Left: Collaborative Team Awarded for Best Employer Branding

Left Wins Talent Egg Award for Best Employer Branding

MAPLE RIDGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 — LEFT, one of Canada’s Top Employers, was presented with the ‘Talent Egg Award for Best Employer Branding’ at the 6th annual Canadian HR Awards, held on September 12 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.

The Canadian HR Awards is the biggest awards event of its kind and brought together over 950 attendees for a packed evening celebrating excellence in the HR profession and recognizing the top employers, HR teams and professionals for their outstanding achievements and best practices.

The Talent Egg Award for Best Employer Branding recognizes the company that has developed, implemented, and participated in the most compelling Employer Branding initiative or campaign. Others nominated in the category included CGI CanadaKPMG CanadaLoblaw Companies LimitedMicrosoft CanadaCIRA and Uberflip.

Located in the suburbs of Vancouver, for years Left was one of the best kept ‘secrets’ as a top employer in the Lower Mainland — which created challenges for their recruitment efforts.

“In 2017, we experienced 108% growth while maintaining a 100% voluntary retention rate. Although these numbers were great, it became clear through discussions with our candidates that the most surprising piece of information they discovered about Left was that we simply existed,” said Tracy McDonald, the Director of Talent and Culture at Left. “To address this, in 2018 we increased collaboration between our Employee Experience and Marketing Departments. This award is a reflection of those efforts.”

Some of the campaigns that demonstrated excellence in delivering and communicating the Left employee value proposition include:

  • Inside Canada’s Top Employers: In 2018, Left was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for their HR initiatives and development opportunities. Left was the smallest company recognized, showing that you don’t need expensive programs to create an exceptional place to work. To spread this sentiment, they launched an ‘Inside Canada’s Top Employers’ campaign, a video series showcasing their unique story and programs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbQsig_ZXNQ&feature=youtu.be
One of the Inside Canada's Top 100 videos created by the Left team.
  • #LeftyLife: To highlight the Left culture, at the start of 2018, the Marketing and Employee Experience Departments made the decision to change their targeted audience on their social feeds from potential partners to potential hires. All content changed to provide glimpses of #LeftyLife to highlight their unique employee value proposition.
  • Make Your Mark: As a certified B Corporation, Left is committed to using business as a force for good. To measure their global impact, they selected eight United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that as an organization, they could advance. To help their team identify with the SDGs, they had each of them select and discuss the goals that meant the most to them. This turned into the 36-part video series that highlighted the caring and driven nature of the Left team.
https://twitter.com/This_is_Left/status/1131311129400094720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.embedly.com%2Fwidgets%2Fmedia.html%3Ftype%3Dtext%252Fhtml%26key%3Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07%26schema%3Dtwitter%26url%3Dhttps%253A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fthis_is_left%2Fstatus%2F1131311129400094720%26image%3Dhttps%253A%2F%2Fi.embed.ly%2F1%2Fimage%253Furl%253Dhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fpbs.twimg.com%25252Fext_tw_video_thumb%25252F1131311015667408897%25252Fpu%25252Fimg%25252FQfH8sXovUpydkMQt.jpg%2526key%253Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07
Example of the Left Make Your Mark campaign.

From the collaborative campaigns listed above and more, Left saw a 986% increase in job applicants, maintained a 96% employee engagement score, and were invited to speak at 43 events around the world. The marketing campaigns that led to this success predominantly focused on showcasing Left’s unique company culture.

“Our vibrant employer brand is a reflection of our amazing team that drives our culture,” said Marketing Manager, Amber McLennan. “The campaigns we implemented were a great opportunity to show our community what makes Left such a special place to work.”

The Canadian HR Awards is organized by Key Media, the global publisher of Human Resources Director (HRD) magazine, in partnership with Ultimate Software. Winners were selected by a judging panel of experts who independently reviewed the entries according to each category’s criteria.

HRD Managing Editor Emily Douglas said: “HR professionals are vital to the success of their organizations so it’s wonderful to see their hard work and innovative ideas rewarded on such a special night. I’d like to congratulate this year’s hugely diverse range of winners and nominees whose positive impact reflects the very high standard of HR and leadership right across Canada. It’s always a pleasure to cheer on the winners as they receive their career-defining awards.”

For the full list of winners and finalists and information, visit Canadian HR Awards.


About Left

Left is a B-Corp certified, Canadian multinational media and technology company committed to using technology for positive social impact. One of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Left has grown into a global team of over 120. Left Travel, a brand of Left, has been using big data, A.I., and predictive analysis to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings for hotels and short-term stays since 2010. With its mobile mesh networking project powered by blockchain and tokenization, RightMesh, Left is addressing the global challenge of connectivity — particularly in regions where the digital divide is greatest. Headquartered in the Vancouver-based suburb of Maple Ridge, BC, Left has offices, subsidiaries, and employees in Bangladesh, Switzerland, and the United States.

About Human Resources Director (HRD)

Human Resources Director (HRD) is Canada’s only magazine written exclusively for senior human resource professionals and top corporate decision-makers. HRD talks to leading HR practitioners from around the globe to produce an industry-standard magazine that supports both the business and best-practice functional requirements placed on HR leaders in their evolving roles. HRD is complemented by an award-winning website (www.hcamag.com) featuring daily breaking news, an industry forum and exclusive multimedia content, as well as sister publications in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.


Left recognized as a “Best For The World” B Corp for creating the most positive impact for their workforce

MAPLE RIDGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, SEPTEMBER 4th, 2019 — LEFT, a Certified B Corporation, has been named a Best For The World honoree in recognition of their relationship with their workforce and the significant positive impact they’ve created over the last year. Left ranks in the top 10% of all B Corps in the worker impact area on the B Impact Assessment, thanks to their corporate culture, work environment, worker health and safety practices, and other employee-centric policies and practices.

Best For The World recognition is administered by B Lab, the global nonprofit that certifies and supports Certified B Corporations, which are for-profit companies dedicated to using business as a force for good. Today there are 3,000 Certified B Corporations across 64 countries and 150 industries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business.

B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corp Certification doesn’t just evaluate a product or service, it assesses the overall positive impact of the company that stands behind it — like Left. Using the B Impact Assessment, B Lab evaluates how a company’s operations and business model impact its workers, community, environment, and customers. To achieve the B Corp Certification, a company must achieve a score of at least 80 points on the assessment. Left is proud to have scored 101.

“We’re incredibly proud of this year’s Best For The World honorees,” says Anthea Kelsick, Chief Marketing Officer of B Lab. “These inspiring companies represent the kinds of business models and impact-driven business strategies that are building a new economy — one that is inclusive, regenerative, and delivers value to all stakeholders, not just shareholders. To that end, B Corps like Left are redefining capitalism and showing that it actually can work for everyone.”

“We are honoured to be named a B Corp Best For The World honoree for our unique culture and initiatives that support our Lefties (employees).” Said Tracy McDonald, Director of Talent and Culture at Left. Our Lefties are the heart of our organization and this recognition highlights the culture that they’ve helped build over the last nine years. We recertify as a B Corp in early 2020, and we look forward to seeing the progress we have made as a team.”

1,000 B Corps from 44 countries were named to the 2019 Best For The World lists, including Patagonia, Beautycounter, Dr. Bronner’s, TOMS, Seventh Generation, and Greyston Bakery. The 2019 Best For The World honorees are determined based on the verified B Impact Assessments of Certified B Corporations. The full lists are available on https://bcorporation.net/.


About Left

Left is a B-Corp certified, Canadian multinational media and technology company committed to using technology for positive social impact. One of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Left has grown into a global team of over 120. Left Travel, a brand of Left, has been using big data, A.I., and predictive analysis to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings for hotels and short-term stays since 2010. With its mobile mesh networking project powered by blockchain and tokenization, RightMesh, Left is addressing the global challenge of connectivity — particularly in regions where the digital divide is greatest. Headquartered in the Vancouver-based suburb of Maple Ridge, BC, Left has offices, subsidiaries, and employees in Bangladesh, Switzerland, and the United States.

Contact: Amber McLennan, Marketing Manager; amber@left.io

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Lab’s initiatives include B Corp Certification, administration of the B Impact Management programs and software, and advocacy for governance structures like the benefit corporation. B Lab’s vision is of an inclusive and sustainable economy that creates a shared prosperity for all. To date, there are 3,000 Certified B Corps in over 150 industries and 64 countries, and over 50,000 companies use the B Impact Assessment. For more information, visit https://bcorporation.net/

B Lab Contact: Hannah Munger; Manager, PR & Communications; hmunger@bcorporation.net; +1 212–608–4150


Stay in Touch

To stay up to date with Left, please join our social channels:


What it means to be a B Corp

Why Left became a B Corp

At Left we believe that you need to know the score to be able to improve and succeed, that is why ‘Keeping Score’ is one of our core values. Whether it is knowing the daily sales stats or tracking community hours, it is important to know your metrics as we believe, that which is measured, gets improved. 

In 2015 we realized that there was a lack of data on parts of our business that were the most important to us, such as measuring our employee engagement and our global impact. The metrics we wanted to track were over time, not day-to-day or month-to-month, but year-to-year. 

To address this, we started by selecting a local company, Perked!, to keep score of our employee engagement and satisfaction. While this tool was leading us in the right direction, it didn’t track how we were making our mark globally or provide benchmarks with other organizations. 

It was while reviewing our fellow nominee for the 2015 ‘Technology Impact Award in Community Engagement’, Traction on Demand, that our Director of Talent and Culture, Tracy McDonald, saw the B-Corp logo for the first time. 

Reading through their website she thought ‘we could do this’ - it was exactly what we were looking for. Being a B-Corp would provide us with a way to ensure that we were doing things right. It would allow us to benchmark ourselves with other organizations, and over time, it would allow us to pick elements from within the scoring mechanism that we could work to improve. Becoming a part of the B Corp movement was a way to be a part of the change, and in our small way, help to champion that change.

In 2017, we were proud to have become a ​Certified B Corporation.

What is a B-Corp?

Certified B Corporations are organizations committed to doing business as a ‘force for good.' Certified companies hold a high standard of “verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”

As a collective, the B Corp community works to create a global cultural shift to redefine success in business with the goal of building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Becoming a B Corp

Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a tough milestone to achieve, and we're proud to have earned it!
Unlike other organizational certifications, the B Impact Assessment doesn’t only evaluate a product or service, it assesses “the overall positive impact of the company that stands behind it.” This happens through an evaluation and scoring of a business's impact in five key impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. To become B-Corp certified, companies must score a total of 80 across all impact areas. Left is proud to have scored 101.

The Left impact area score.

Although we're happy with our score, we recognize that being a B Corp is a commitment to abide by a high standard and seek constant improvement in everything we do. We’re always working to improve our impact areas and make a larger positive mark in our Community. We recertify in early 2020, and we look forward to seeing the progress we have made.

Why Left believes in B Corps

It is our goal to model growth without compromise. Where other companies are limited to maximizing shareholder value, we welcome the B-Corp requirement of maximizing “the value of all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, our partners, the community, and the environment.” This codification ensures that whatever twists and turns the company may take, all involved are assured that we'll live up to our brand promise: We are Left; we do things right.


About Left

Left is a B-Corp certified, Canadian multinational media and technology company committed to using technology for positive social impact. One of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Left has grown into a global team of over 160. Left Travel, a brand of Left, has been using big data, A.I., and predictive analysis to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings for hotels and short-term stays since 2010. With its mobile mesh networking project powered by blockchain and tokenization, RightMesh, Left is addressing the global challenge of connectivity — particularly in regions where the digital divide is greatest. Headquartered in the Vancouver-based suburb of Maple Ridge, BC, Left has offices, subsidiaries, and employees in Bangladesh, Switzerland, and the United States.


Stay in Touch

To stay up to date with Left, please join our social channels:


Inside One of Canada’s Top 100 Employers

Earlier this year, Left was honoured to have been named on the elite list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. The award recognizes companies that invest in their employees’ personal growth by offering unique initiatives, continuous learning, and development opportunities.

Left was the smallest company recognized, with only 36 Canadian employees at the time of entry. “Although a small company in comparison to others on the list, our heart is big,” said CEO and Co-founder, Chris Jensen. “We’ve demonstrated that you don’t need big, expensive programs and benefits to create an exceptional place to work — with innovation and progressive initiatives, any company can become a top employer regardless of size if you set your heart and mind to it.”

With that statement in mind, we want to share some of our ‘Lefty magic’ by giving a behind the scenes look into what makes Left one of Canada’s Top Employers.


Board Room

To start our #InsideCanadasTop100 tour, we bring you to the boardroom which reflects that 1/3 of our people are in Maple Ridge and the other 2/3 of our team are in Bangladesh. We use this room to conduct team calls to bring our global Lefties together.

 

The other special thing about this room is that it has our B-Corp certificate. We became a certified B-Corp in 2017, which means we're committed to use business as a force for good. It was a tough milestone to achieve, and we are very proud to have earned it.

Scrum Room

As a technology company, we practice agile methodology and use sprints to organize our workflow. We have our goals visually displayed to encourage cross-department transparency within the company.

Dhaka Room

Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh where over 18M people live and where Left has one of its two Bangladesh-based offices.  Like many evolving cities in emerging markets it is growing rapidly. Each year, almost 1M people are added. When you have that kind of growth, the infrastructure simply can’t cope. Healthcare, roads, connectivity - they’re all being strained.

A large part of what we’re building with the RightMesh project is about finding solutions for those in emerging markets. The Dhaka room reminds us of this, and the people we’re trying to help.

Disney Room

When we set up Left we looked to people we admired, and one of those is Walt Disney because of how he set up his business. In 1957, he had the foresight to imagine what Disney could be today. With Left, we have tried to do the same by building a company with a strong vision of lasting value.

10:10

Everyday our team meets at 10:10 am to share news, updates, wins, and most importantly, the numbers. We practice open book accounting, because we believe if everyone has a chance to hear the numbers, they have an opportunity to influence them.

Dream Program

Through our award-winning ‘Dream Program’, we help our Lefties identify their personal dreams, and we support each other collectively to achieve them. Whether an individual’s dream is to buy a home, be a digital nomad, achieve Permanent Residency in Canada, or something as simple as have the time to teach their kids to cook, we pool resources or tickets, conduct training, or find other creative ways to support each other. We believe that whatever the dreams, it is our obligation to help our Lefties achieve them because they are helping us achieve our corporate ones.

Library

Our library acts as a multipurpose room. It serves as not only a quiet place for our Lefties to work or read but is also a spot for our Lefties’ children to spend a few hours when they’re off school.

Standout Wall

We find that if we focus on our Lefties’ strengths, rather than their weaknesses, they’re more passionate about the work they're doing. That is why we use ‘Strength Finder 2.0’, an online resource that identifies 'stand out' traits. We display the results on our wall to show our team the best ways to work with each other based on our strengths.

Games Room

A few years ago, we realized we could spend a few hundred dollars on an okay boardroom table or we could spend the same money on a really, really nice table tennis table... guess what we chose?

Legendary Lefty Wall

One of our favourite unique initiatives, the ‘Legendary Lefty program’ was put in place as a way for Lefties to nominate their peers when they see them demonstrating our core values. Every month at each of our offices, one ‘Legendary Lefty’ is chosen from our wall of peer nominations and recognized in front of the team!

Core Values

The very essence of Left is reflected in our 10 core values which we’ve had since the company’s founding. We keep our values displayed on our kitchen wall to keep them top of mind and be the best we can be.


If you have any questions about our programs or initiatives, or if you would like to come see our office for a culture tour, please reach out to amber@left.io!


Left Launches New Website!

The Left team is proud to announce the rebrand of our website www.left.io! Built with our community in mind, our new site provides a clear message of who we are, our amazing culture, and what we’re building.

With our new clean design we’ve made the website more intuitive for our community and job seekers. We’ve also improved the structure of our content, so you’ll get more from scrolling our homepage, including our announcements, awards, and global goals for sustainability development.

We’ve refreshed our #LeftyLife blog to provide our community with updates into the going ons at Left. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, we’ve also included a live social feed stream from our Facebook.

Lastly, we’ve revamped our ‘careers page’ to provide insight into our culture and how we empower our global team to make their mark.

We hope that you like our new look, and if you have any feedback, please let us know on Facebook or Twitter.


About Left

Left is a B-Corp Certified, Canadian multinational media and technology company committed to using technology for positive social impact. Officially one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Left has grown to a global team of over 160. Left Travel, a brand of Left, has been using big data, A.I., and predictive analysis to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings for hotels and short-term stays since 2010. With its mobile mesh networking project powered by blockchain and tokenization, RightMesh, Left is addressing the global challenge of connectivity — particularly in regions where the digital divide is greatest. Headquartered in the Vancouver-based suburb of Maple Ridge, BC, Left has offices and employees in Bangladesh, Singapore and the United States. RightMesh AG, a Swiss registered fully owned subsidiary of Left, contracts the research and development of the RightMesh project to Left.


Stay in Touch

To stay up to date with Left, please join our social channels:


Women in Technology: Insights into the Gender Gap

Joanne Lott, Manager, Operations & Business Development for our Left Travel brand, shares her reflections on women in technology.

International Women’s Day provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the progress of female representation in the Technology industry today. According to Statistica, the percentage of women in the US workforce has grown to 46.8% overall. The Technology industry, however, continues to lag behind with female participation at less than 20%, and women’s wages are an average $16,000 less than their male counterparts. In an industry whose survival depends on innovation, this lack of diversity and persistent gender gap remains a problem.

My career in the Technology industry began 20 years ago, and I have witnessed some great strides in making the tech workforce better for women, but have also experienced some of the historical and institutional reasons why Tech remains a man’s world.

Challenges for women

Getting a job in technology remains unfairly weighted towards men. An overall cultural bias persists that women are not as competent at, or passionate about, technology as men. At times in my career, there were assumptions made that my knowledge and passion for innovative technologies came from the males in my life, and not from my own technical competencies. This bias limits the hiring of women and incorrectly posits computers and Tech as exclusively male domains.

Some misconceptions about gender roles also continue, such as the idea that caregiver responsibilities might interfere with women’s ability to do a good job. For example, while interviewing for a role at a mid-level internet company, the recruiter asked me who would be watching my children upon my return to work. Despite being highly qualified, the fact that I was a mother was perceived as a strike against my candidacy for the role.

After gaining entry in the technology workforce, women also face challenges in the content they work on and in the workplace culture. In many companies where the technology and entertainment industries intersect, for example, the content can be strongly gendered and sexist. I have also worked in environments that were more akin to fraternity houses — where posters of scantily-clad women hung on office walls. This environment made it challenging to lead with authority or feel empowered to facilitate or manage innovation within my team.

This ‘bro’ culture also has a negative impact on the important informal networks so critical to women’s career progression. Many raises and promotions occur because someone in the Executive layer advocates for the progression of a particular individual. Studies have shown that women, especially women of colour, have less access to these critical informal social networks, limiting the speed of their career trajectory compared to men.

Some technology companies also have corporate cultures or management processes that require long or unpredictable in-office working hours. Many start-ups, for example, expect a 12-hour daily grind and push employees to the point of burnout. Because many women are also responsible for childcare or care of elderly parents, these types of demanding work conditions limit women’s career choices. Some companies make untenable work hours a requirement, making women choose between time with their children versus continuing on their career path.

The challenges described above can provide some historical context into why gender diversity in Tech still remains a problem. These are just a small number of challenges that can detract women and girls from entering STEM fields of study, in order to enter the tech workforce in the first place. Some of these challenges might also contribute to women leaving the technology industry altogether.

Why does it matter?

Diversity is critically important in driving innovation. Having different perspectives and experiences is a key force in coming up with new ideas. Studies have shown that being with similar others leads us to think that we all hold the same information and share the same perspective, thus coming up with flat and shallow solutions. Research also shows that when we hear dissent from someone who is different from us, it provokes more thought than when it comes from someone who looks like us. Data and studies show that effective collaboration and creativity require a degree of agitation in order to be truly innovative; this is how diversity can contribute to new ideas.

Diversity is good for business. A uniform or homogeneous workforce can also limit the identification of market opportunities. Understanding consumer behaviour and design thinking are driving how products are made. Without diversity, many firms risk ignoring women’s perspectives when designing new software, online experiences, and products. For example, in the gaming industry in particular, a recent study shows that while only 22% of the video game industry is female, the gender split in playing video games is 45% female.

Additionally, according to the Anita Borg Institute, high performing companies have women in senior leadership positions. “Fortune 500 companies with at least three female directors have seen their return on invested capital increase by at least 66%, return on sales increase by 42%, and return on equity increase by at least 53%.”

What can we do?

Women have been trying for decades to give voice and address some of the challenges described above. Many technology companies continue to address these concerns and put into place policies that attempt to eliminate biases in hiring, salary, and workplace harassment.

Here are some things the tech industry could do more of:

Address the knowledge gap early

Companies like Left sponsor STEM coding camps and Girls Tech Hour of Code events to introduce coding and technology to girls early in life. This type of event can help girls by dispelling gender biases about technology and providing a level of comfort around innovative tools such as Virtual Reality headsets, open source code, and 3D printers.

Commitment by those in Leadership

Corporate Leaders can commit to gender equality and representation on all levels of their businesses. By setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as part of their formal objectives and planning, company leaders can set hiring targets to ensure women are equally represented in all areas — the Board of Advisors, Board of Directors, Engineering, Project Management, Product Design, QA, etc. Once onboard, companies can also invest in growing future diverse managers and leads by providing coaching, training programs, and promoting from within.

Executives should ensure their companies remove gender bias from their recruiting and hiring practices and pay scales. They can learn how to hire more women by understanding how other firms have done it. An example is “How Slack Got Ahead in Diversity”.

In order to retain talent, Managers should also ask women directly about what types of support they need in the form of policies or networks. For example, provide opportunities for women to build mentorship relationships with members of the Executive layer, which can help with women’s career advocacy. They can also create policies around remote and flexible work hours in order to empower women with challenging and unpredictable schedules.

The technology industry must embrace the concept that diversity enables innovation, and take concrete steps to hire more women, or they will fall behind in the business of new ideas.

Learn how to participate and support Women in Tech communities here:

https://www.techgirls.ca/

https://wearebctech.com/community/women-in-tech/

https://medium.com/women-who-code-community/find-your-tribe-women-in-tech-communities-1627d684d7ea

https://girlknowstech.com/women-in-tech-communities/

https://vanwit.ca/


About Joanne Lott:

Joanne’s career started in the Technology industry in 1998. Since then, she has worked for small internet start-ups, one large publicly traded corporation, and a couple medium-sized technology companies. In 2012, she put her career on pause to raise her children, and completed her MBA part-time. After a 5 year absence from the workforce, she is now the Manager of Operations and Business Development at Left Travel. She has two daughters.


Introducing Our New Data Scientist, Shariful Islam

Left Travel welcomes new data and machine learning scientist to global team

With recent global growth, including the launch of our four new international brands, Left Travel is growing our Data team to power our predictive analytics. Left Travel uses Machine Learning models to match the right traveler to the right destination, at the right property, at the right time.

We’re thrilled to announce the newest addition to our data team, Shariful Islam, as our Data Scientist. Although he only joined the team a short while ago, he has already started to make his mark on our organization.

About Shariful

Shariful holds a Master’s degree in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University (SFU), a Masters of Applied Science in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of British Columbia (UBC), and a Bachelor of Science from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. In addition to his degrees, Shariful has eight technical certifications, ranging from deep learning to sequence models. Over the past ten years he has worked at AIUB, UBC, North South University, the Art Institutes, and SFU, sharing his passion for data as both a lecturer and researcher.

A chat with Shariful Islam

Amber: Shariful, what made you look to transition from the education to private sector?

Shariful: After being in the education sector for nearly ten years, I was looking for a change. I took on technical contract roles in 2016 and 2018 which ignited my desire to work in a fast paced environment. I began looking for a role that would both challenge me and allow me create value within the industry.

Amber: Was there a particular reason that you pursued a career in the travel industry?

Shariful: It was a bit of a surprise actually. I was looking for a career in the tech industry, but it was the job description that was most important to me. I wanted a data science role that used machine learning and had growth opportunities. When I first saw the job posting from Left Travel, it immediately seemed like a good match for my career ambitions. As I learned more about the company, I saw that it was also a good culture fit. I really lucked out!

Amber: What made you want to work at Left Travel?

Shariful: In addition to the role itself, the team was a determining factor. They’re an incredibly driven group that is constantly innovating… I wanted to be a part of it.

Amber: What excites you the most about the year ahead?

Shariful: Left Travel has experienced consistent growth since its founding, and we’re on the path to have a record-breaking year. There is huge potential for me to use my skills as a data scientist to help increase that growth. Seeing the results of what we will do as a team is what really excites me.



Left selected as one of “BC’s Top Employers”

Maple Ridge Tech Company chosen as one of BC’s Top Employers in the country’s strongest job market.

MAPLE RIDGE, BC — February 21, 2019 — Left, one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, has been selected as one of BC’s Top Employers by Media Corp Inc. this morning.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers for 2019. This award is several years in the making and reflects the efforts of our wonderful team,” said Chris Jensen, Co-Founder and CEO. “It would not be possible without all of our Lefties who are the foundation of our culture and who make Left such a great place to work.”

Now entering it’s 14th year, the award celebrates employers that lead in their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Employers throughout British Columbia were evaluated by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement.

Left was recognized for its outstanding HR practices including its robust parental benefits, unlimited paid time off for community volunteering, and a culture that encourages a healthy work-life balance. The full magazine and the editors’ detailed reasons for selection are available online at: https://content.eluta.ca/top-employer-left

This award adds to a number of awards received by Left in the past year in recognition of their corporate culture and HR practices, including being named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

About Left:

Left is a B-Corp Certified, Canadian multinational media and technology company committed to using technology for positive social impact. Officially one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Left has grown to a global team of over 145. Left Travel, a brand of Left, has been using big data, A.I., and predictive analysis to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings for hotels and short-term stays since 2010. With its mobile mesh networking project powered by blockchain and tokenization, RightMesh, Left is addressing the global challenge of connectivity — particularly in regions where the digital divide is greatest. Headquartered in the Vancouver-based suburb of Maple Ridge, BC, Left has offices and employees in Bangladesh, Singapore and the United States. RightMesh AG, a Swiss registered fully owned subsidiary of Left, contracts the research and development of the RightMesh project to Left.

About Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach over 15 million Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, a large job search engine that includes editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project and is used by almost 8 million users in Canada each year. Mediacorp also hosts the Top Employer Summit, Canada’s largest conference for senior- level HR professionals.


For more information, visit www.left.io.

Press Contact:

Dana Harvey, CCO

1–778–929–3262

dana@left.io


RightMesh Hires Five New Members to the Development Team

The RightMesh tech team is continuing to expand to match growing development needs for our pilot project in Canada’s North and in preparation for our Soft Mainnet Launch. We’re pleased to welcome David Sheen as our QA Lead, Peter Dang as our Software Engineer Android, Xuan Luo as our Mitacs Intern, and Matthew Falkner and Penjani Chavula as our Software Engineer Co-ops.

About David

Our new QA Lead, David Sheen, joins RightMesh with over 18 years experience in software and systems testing. He has worked with both large organizations, such as Ericsson and Telus, and scale-up organizations, such as Function Point, to implement best in class processes and procedures. Having led multiple successful teams, we’re looking forward to what he will bring to the table.

I am looking forward to working on a team that can deliver such an important project as RightMesh. Being able to bring connectivity to rural regions is vitally needed. My being able to support the project by identifying issues and helping improve the level of quality and stability gets me really excited.
- David Sheen, QA Lead

About Peter

Peter Dang joins RightMesh as our newest Software Engineer. With experience as both an Android Mobile Developer and Web Developer, he is a double threat and a great asset to the organization. Peter’s previous roles have included working in fintech and integrating payment systems.

The Internet is currently only accessible to 35 per cent of people in emerging markets. Connectivity will help these nations accelerate progress, bridge the digital divide, and develop knowledge societies. I am looking forward to being a part of finding a solution.
- Peter Dang, Software Engineer, Android

About Xuan

Our new Mitacs Intern, Xuan Luo, joins RightMesh through our research project in partnership with Mitacs and the University of Guelph. Xuan is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree with a specialization in blockchain technologies, payment channels, and machine learning, from the University of British Columbia.

Throughout her internship, Xuan will be working closely with Dr. David Wang, Chief Micropayments Scientist at RightMesh, to work on payment channels.

Prior to pursuing her Master’s Degree, Xuan worked as a software developer for 6 years at notable companies including SAP.

About Penjani

Penjani is a Computer Engineering student in his third year at the University of British Columbia and is joining the RightMesh team as a Software Engineer Co-op. Prior to working at RightMesh, Penjani did an internship with Microsoft as a Software Engineer and worked as an Emerging Media (VR) Developer at the UBC Emerging Media Lab. In his spare time, Penjani also works as an Autonomous Navigation and Communication Developer with UBC Voyage.

I am really excited to work on technology that could empower millions of people through connectivity. Mesh-enabled applications that promote education, such as the sharing of resources, can make a big impact. It could be a wonderful platform for learning.
- Penjani Chavula, Software Engineer Co-op

About Matthew

Matthew is a Software Engineering Student at the University of Guelph and joins our team as a Software Engineer Co-op. Matthew first learned about RightMesh through the research work we’re doing in partnership with his school and Mitacs to improve connectivity in northern Canada.

Prior to working at RightMesh, Matthew did two internships with BlackBerry on enterprise solutions and automation testing.

I am very excited to work on something that hasn’t been built before! There are a lot of potential use cases, such as group discussion boards for communities on given topics enabled through a local mesh. Not all communities have an internet connection and it would be cool to give them the opportunity to have long form group discussions on the things they find important.
- Matt Falker, RightMesh Co-op


We’re very excited to welcome David, Peter, Xuan, Penjani, and Matt to our software engineering team. Although they only joined the team a short while ago, they’ve already started to make their mark on our platform and the organization as a whole.

We’re hiring! Learn what makes us one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers


ABOUT LEFT

We are Left, and we do things right. Officially one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, we are on a mission to use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. The biggest problem we have identified is connectivity. We believe that if the world could rethink connectivity, we could improve health outcomes, impact education, and lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. To solve this problem, we are developing RightMesh, a mobile mesh networking platform and protocol that uses technologies inherent in mobile devices around the world (Wi-Fi-, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth) to provide last mile connectivity where existing infrastructure cannot service or meet demand. Individuals are incentivized to share data through financial compensation afforded by blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies (RMESH).

We are also experts in A.I., big data, machine learning and predictive analysis for the travel industry. Focusing on the ‘Right’ traffic, our subsidiary, Left Travel, drives $450 million in gross travel bookings annually. Left is listed number 16 on Deloitte’s Fast 50 list for Canada and number 101 in North America on the Fast 500 list.

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Ashley Joslin Selected As One of Phocuswright's 35 Under 35 in Travel

Business Director of Left Travel, Ashley Joslin, has been selected to attend the Phocuswright Young Leaders Summit in Europe.

Left Travel, an industry leading metasearch travel company, is excited to announce that our Business Director, Ashley Joslin, was selected as one of Phocuswright’s thirty-five young leaders under 35.

Ashley will be attending the Young Leaders Summit, an event that recognizes the brightest talent in the travel industry. Throughout the summit she will receive executive development training through experienced guest speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities. This years summit will be held in Amsterdam in conjunction with the Phocuswright Conference.

Ashley will be joining Online Marketing Manager, Ryan Kirkbride, at the Young Leaders Summit, in the spring of this year.

About Ashley

As the Business Director for Left Travel, Ashley leads a global team with offices in Canada and Bangladesh. As the strategic director of the business and marketing strategies, Ashley has been successful in supporting and scaling her team to drive $650 million in gross travel booked annually through 16 international brands.

An advocate for gender equality, Ashley is the Founder of LeadHers (& Little Leadhers), an organization dedicated to encouraging women to pursue leadership positions through the act of storytelling. Ashley is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others and is a guest lecturer at Sauder School of Business at University of BC


About Left Travel

Established in 2012, Left Travel is an industry leading metasearch travel company. Our big data marketing engine uses predictive analysis AI to drive $650 million in gross travel booked annually. With access to over 14 million vacation properties in over 150 top travel destinations, we focus on the right data to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings. Left Travel presently has 16 brands, most recently Meilleures Locations, and Ferienhauser & Ferienvermietungen.

Left Travel is a subsidiary of Left, an award-winning BC Tech Company located in Maple Ridge.