2021 Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award recognizes HR professionals who are ‘lighting the HR community on fire.’ These young HR trailblazers hold the future of the HR profession in their hands and are the lifeblood of many CPHR BC & Yukon volunteer committees.
Get to know the three finalists for the 2021 Rising Star Award, sponsored by LoganHR.
Mandy Bhullar, CPHR – Finalist
Manager Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action Partnering
Early into her HR career, Mandy Bhullar found her “why”. In her words, it is her “relentless dedication to maximiz[ing] inclusion within workplaces”, and it is her positions within well-known companies and change-making non-profits that reflect her why.
Having spent nearly five years with Vancity Credit Union in a progressing set of HR roles, Mandy made the move to lululemon in 2020. She landed the company’s first dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Manager role, and she arrived at a time of rapid growth and unprecedented focus on these initiatives due to global events concerning racial equality. She now manages a team and plays a significant role in the expanding rollout of Diversity and Inclusion programs and business action plans.
In her short time at lululemon, Mandy has executed a number of new and significant programs for the company. She assembled a library of resources on Diversity and Inclusion topics and made it available to employees via the staff intranet platform. She also reached a high majority of the staff with an inaugural Employee Demographic Survey, which gathered facts and qualitative insights from the global workforce. She also created opportunities for employees of similar identities to connect, network, and share resources.
A BA graduate of the University of British Columbia and an alumni of BCIT School of Business and Media, Mandy has continued her education in Diversity and Inclusion by gaining several certificates in the field. Mandy has paired her professional accomplishments with continued community volunteerism. She is a current member for Vancouver-based Brands for Better, which seeks to connect and amplify initiatives for positive social and environmental change within companies. Here, she also serves on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.
Beyond these involvements, Mandy is an avid writer and blogs about the topics of her profession on her personal website. She has recently gotten involved with CPHR BC & Yukon and, prior to joining lululemon, offered freelance career coaching and consultation services on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Having found her professional fit early and run a great distance with it so far, Mandy is certain to keep affecting crucial changes for those entering the workforce and finding their way through it in a fast-changing world.
Allison Greaves, CPHR Candidate – Recipient
Human Resources Manager, Partner
Durwest Construction Management
A department of one in a construction company on Vancouver Island, Allison Greaves has built a reputation for proactivity and carrying her work all the way over the line at Durwest Construction Management (DCM).
Allison joined the project operations team in Victoria in 2014, and during her early years in the company there was no dedicated overseer of Human Resources. She made a case to the heads of the family-owned business that a HR Manager was needed for supporting staff at worksites and underpinning future growth. Her case was accepted and the position was hers in 2018.
Once moved into her newly-crafted role, the HR newcomer reached out to the worksite employee base with a first-of its-kind Staff Satisfaction Survey. The clearest need identified in the survey data was for improved knowledge and information sharing within the company, so Allison got to work on a fix. She spearheaded a new HRIS system so that documents, data, training materials, and current information could be accessed in a central place by all employees.
DCM was one of the first adopters of The Builders Code, a provincially-funded code of conduct for employees on construction sites in B.C. With the goal of ensuring work environments are safe and pleasant for everyone, Allison championed this initiative from the beginning and ensured that all DCM worksites received the standard training. Allison’s follow-through resulted in DCM taking home the inaugural Initiate of the Year award in 2019, with specific recognition of Allison’s efforts to increase the retention of tradeswomen using The Builders Code framework.
The company has seen tangible benefits from Allison’s work in the HR Manager role, including the improvement of worksite culture and the development of people who have not traditionally felt welcome within the construction industry. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Allison has remained an empathetic ear for staff struggling through pandemic obstacles, while staying on top of and communicating changing regulation and guidance from the Province on matters of Public Health.
One of Allison’s most noteworthy achievements in the HR field is the founding of BuildingWell, which aims to support good HR practices across the construction industry. When she is not at work, Allison is an active community volunteer, a devoted mom to two children, and a lifelong learner. When she is though, she can be proudly known as the newest and first female Partner of DCM as of January 2021.
Shannon Parker, CPHR – Finalist
When a technology company hits a growth phase, holding the team together is the difference between making it big or a total breakdown. Fortunately for FreshWorks, Shannon Parker has been developing leading-edge HR programs for the studio’s diverse team of software developers, designers, testers, and everything in between since 2017.
Shannon joined Victoria’s FreshWorks Studio as the first member of their People Ops department just before a period of quick expansion changed everything for the young company. Headcount tripled in three years, and it was incumbent upon Shannon, HR Manager, to quickly address the gaps that were forming. Turnover was high, and conversations with departing employees pointed to the urgent need to clarify roles, lay out advancement opportunities, and foster mentorship. Though she was relatively new to the profession, Shannon was more than up for the challenge.
Defining standard interviewing and hiring practices, as well as creating a clear onboarding process for the waves of new hires, were some of the first initiatives Shannon is credited with tackling in record time, without the luxury of consultants or lengthy guidance. Shannon grew a central repository of employee information, resources, and policies into the FreshWorks Playbook, an intuitive intranet which houses everything an employee should need to know during their employment.
Born from the feedback received from exit surveys, Shannon implemented a suite of coordinated internal touchpoints and transparency mechanisms, including 1-on-1 check-ins, pulse surveys, HR Office Hours, and open-door opportunities with the CEO and COO. These initiatives helped reduce attrition rates significantly and extended average employee tenure.
The contribution of a Career Development Program to FreshWorks is perhaps Shannon’s signature product. A blend of mentorship, performance management, and career planning, the program brought some quantitative clarity to a flat and nimble company structure. The numerous facets of the Career Development Program were instrumental in handling the load of FreshWorks’ growth.
Over the past few years, Shannon has become a regarded HR innovator and resource within the local business community. She brings her passion and skill to the broader Victoria tech world by volunteering as a Board member for iWIST (Island Women in Science and Tech) and mentor for Locelle’s Mentor Moments program. She has also assisted with mock interviewing at Camosun College and UVic and mentors at the Junior Achievement BC Techworks’ Annual Women in Technology Event. With Shannon on the team, FreshWorks is on course to continue innovating for years to come.
The 2021 Rising Star Award is sponsored by:
Learn more about CPHR BC & Yukon’s Professional Awards