I’ve seen the incredible power of empathy and its far-reaching impact on people and businesses. Throughout my career as an HR leader, I’ve aspired to support people–both personally and professionally–within financial services. Seeing this core value embedded into the DNA of Capital One Canada is what inspired me to take up the role of Chief People Officer.

I believe that an organization is best suited to meet customers’ needs and drive business results when the needs of its associates are understood and supported. Empathy begets empathy; when we take care of our people, they are better equipped to deliver innovative solutions that are rooted in empathy and care for their customers. This is the people-first culture we continue to nurture at Capital One Canada.

Prioritizing Well-Being

A people-first culture requires an investment in the associates’ well-being. At Capital One Canada, that comes in many forms. From supporting physical and financial well-being to social and mental well-being, which includes individual benefits like $3,000 a year for each associate’s mental health counseling (and an additional $3,000 for each dependent), as well as our Take Some Time leave that allows our associates to take up to six months of protected leave to volunteer, travel, or be with family.

" By reflecting on experiences and moments that drove you to make critical changes, this will continue to drive change and greater awareness for others! "

We also strive for systems change to reinforce a culture of well-being when we find and meet that sweet spot of enabling performance through flexibility. Our innovative benefits offering enables our business and associates to do just that. For example, Invest in Yourself Day takes a team-level approach to reserve the last Friday of every month for associates to focus on their development and self-care. This complements the work done by our associate-led Business Resource Group, 1-in-5, that creates an inclusive culture, breaking down stigma through mental health panels, weekly check-ins, and mental health training for managers, among other things.

Believing in Potential

Our people-first approach to business also drives our mission to help Canadians succeed with credit. We recently launched our Belief campaign to show Canadians that we are with them for the long term—to support them through life’s big and small moments. There is incredible power in knowing that there is someone in your corner. By believing in and challenging our people, we strive to help them unlock their full potential through learning opportunities that support their growth at every stage of their careers.

For recent graduates, we have an established Early Careers Program that provides training in high-demand skills like data science and analytics, process management, and software engineering. For people leaders, we have an always-on development agenda that centers on our philosophy for people leader success to include, empower and inspire our associates. We also offer tuition subsidies for all our associates through our Educational Assistance Program, which provides up to $5,000 per year to continue their education at a college or university. Additionally, we extend an annual subscription to the e-learning platform MasterClass, where I’ve personally enjoyed learning from Fortune 100 leaders about how to effectively zoom in and out when exploring big ideas and picked-up practical tips that I've been able to apply in my new role leading the HR operations for Capital One Canada.

These investments are a testament to our commitment to empowering the growth and well-being of our people. And while I’m incredibly proud of our work at Capital One Canada—to put people at the center of all that we do—I also recognize that it is an ever-evolving journey. I believe that transformative banking starts with people, and I feel privileged to lead this charge from the inside out.