RBC International Women’s Day 2012 – Career Snapshots

Linda Mantia

Linda Mantia

Senior Vice President, Enterprise Services and Chief Procurement Officer
Office of Chief Administrative Officer & Chief Financial Officer


Why did you decide to enter the financial services industry? Was there a particular person or moment that influenced you?

Prior to joining RBC, I was a Corporate Securities lawyer and then a management consultant - in both cases, RBC was one of my big clients. I loved the size, the integrity of RBC, the global nature of the job, and the diversity of the team - so I joined when given the opportunity to be part of the leadership team.

If you were talking to someone who’s never worked in your RBC business group, how would you describe what you do and what you like best about your job?

The best part of my job is working with a team that is completely energized to drive change. We have a good mix of hands on execution and high level strategy - this is the most diverse job I can imagine. Our mandate is to drive enterprise optimization and support business transformation by leading activities that don't naturally fit within business/functional units. We have three key groupings - Enterprise Optimization and Governance, Corporate Real Estate and Professional Shared Services - that together annually deliver over $100MM in run-rate savings and over 500 initiatives.

What's been the greatest challenge of your career to date and how did you deal with it?

When I was working for RBC's International Wealth business, I transferred back to Toronto from living in the UK for family reasons. Half way through that move, the business strategy changed and I was asked to return to London but couldn't do it. As a result, I was out of a role for the first time in my career. I realized I needed to be patient, trust the organization and reach out and network. Fortunately, over time, things worked out well and I was quickly immersed in an exciting new area.

What's your definition of a great leader?

I'm always amazed at how different the approaches are of different leaders and how effective each style can be. The one common thread, though, is all great leaders seem to have the ability to unleash talent and bring out the absolute best in the teams around them. They do this by inspiring trust, sharing a common purpose and empowering people.

How about a great employee?

A great employee is someone whose enthusiasm for what they do is contagious, is curious about the activities around them, loves to learn and can be counted on to consistently deliver on commitments.

If you could travel back in time and speak to your younger self – what’s the best career advice you could give her?

To have as diverse a working experience as possible in the early, formative working years. Gaining as broad an experience as possible allows you to see what you really like, gives you data points to draw upon as your career advances and brings you a great deal of confidence to tackle work's surprises.

A lot of our readers have told us they would enjoy hearing a little bit more about your life when you're not at the office...

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

I love being on the water where our family cottage is - swimming, boating or kayaking.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

The Josephine Bonaparte collection.

Who’s your favourite singer or band?


Best vacation you ever took?

Our most recent trip to Africa - seeing the communities, being on safari, and having a few weeks of down time with my family.

Finally, who has been the most inspiring women in your own life and why?

My mother - she had so much courage in immigrating to Canada, trying to raise her family in ways that were very different than her life, and always having so much to give her children and grandchildren.