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Julia Kelly, vice-president, small business banking and segment strategy (left) and Darlene Osborne-Lawrence, senior manager, next evolution of work, at TD Bank.Provided

Fifteen years ago, while still a university student and part-time barista, Julia Kelly was drawn to TD Bank Group because of its focus on customer service and opportunities for growth across the organization.

“I felt that by joining TD, I could build a meaningful career around my passion for the customer,” says Kelly, now vice-president, small business banking and segment strategy.

Joining TD as a co-op student with the national real estate team in Vancouver, Kelly advanced through different departments including branch banking, credit risk and commercial banking. She received guidance from leaders within each team on how to help build her career and was assisted in completing external educational courses through the bank’s Tuition Assistance Program. Years later, Kelly herself is a leader at TD.

Darlene Osborne-Lawrence started her career at TD as a part-time customer service associate at a retail branch in the Greater Toronto Area. Now a senior manager in the Next Evolution of Work team, she says it’s the culture that attracted her to TD.

“It’s a caring culture that’s very inclusive,” says Osborne-Lawrence. “Walking into my neighbourhood branch, I could see representation not only of myself, but of various backgrounds. I liked seeing the camaraderie of the staff who worked together. It was apparent you could be yourself at TD.”

Now a member of multiple employee resource groups, including the Black Employee Network (BEN) and Women@TD, Osborne-Lawrence is actively helping to make an impact and support the career growth of colleagues across the bank while balancing her time as a caregiver at home.

“As a leader in the BEN professional development pillar, I would ask colleagues, ‘What help do you need?’ Then my team would leverage the feedback and create workshops to help address systemic obstacles and provide training resources.”

Back in Vancouver, Kelly also benefited from the support of leaders across TD. “I was encouraged to explore my professional passions,” she says. “It feels like we have a limitless number of programs for development – from internal learning pathways that can be customized by employees, to external courses.”

Through a bank-supported program, Kelly attended external courses to become a chartered professional accountant. “Adding new skillsets undoubtedly elevated my career,” says Kelly. “Many of my development conversations balanced the importance of skills and experience.”

Mentorship has also played a major role in Kelly’s career – whether it’s through one-on-one conversations or bank-wide programs. Now, as a leader, she’s passionate about supporting colleagues with personal career advice, group mentoring and panel discussions.

“That’s really what our culture is based on – caring about others’ success, because that means we can all move forward together as an organization,” she adds.

As a mentor to many employees across TD through the Each One Teach One mentoring program, Osborne-Lawrence helps junior employees and shares similar feelings. “Helping colleagues navigate their career paths, achieve their goals and complete different types of training helps us all move forward together,” says Osborne-Lawrence.

Although they’ve never crossed paths, Osborne-Lawrence and Kelly separately noted that the reason they love working at TD is their ability to make an impact, experience growth and be part of a caring and inclusive culture. It’s a culture that undoubtedly has helped TD remain one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 17 consecutive years.

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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