A recent survey of more than 16,000 Canadian university and college students rated our very own David Suzuki Foundation as one of Canada's Top Campus Employers. We were #10!

But really, you don't have to work at the David Suzuki Foundation to do meaningful work (although I highly recommend it). You can bring your values to any workplace, and you should.

Not long ago we realized that employees were looking for this very type of information- how to become more engaged at their workplace. After all, you are spending hours and hours there, right? It's practically a second family. Up and coming generations also seem less interested in "sucking it up" (as your mother might say) — they want their employer to have values much like their own.

That's one of the reasons we created the David Suzuki at Work Toolkit. Download the toolkit and get a little David Suzuki vibe in your work place!


Cream of student job seekers shoot for strategic positions
Saturday, November 21st, 2009
Canwest News Service

Andrea Belvedere is a go-getter. A marketing major at Ryerson University in Toronto, she also devotes considerable time to Students in Free Enterprise and the Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute. Top of mind, though, for the 22-year-old who will finish her studies in December is the type of job she hopes to land and the characteristics she'd like to see in her employer.

"My top priority is to find interesting, engaging work," says Belvedere. "I'm not necessarily concerned about the title. I'm concerned about the ability to grow and develop. Opportunities and challenges excite ment. . . .

"I'm willing to invest myself in a company if they are willing to invest in me. I've heard people use the expression, 'You don't owe anybody anything', but I completely disagree with that. I think that if an employer offers you something worthwhile and that you can excel in, then absolutely you owe that organization your best."

She plans to focus on the not-for-profit sector, where she has experience. "I have worked at companies where there are a lot of volunteer efforts, initiatives to give back, and that interests me because I spend a lot of time volunteering. If a company does nothing on this front, I would see that as an opportunity to introduce that component to them."

Belvedere's thoughts and goals are mirrored in the findings in Canada's Top Campus Employers, a recent survey of more than 16,000 Canadian university and college students conducted by the research and consulting firms Brainstorm Consulting and DECODE.

"This is the sixth year for the survey and our findings have been consistent," says Graham Donald of Brainstorm Consulting in Victoria, B.C. "We know that the opportunity to do something good, useful and meaningful for others is incredibly strong among this generation. No previous generation has been as interested in volunteering and giving back."

The findings show three for-profit companies cracked the list of top 10 employers identified by this year's respondents: Google, Apple and Microsoft. The top employer brand was the Government of Canada, followed by provincial and municipal governments. The list also includes Health Canada, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the Canadian Cancer Society and the David Suzuki Foundation. In addition to providing insights into students' career goals, the survey upends views of a generation typically viewed as entitled, dedicated to the short-term and unwilling to work hard, says Donald.

"The fact is the kinds of things that are meaningful to them are things we all value. The difference is they are willing to ask for them."

"Generally speaking, this generation is strategic and has a very specific list of criteria that have to be met by employers," says Eric Meerkamper of DECODE in Toronto. "They want work that's interesting; they insist on work-life balance; they want great people to work with — this is even more important than who they work for — and job security. They consider these before they worry about what the salary will be."

Since the survey launched in 2004, one of the key myth-busting trends to emerge is the desire for job security. When asked: Do you believe if you work hard and are loyal to an employer they will be loyal to you? A majority, 71 per cent, say yes. What's more, 53 per cent of respondents say they would like to find one employer where they can spend their entire career — an option Belvedere, for one, finds appealing.

"Employers who aren't asking new recruits about long-term plans are missing an opportunity to develop long-term employees," says Meerkamper. "These students are attracted to a stable company that can provide opportunities for learning and training. They are very rational and draw a line from that stability to a healthy work-life balance. The Government of Canada ticks all the boxes for many of the respondents for that reason."

The onus, says Donald, is on the employer to create a workplace that a young person can be loyal to. "We know we are going to have a labour shortage as people retire. Employers need to embrace what these young people are about, knowing that it is going to be good for all of us."


1. Government of Canada
2. Provincial government
3. Health Canada
4. Google
5. Apple
6. The Hospital for Sick Children
7. Municipal government
8. Microsoft
9. Canadian Cancer Society
10. David Suzuki Foundation

November 24, 2009

Post a comment

The David Suzuki Foundation does not necessarily endorse the comments or views posted within this forum. All contributors acknowledge DSF's right to remove product/service endorsements and refuse publication of comments deemed to be offensive or that contravene our operating principles as a charitable organization. Please note that all comments are pre-moderated. Privacy Policy »