Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 8, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Visa Canada Corporation was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
- Visa Canada offers a full suite of financial benefits, from year-end bonuses to a share purchase plan -- and helps employees save for the future with a defined contribution pension plan and matching RSP contributions
- Visa Canada Corporation invests in the well-being of its employees, offering a wellness spending account of up to $750 for sports, fitness equipment, personal trainers or other hobbies, as well as over $1,000 annually for mental health practitioners
- Additionally, Visa Canada Corporation promotes a healthy work-life balance through a Wellbeing Hours program, giving employees Friday afternoons off during the summer -- and recently introduced a policy giving employees the flexibility to work from another location for up to four weeks in a year
An inclusive culture gets full credit at Visa Canada
Over a lunch hour or sometimes at the end of a work day, Tasha Ismail engages her co-workers with deep dives into hard questions concerning inclusion and diversity (I&D), maybe focused on a book or movie or something in the news.
Ismail, director of government engagement at Toronto-based Visa Canada, has a passion for social equity. So when she joined Visa in 2021, she quickly became involved in I&D committees, both as an opportunity to meet people and as a way of driving change. The committees are composed of employee volunteers from all units and levels across the office.
“We work together to coordinate events and programs that educate and engage the team about social equity and I&D,” says Ismail. “Sometimes it’s internal, such as our culture club, which provides a safe space for open discussion, or external as in our visionary series, where we invite leaders to talk about their personal and professional journeys.
“I feel we’ve really had an impact on the people in our office with our initiatives, whether through having good conversations, providing education and training or just celebrating together, to make it more inclusive.”
There have been many speakers in the visionary series, which is so popular that it’s recorded now so employees who can’t attend live can watch later.
“As a person of colour, you see yourself in their journey,” says Ismail. “That’s what the visionary series is about – bringing in people who are successful telling their stories about overcoming challenges. It’s very motivating.”
President & country manager Stacey Madge came to Visa Canada after a retail banking career where she worked with people from 30 different countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. She says these experiences helped her recognize the value diversity brought to the engagement of people and their performance in business.
“Our vision is to ensure that our talent is really representative of the great cultures that make up our city and country,” says Madge. “It’s about celebrating the uniqueness of our different cultures and building understanding among our people of different backgrounds.”
As Visa Canada has grown, she says, the company has brought people in from other countries and different cultures to work in the Canadian office, and in global roles outside of Canada, so it has really been able to benefit from all these diverse candidates.
“The biggest beneficiary of building diversity at all levels, including leadership and team diversity throughout the entire organization, is in diversity of thought,” says Madge. “What I found is that we have a culture where the quality of ideas has significantly improved and the willingness of people to challenge the status quo and introduce brand new ways of thinking is much greater.”
Challenging the status quo is something Madge encourages, but first it’s essential to have a culture where people feel differences are respected and are comfortable to truly be themselves.
“As leaders, we need to be observant in a room as to who’s talking and who’s not talking, and ensure you’re being inclusive,” says Madge. “Watch out if people are only telling you good things. You want people to feel comfortable raising topics that may be difficult. It’s one of the best ways to make an organization better.”