I've been working at ICBC around two years now. It is my first role in the public sector, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
ICBC is an extremely well run organization, particularly when having to operate within the constraints of government direction. Independent audits by big 4 firms have confirmed this on two occasions in recent years.
Flexibility, culture and management style varies greatly by role and division. Within HR it's excellent. More than half the roles are filled internally, so there are always opportunities to grow and develop. The organization is genuinely committed to a diverse and inclusive and respectful workplace - all managers undergo annual training and pass this along to their teams every year. Similarly there is a large focus on sustainability, and the organization operates carbon neutral - some achievement for this industry.
Lots and lots of great people; many in our department would be able to earn far more in the private sector, but stay due to the variety of work, flexibility, stability, and positive work environment.
The biggest frustrations for me are:
1. The ridiculous salary freeze in place for non union employees since 2012, enforced by PSEC our governing body.
2. The dated technology used in some areas of the business - we use a version of SAP that may pre-date the internet...