October 31, 2007 — Corporate Knights Magazine's first-annual Leadership Diversity Index has ranked RBC second in the top ten Canadian companies that have achieved the greatest visible minority and female representation in both the boardroom and the CEO's suite.
The top performing companies in the index are as follows:
The findings also identify a failure in corporations to reflect Canada's demographics. Of the 140 surveyed, 75 per cent of boards of directors had no visible minorities, and 23 per cent had no women. There were no female CEOs.
But change is afoot, and RBC is one of the companies that are leading the way.
Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer for RBC, states: "If you want to serve the market, you have to hire the market.
"Yes, we've made progress, but are we there yet? No. We're not where we want to be-it's a journey, which is why we're continually focusing on diversity.
"I don't know that you can really make significant progress without having CEO commitment, as well as commitment from senior leaders. We have a diversity leadership council which is chaired by RBC's CEO, Gord Nixon. We review the goals and the results every quarter, and members of the council are senior leaders from across the company."
Background - How was the CK Leadership Diversity Index determined?
Using the most recent financial and proxy statements available, Corporate Knights examined companies in the S&P/TSX 60, the top 50 on the FP500 and/or ROB1000, all the companies in the Jantzi Social Index, the top 25 holdings of the Ethical Canadian Index Fund, and additional companies with significant operations in the communications, chemicals, utilities, retail, mining, oil and gas, finance, and forestry sectors. In the case of a subsidiary, the parent company's data was used. Titled "Minority Report," the analysis of the findings explains why diversity matters and looks at the best practices of diverse firms, as well as the challenges faced by non-white and/or female executives in today's workplace. As well, executives were asked for their advice for the rest of Corporate Canada.