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Performance Area: We’re improving Aboriginal workforce development through hiring, retention and advancement of Aboriginal employees across our businesses
Advancing meaningful Aboriginal employment at Suncor isn’t just about getting more self-identified Aboriginal people working at Suncor. To truly create lasting positive change, we need to build a culture of greater inclusion at Suncor. This means changing the way we think and act so that all diverse groups are respected, valued and engaged in our workplace.
We recognize that having Aboriginal people working at all levels and across Suncor’s business provides an important connection to other Aboriginal employees and communities across Canada.
Inclusive recruitment processes
Suncor enlisted the help of the Aboriginal Human Resource Council (AHRC) to conduct an independent review of our recruitment and selection practices. The AHRC report recognized the many positive activities taking place related to Suncor’s Aboriginal recruitment and selection efforts. It highlighted recommendations to strengthen attraction activities and to encourage Aboriginal candidates to apply for Suncor opportunities.
A number of these recommendations have been enacted:
- Suncor sends marketing to all local Aboriginal employment coordinators in the region to let them know about our current employment opportunities.
- Suncor has developed additional marketing tactics to reach this important talent segment Canada-wide, including partnership with the Aboriginal Link network.
- A Suncor representative visits local Wood Buffalo Aboriginal communities on a regular basis to review resumes, talk about what it’s like to work for Suncor and share additional information about education and training programs.
Aboriginal Employee Network
The Aboriginal Employee Network is a new employee resource group developed by and for Suncor employees wanting to play a part in advancing Aboriginal inclusion at Suncor, and creating a safe and supportive workplace culture for Aboriginal employees. Over 100 people joined the network when it was launched in the summer of 2015, and membership continues to grow steadily. The network is structured around four focus areas being advanced by small work teams called circles. Each circle has five to eight members from across Suncor’s business, who meet regularly to develop programs and initiatives in support of four key objectives:
- Aboriginal Community Circle: build a community of support for Aboriginal employees at Suncor
- Aboriginal Outreach Circle: develop a pool of Suncor ambassadors to Aboriginal communities, with a focus on youth
- Aboriginal Advisory Circle: create a way for Aboriginal employees to advise Suncor on how the company works with Aboriginal people
- Aboriginal Awareness Circle: to increase awareness and understanding within Suncor of Aboriginal experiences
Summer Aboriginal Student Program
For a number of years, Suncor has encouraged Aboriginal post-secondary students to apply for positions in our Summer Aboriginal Student Program. This program is part of our commitments to Aboriginal communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and we’re proud of the valuable work experience and exposure to the energy sector this program offers post-secondary Aboriginal students.
Connecting Aboriginal youth with employment opportunities remains a common goal of Suncor and the communities in which we operate. In 2015, we conducted a thorough review of the program’s successes and opportunities and will continue to identify areas to ensure that the students who are hired will be successful.
Our initiatives with Aboriginal workforce development are ways we have begun to change the way we think and act — the commitment we make in our new social goal — to strengthen our relationships, so that Aboriginal Peoples can play a larger role in energy development.
Measuring our progress
Some of the ways we’re going to measure our progress includes:
- Increase Aboriginal representation in our workforce by 50% by 2025 through increased self-identification of current employees and hiring of new employees.
- Eliminate the gap in retention and advancement rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Suncor employees by 2025.