At RBC Wealth Management-U.S. (RBC WM-U.S.), diversity and inclusion have been a part of our culture for well over 25 years. Our efforts started with building cultural awareness and mutual respect for differences with the introduction of our Human Touch art collection. Displayed throughout the Minneapolis-based corporate headquarters, Human Touch incorporates diversity within the firm in a non-threatening way, introducing employees to different ideas and values. A year later, our first Employee Resource Group – the Women’s Association of Financial Advisors – was formed.
Today, our diversity and inclusion strategy is framed by the overarching global RBC Diversity Blueprint, which focuses on three priorities: Talent and the Workplace, the Marketplace, and the Community. The company strives to be a recognized leader in workforce diversity, to be the financial institution of choice for diverse clients, and to leverage diversity for the growth of RBC and the success of the clients and communities the firm serves.
“If your business is a place where people feel they can come every day and be fully themselves – authentically who they are – engagement levels are higher, which leads to all sorts of positive outcomes,” said RBC WM-U.S. CEO John Taft. “In our case, it means better client service, which means higher client satisfaction.”
Taft sets the tone through his active, visible involvement in diversity and inclusion within the firm and the local community. Following his lead, 95 percent of the firm’s most senior leaders are directly involved in diversity initiatives. Those leaders, including Taft, are executive sponsors for the firm’s employee resource groups or members of the 21-person RBC WM-U.S. Diversity Leadership Council, which sets the goals, supports diversity initiatives, and drives change through inclusive leadership practices. In 2013 and 2014, the council was named to the Top 25 U.S. Employee Resource Groups/Diversity Councils by the Association of Diversity Councils.
In recent years, the firm modified the non-discrimination policy to include gender identity and gender expression, added transgender guidelines and medical benefits for transitioning employees as well as benefits for employees’ same- and opposite-sex domestic partners. In 2014 – for the fifth time – RBC WM-U.S. received a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and recognition as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”
In 2013, the RBC enterprise started on a four-year journey to address unconscious bias by focusing on the direct engagement of key leadership segments to ensure champions and change agents have the enhanced capabilities necessary to model bias-free behaviors and encourage teams to engage in developmental opportunities to motivate change.
As we continue to move our efforts forward, the executive leadership team has the ability to track diversity progress through the quarterly Diversity Scorecard, which measures both qualitative and quantitative progress. Additionally, the annual Employee Opinion Survey also includes a series of diversity and inclusion questions that measure employees’ views of inclusive conditions.
“Our focus on diversity is so critical because global demographics are becoming increasingly more diverse,” said Joe Fleming, Chief Compliance Officer and executive chair of the RBC WM-U.S. Diversity Leadership Council. “To help achieve our business goals, and to better reflect the clients and communities we serve, it is important to cultivate and maintain an environment of inclusion and to recruit and retain top diverse client-facing professionals.”
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