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Inclusive recruitment investments broaden the Bank's talent pools

TORONTO, March 23, 2023 /CNW/ - TD Bank Group (TD) reaffirms its commitment to strengthening its technology workforce by tapping into relationships with key recruitment and tech talent organizations, such as Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) and FDM Group, to continue to help build a strong pipeline of diverse talent and new colleagues.

The TD 2023 hiring goals build upon its 2022 announcement to hire over 2,000 technology roles with skills in DevOps, cloud, machine learning and automation, along with those trained and experienced in agile methodology, UX design and mobile. In addition to diversifying its talent pool and developing opportunities outside of traditional talent streams, the Bank is focused on upskilling current talent by giving colleagues the opportunity to work on both new technologies and standard industry tools being used globally, including Azure, Cloud and DevOps.

"Growing and empowering skilled technology talent is critical to helping drive our forward-focused strategy to deliver faster, simpler and better outcomes for our customers and colleagues," said Greg Keeley, Senior Executive Vice President, Platforms and Technology, TD Bank Group. "The technology industry has long been seen as a field that isn't diverse – but we're determined to change that. We know that the more our workforce reflects the diversity of our customers, the better we can help meet their needs. While there's still work to do, we're committed to intentionally building and diversifying our tech talent pools."

Creating new tech pathways

TD has built a well-established relationship with BPTN, the largest Black community of tech and business professionals in North America. Since 2018, TD has been the founding sponsor of the BFUTR Summit, one of the largest gatherings of Black tech talent across North America. In 2022, BPTN and TD launched the Obsidi Academy, a full-stack engineer bootcamp for Black-identified individuals to help launch their careers in technology with some of the top employers in Canada. This collaboration creates new pathways for Black professionals in technology, a space where they continue to be vastly underrepresented.

Late last year, TD welcomed almost 40 Obsidi Academy graduates as full-time hires from the program's first cohort who are Full-Stack Software Engineers at the Bank. The Obsidi Academy's second cohort is currently in progress, and TD plans to continue to hire from the Academy throughout 2023.

"Obsidi Academy is a first-of-its-kind change in how we invest in and hire diverse talent," said Lekan Olawoye, BPTN founder and CEO. "Too often, tech companies compete with each other using the same tools and talent pool. Obsidi Academy creates a blue ocean of top-tier talent, setting up Black professionals with the power to change their future and companies with highly skilled talent trained to make an impact on day one."

Continuing its focus on inclusive recruitment practices, TD launched a pilot program with FDM Group in 2022 designed to help "returners" restart their careers in technology at the Bank. The Returners Program targets people – predominately women – ready to return to the workforce after taking time off work for reasons including childcare, family leave or unemployment, and helps train or re-train them for technology roles. The first cohort of 10 people – six women and four men – have since finished their training and are now working as Scrum Masters implementing Agile principles within the Bank. Following the success of the first cohort, the program has grown to 59 colleagues with an expansion of training to include operational engineers, launching subsequent cohorts of Full Stack Engineers, Mainframe Engineers and Quality Engineering Tech Leads.

"Candidates who have a career break in their CV are often overlooked for roles," said Jennifer Weber, Vice President, Business Shared Services Technology at TD. "We are proud to work with FDM through the Returners Program to help launch careers in technology for participants."

Continuing to build inclusive talent efforts at TD
TD continues to leverage inclusive talent hiring practices – in technology and beyond – through strategic relationships with a wide range of diverse organizations:

  • Launching the TD Scholarship for Indigenous Peoples in 2023, administered by AFOA Canada to help students from Indigenous communities with their post-secondary schooling and work experience. Successful applicants will also receive summer internship opportunities at TD with additional opportunities to build their network through mentorship and career development programs.
  • Proudly sponsoring and presenting at the 2022 QueerTech Conference to over 400 2SLGBTQ+ attendees and allies interested in technology-focused careers. QueerTech's stated mission is to strive to queer the tech ecosystem, connecting and empowering 2SLGBTQ+ professionals.
  • Launching three neurodiversity hiring initiatives with Specialisterne, designed to help attract neurodivergent talent into a range of roles within TD. TD has successfully hired over 80 colleagues with Specialisterne since 2014.
  • Working with Strategio, an end-to-end talent creation service, to help support diverse talent through two-year programs ending with a contract to hire. Through Strategio, TD has empowered and hired technology talent specializing in cloud, DevOps, site reliability engineering, software engineering, quality engineering and business systems analysts.
  • Collaborating with Lime Connect, the world's largest network of high-potential university students and professionals who have disabilities. TD has been working with Lime Connect for 14 years and has hired over 140 colleagues to date across Canada. Lime Connect offers inclusive interviewing training for TD colleagues, while also providing career and mentorship support for candidates.
  • Launching the Black Talent Pipeline program in 2018 to recruit students from the Black community into internship roles at TD. To date, 173 students from this program have been hired in Canada.
  • Mentoring approximately 200 women through the ACCES Employment Empowering Women program. The program supports newcomer women in their career transition to Canada.
  • Working with The Honor Foundation in the U.S. to host over 250 colleague career conversations and interviews with Navy Seals who are transitioning from service to civilian roles.
  • Introducing an inclusive and accessible People with Disabilities (PWD) Student Internship program at TD Insurance in 2022 in collaboration with select post-secondary institution accessibility departments in Canada. TD is proud to continue this program in 2023.

"We continually seek ways to help build the most inclusive bank in the market that fosters a culture of care, inspires innovation and encourages respect," said Tim Clark, Senior Vice President and CIO, Commercial Platforms, Architecture & Engineering and Chair of the Platforms and Technology Inclusion and Diversity committee at TD. "Beyond hiring diverse candidates, TD fosters mentorship and sponsorship, supports employee resource groups and provides training opportunities to develop an ongoing culture of inclusivity."

Building Disability Inclusion for Canadians
In December 2022, The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced the creation of a Disability Inclusion Business Council (DIBC). The council is made up of business leaders from a wide variety of sectors across the country who are dedicated to promoting cultural change on disability inclusion in the workplace. TD is honoured to have Paul Clark, Executive Vice President, Private Wealth Management & Financial Planning, contributing to the council as Co-Chair, drawing from his expertise as the Chair of the TD People with Disabilities Committee for the past 14 years.

"I'm proud to be a member and co-chair of the Disability Inclusion Business Council to pave the way to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for all," said Paul Clark, EVP and Head of Private Wealth Management & Financial Planning. "I look forward to supporting the Council's efforts to promote cultural change and foster environments that are more accessible for disabled individuals."

Today's announcement is part of TD Tech Day, an annual event showcasing the Bank's unique innovation, technology and modernization story. This year's theme is inclusive innovation and highlights how TD is delivering technology and innovation to help drive inclusion for the benefit of our colleagues, customers and communities.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the fifth largest bank in North America by assets and serves over 27 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; Wealth Management and Insurance, including TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 15 million active online and mobile customers. TD had $1.9 trillion in assets on January 31, 2023. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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