coffee Connections’ program through which she had a 30-minute phone call with an executive vice president. “When they asked, ‘What can I do for you and your career?’ I asked them to introduce me to someone else, to give me even more opportunities to grow my network,” says Ahuja.
Ahuja is a mentor herself, through her role as chair of the LGBTQ2+ women’s committee, which she established in 2019 to help ensure that TD is attracting, developing and promoting LGBTQ2+ women. She also mentors through TD’s Each One, Teach One initiative with Black community members, and several other enterprise programs.
Support was also on hand in July 2021, when Ahuja started maternity leave just two months after starting in an expanded role, with plans to return to work after three months and trade parental leave with her partner. “My leadership team was tremendously supportive of my unique needs given my early return to work and was willing to accommodate a flexible arrangement,” she says. “TD has a trifecta of caring – for our customers, colleagues and communities.”
Aliona Arestova is another employee who has felt supported since she was hired permanently in 2015 as a quality engineering manager, then promoted to senior IT manager a few years later. She learned about TD during a consulting role with the Bank in 2014, and her manager at that time was expanding his team. “His vision for growth was so compelling, I wanted to be part of that,” she says.
Arestova values the informal mentoring she receives from colleagues. “If I need to bounce ideas off someone to highlight my blind spots and help brainstorm a solution to a problem, there are many people I can reach out to,” she says. “Collaboration is one of the key elements of our team – it takes a village to innovate and think about things differently.”
Arestova’s career decisions were driven by her desire to look at a different aspect of technology and continue to build her leadership skills. “I’ve never had anyone at TD say no to me – TD has paid for internal and external courses that have helped build my skills as a manager and leader.”
Although Ahuja and Arestova have missed working in person with their colleagues throughout the pandemic, they have maintained connections through virtual coffee chats and community events, as well as video calls with their teams.
“I’m getting messages from colleagues saying they miss me,” says Ahuja. “There’s a genuine warmth and camaraderie when you work at TD – we’re like a family.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2021):
By Kristina Leung and Stephanie Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 1, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2021):
- TD Bank continues to evolve its approach to diversity and inclusion with a recently refreshed strategy and initiatives directed at the intersections of different identities -- additionally, the bank employs a dedicated talent acquisition team focused solely on sourcing, attracting and advocating for hiring talent from diverse communities
- TD Bank measures progress towards its diversity and inclusion goals in three primary areas: workforce composition, talent activities and metrics; culture and employee experience of inclusion; and customers' perceptions of the company -- the company has embedded diversity and inclusion questions into its annual pulse survey for ten years and asks employees to self-identify in order to enhance understanding of diverse employee experience
- TD maintains ongoing partnerships with Career Edge and Lime Connect Canada to hire persons with disabilities, and works with Specialisterne Canada to identify talented neurodiverse candidates
When I became a branch manager, I was one of only a few Black branch managers in Ontario. This leadership opportunity inspired me to get involved to help drive change forward. I joined the TD Black Employee Network because I wanted to play an active role and help other Black professionals develop and foster a successful career. I'm proud to work for TD. [...] It gives me a great sense of pride to be a part of TD and to know that everyone has the same opportunities to succeed." Clifton Flushy, Manager, Enterprise Relations and Internal Acquisition
TD delivers on change-making initiatives
As the world changed with COVID-19, Alicia Rose looked at how TD Bank Group could best help underserved communities and marginalized groups that were struggling during the pandemic.
Through her job as manager, strategic initiatives, global corporate citizenship, Rose helps oversee the TD United Way Employee Giving Campaign and the $10-million TD Ready Challenge grant program, advising on community investment funding and delivering on enterprise-wide initiatives.
“The TD Ready Challenge was created with the acknowledgement that the world is constantly changing, but change isn’t always positive for everyone,” says Rose. “Some people get left behind, so if we want an inclusive tomorrow, we have to take proactive and innovative steps today. A big challenge right now is COVID-19.”
In 2020, TD pivoted its entire $10-mil- lion TD Ready Challenge budget to address sustainable COVID-19 recovery, with available grants ranging from $350,000 to $1 million for organizations across North America working on solutions with a pandemic focus.
“We’ve seen increasing evidence showing how specific communities and populations are being impacted by the pandemic at higher rates than other communities and that the pandemic is exacerbating issues that already existed,” says Rose. “So we focused the 2020 Challenge on investing in innovative solutions focused on providing a more equitable recovery for those that have been disproportionally impacted.”
The heightened conversation around anti-Black racism was another key focus in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“There’s been a concerted effort to have a conversation around anti-racism and anti-Black racism within TD," says Rose. “We’ve developed resources for employees to engage in learning how to be a stronger ally as well as implementing processes to help us ensure representation and diversity from a leadership perspective. These conversations are happening in every team and department across the bank.”
TD has also invested $12.1 million in Black-led and Black-focused community organizations and over $5 million in Indigenous communities.
“TD recognizes this is a long-term journey,” says Rose. “It’s key to have people who have the lived experience at the table helping to make decisions on how the bank can best serve these communities across Canada.”
Girish Ganesan, global head of diversity and inclusion, says TD aims not only for colleagues to feel the organization reflects who they are, but for customers to feel TD reflects them and for the community to recognize that TD is working to help create conditions where everyone can feel included.
COVID-19 added additional challenges. “We’re focused on maintaining a sense of belonging and connectedness with our distributed workforce,” says Ganesan. “At TD, inclusion is top of mind as a guiding principle, with every decision we take. Last year, we saw the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on certain segments of society that had limited access to healthcare. This is one of the motivators for the launch of the TD Community Resilience Initiative to help support the nonprofit sector which works with these segments.”
Ganesan points out how diversity and inclusion is embedded across the employee lifecycle at TD, with business resource groups dedicated to Black employees, individuals with diverse abilities, minorities in leadership, the LGBTQ+ community, and women in leadership – each led by a senior executive sponsor.
“Diversity and inclusion are a key component of how we actually measure progress and performance in the organization,” says Ganesan. “We focus a lot on internal education and training which is built on the basis that it takes everyone within the enterprise to help build an inclusive workplace and learn how to be an inclusive and respectful individual.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Chantel Watkins, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 18, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2021):
- Employees across TD Bank volunteer for over 80 green teams across corporate offices and retail branch locations across Canada (and the United States)
- TD Bank's longstanding TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has provided over $90-million to over 26,000 local environmental projects since 1990 -- employees have been actively involved in numerous initiatives every year, including the flagship TD Tree Days, having planted over 433,000 trees since 2010
- Along with many green "firsts," from establishing a chief environment officer back in 2008 to being the first bank to issue a green bond in 2014 (followed by a bigger issue in 2017), TD Bank announced the impressive $100-billion investment program (by 2030) for the development of the low-carbon economy, including lending to companies and projects with low-carbon operations and supporting local environmental projects in communities across the country
TD Bank Group looks towards nature for inspiration
The names make you smile: Straight Off the Couch; Waist Management; Donut Disturb; 2Fit2Quit. That playfulness may seem unexpected in banking, but at TD Bank Group, it’s part of the fun.
These are just a few of the 179 teams, as well as 65 individuals participating solo, taking part in the Spring Fit Challenge, a TD Insurance (TDI) Green Teams national campaign to foster engagement. The initiative combines wellness with a Vibrant Planet, one of the drivers of the TD Ready Commitment, the bank’s global corporate citizenship platform focused on helping to create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.
Louella Machado, an analyst with TDI’s environment, government and industry relations team and a volunteer TDI Green Team lead, says the response to Spring Fit has been beyond expectations.
“We kept the ask very simple – a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity every day, which could be walking, running, yoga, Pilates, even line dancing – whatever works for them,” says Machado. “It can be inside, outside, individually, with their immediate family or virtually in teams. We have special prizes for those who show us how their physical activity connects with the environment, such as gardening or cycling to the store instead of taking your car.”
Participants share pictures and videos on the bank’s intranet to show what they’re doing, which has boosted morale at a time in the pandemic when many may be feeling a bit fatigued or disengaged.
“Work-life balance has become more challenging with most of us working virtually from home, especially for those with young kids,” says Machado. “So we’re looking at wellness and building engagement on green initiatives in a different way. The amazing response to Spring Fit made me realize people are looking for more opportunities to do something positive.”
Andrea Barrack, global head of sustainability and corporate citizenship, says COVID-19 really turned the bank’s normal environmental programming on its ear and inspired change. For example, its long-standing TD Trees Day campaign with employees and volunteers planting trees and shrubs in communities across North America couldn’t be held.
Instead, the bank launched a North American virtual campaign called Fall in Love with Nature, encouraging employees and their families to get outside with suggested activities to experience green spaces safely in their local communities while also promoting awareness of being environmentally responsible.
“If people can experience the benefits of nature, it helps them feel connected to their communities and more motivated to care for the environment,” says Barrack. “So then, maybe they want to get involved locally to protect park space or think about how much gas they’re using. Becoming environmentally aware can spark all kinds of other positive behaviours.”
More broadly, together the four TD Ready Commitment drivers of change address the interconnection of what it takes to help create the types of conditions needed for people to be able to succeed and fully participate in a changing world.
“I think COVID-19, followed shortly by the rising awareness of anti-Black racism, raised the bar across all of our stakeholder groups in terms of their expectations for what companies should be doing,” says Barrack. “We not only looked at our environmental programming and support for programs in the community, but also how we can help have a positive impact through our business.
“So, as an example, our decision to prohibit oil and gas development in the Arctic and for us to align with the Paris Accord and say, yes, we'll target net-zero carbon emissions commitments by 2050. We were the first Canadian bank to do that.
“We recognize there’s a real interplay between health, the environment, our communities and financial security,” adds Barrack. “They don’t exist in a vacuum.”