RBC International Women’s Day 2013 – Career Snapshots

Kellie Sauriol

Kellie Sauriol

Regional Vice President, Etobicoke
Canadian Banking, Greater Toronto Region


How did you get to be where you are today? Was there a particular person or moment that influenced you?

I have been fortunate to have been exposed to numerous areas of the business throughout my career which has provided me with a deeper understanding of our clients, our organization, our strengths, and how we can leverage these in the market. Being prepared to take the career risk to experience these different roles in various parts of RBC was one of the most important career decisions I've ever made. I have also benefited from working with so many talented colleagues and leaders at RBC – so many of these people have, and continue to, influence my style and development as a leader.

Last, but certainly not least, my family has always been an important influence on my development as a person and a leader.

As a successful business woman what are some of the challenges and/or opportunities you face in your career or line of business?

I believe the most significant challenge for business leaders today is balancing short and longer term priorities. If you're not careful, it is easy to get caught up in just delivering on the short term demands of the role. I try to build time into my schedule to reflect and prioritize my time to ensure I'm remaining focused on our longer term priorities. Surrounding yourself with a highly engaged and capable team is also critical to the success of any leader.

What advice would you give a younger woman who is at the start of her career?

I feel proud to make my career with an organization where diversity is not only practiced, it's celebrated. As such, my advice would be no different for women or men. Find work you enjoy and that allows you to leverage your strengths; seek out constructive feedback from people you trust; don't be afraid to try new things; build strong relationships both inside and outside RBC; and last but not least, take time to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments.

Tell us about a situation where you have contributed to your community – personal or professional. What impact did it have on others and yourself?

I have worked with several not-for-profit organizations over the years and have always found these experiences to be personally and professionally rewarding. Personally, I feel a great deal of gratitude for the experiences and opportunities I've been given so it feels great to give back in any way I can. Professionally, I love the breadth of learning you enjoy by working with community organizations. I currently work with a wonderful organization, Child Development Institute, and I get to participate in almost every element of the organization's work - including strategy, marketing, branding, human resources, finance, and governance. This kind of diversity in work is not only interesting, but also challenging and developmental.

Aside from spending time with family and friends, what’s your favourite thing to do when you have time to yourself?

Sports have always played an important role in my life. Not only are they fun but they help you stay fit and learn so many powerful lessons that carry through to other parts of your life. In addition to general fitness, in the winter I enjoy skiing and snowboarding and my sister and I took up playing hockey last year which has been a lot of fun. Although I enjoy participating in sports, my favorite sporting-related activity is definitely watching my niece and nephew play soccer and hockey.

Aside from sports, I have always been passionate about all things food. I really wanted to be a chef when I was younger but when it was time to start to make career decisions I realized it was probably a better hobby for me, and I'm glad I did!

Finally, any comment, words of advice or quote you live your life by and would like to share?

My father has always taught me to work hard, be the best I can be, and to take your responsibilities very seriously while at the same time never taking yourself too seriously. These have always been words I've tried to live by.