Report on Sustainability 2019

Partnerships and collaborations

Women Building Futures

Suncor is working hard to attract and recruit mature, motivated women with the confidence to work at Suncor mine operations. Our partnership with Women Building Futures (WBF) helps us find women with these qualities.

In 2013, Suncor approached WBF to create and deliver a program that would help engage women in the workplace and build a pipeline of female heavy equipment operator candidates.

The program was designed to provide participants with essential safety certification, productivity awareness, and workplace culture training to prepare them to enter a three-month paid co-op term to become heavy equipment operators at the Millennium site.

15th year partnering with Women Building Futures
Participants of the Women Building Futures program

During the co-op term, participants receive ongoing training and coaching from WBF and Suncor to support learning and cultural integration. Upon successful completion of the program, employment assistance and job retention support are provided to ensure long-term success for the graduate.

In 2014, Suncor and WBF launched their first customized program for Millennium site. As of February 2018, four classes have graduated and the fifth program concluded in May 2018. The program was also extended to Fort Hills, with one class completed and the second that began in November of 2017.

Women Building Futures program toured a Suncor site
Apprentices from the Women Building Futures program touring a Suncor site

So far, this partnership has resulted in 66 women hired at Suncor. Of those women who graduated, 15% were Indigenous. The average wage increase for graduates was 112%, which significantly impacted the lives of the women, their families (including 40 children), their communities and beyond.

Through the WBF program, Suncor hired 30 female heavy equipment operators in our Oil Sands operations and eight in Fort Hills, and four heavy equipment technicians in 2017.

Suncor, through the Suncor Energy Foundation and Community Investment, has been a program partner since 2004. To date, our total commitment to WBF has been $3.4 million.

Indigenous Workforce Development

We foster collaborative relationships and partnerships with communities, external organizations, educational institutions, and Suncor leaders and employees to co-create initiatives and practices that increase our workforce representation of Indigenous Peoples, as well as support the advancement and retention of Suncor’s Indigenous employees. We recognize we can continue to do more work in this area, and continue to listen, learn and engage with others to make positive changes.

Our Indigenous workforce development adviser works directly with Indigenous communities in Alberta’s Wood Buffalo region to understand community needs and initiatives, share information on Suncor’s workforce needs, and collaborate with others to strengthen the employment readiness of potential Indigenous candidates.

The adviser also provides insights, advice and Indigenous wisdom to Suncor leaders and teams across the enterprise, to help them build trusting relationships in local Indigenous communities, support Indigenous inclusion in the workplace, and ensure people processes, programs and strategies support Indigenous inclusion.

Workforce development

Creating a great place to work for everyone includes attracting Indigenous students and female employees to our company. We offer a Summer Aboriginal Student Program and support dedicated programs for women in the trades.

The Summer Aboriginal Student Program

Suncor provides Indigenous students with meaningful work experience across our operations in Canada every year from May to August.

Volunteering students from Suncor's Summer Aboriginal Student Program
Student volunteers from our Summer Aboriginal Student Program at a Calgary Indigenous Awareness Week event

Early Talent (students and new graduates)

In 2018, we hired more female candidates into student and new graduate roles, from 29% in 2017 to 32%.

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Recommended readings
Social goal
Stakeholder and Indigenous relations
Improving Indigenous workforce development