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Diversity Research

Access to top-ranked, timely and insightful diversity research helps you understand workplace trends, current challenges and identify opportunities in promoting and supporting diversity in your organizations and communities.

RBC Sponsored Research Reports:

Outsmarting our brains: Overcoming hidden biases to harness diversity's true potential PDF (opens new window) (released November 2013)

Savvy business leaders know that having diverse teams is a competitive advantage in today’s fast-evolving, increasingly global environment.

Outsmarting our brains: Overcoming hidden biases to harness diversity’s true potential, a report by EY and RBC, states that even leaders with the best intentions may be unconsciously stifling diversity in their organizations.

Unified by a shared commitment to the power of diversity and inclusion, and a strong sense of purpose in creating opportunity and prosperity, EY and RBC have collaborated to explore the implications of hidden biases in today’s work environment. Guided by the insights of Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard University professor of social ethics and co-author of Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, EY and RBC share practical, meaningful suggestions that can help overcome the implicit blindspots that limit human potential in our world.


The Catalyst Series: Career Advancement in Corporate Canada: A Focus on Visible Minorities - Lead Sponsor RBC

Catalyst Canada partnered with the Diversity Institute of Management & Technology Institute at Ryerson University to launch a multi-year study focused on the experiences and perceptions of visible minority executives / managers / professionals and their colleagues employed in large Canadian organizations. Over 17,000 individuals, who identified as a visible minority or white/Caucasian working in 43 large publically, traded and privately held organizations and professional service firms responded. Five reports were released over a three year period.

  • Diversity & Inclusion Practices PDF (opens new window) (released February 2009)

    The report highlights programs, practices and initiatives in Canadian organizations that support development and career advancement for visible minorities considered by Catalyst to be promising “Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)” practices for others to follow. Examples include:

    • Establishing organizational practices which reduce stereotyping in the workplace such as providing diversity training for managers.
    • Addressing barriers which prevent visible minority employees from forming critical relationships such as establishing employee or networks or providing mentoring programs. The RBC Diversity Dialogues Reciprocal Mentoring initiative is featured.
  • Workplace Fit & Stereotyping PDF (opens new window) (released June 2008)

    Based on focus group results, this report examines how well visible minority employees felt they fit into the work environment, whether and how they perceived being stereotyped by others in the workplace, and how others perceived them as potential leaders.

    The findings also highlight how visible minority women may experience the workplace as a “double outsider” due to ethnicity/cultural as well as gender stereotypes. The lack of action and dialogue due to concern for “political correctness” is discussed.

    The report concludes with specific actions organizations, leaders/managers and employees, both white/Caucasian and visible minorities, can take to create an inclusive work environment.

  • Critical Relationships PDF (opens new window) (released November 2007)

    This report explores an important aspect of career advancement: the development of critical relationships, specifically having a network, a mentor and a champion. These relationships are frequently formed during informal networking opportunities and visible minorities, especially women, often feel excluded from these activities.

  • Survey Findings PDF (opens new window) (released June 2007)

    The report highlights the findings from the 17,000 respondents on their perceptions and experiences regarding organizational commitment, career satisfaction, career advancement and development, relationships with managers and colleagues, senior management commitment to diversity and recognition of foreign credentials. Findings included:

    • Organizational commitment across all groups is strong. Respondents are proud to tell others about their organization and intent to stay with their current employer.
    • Visible Minorities (VM) report lower levels of career satisfaction than their white/Caucasian colleagues. Individuals with foreign educational credentials were more likely to feel their education and training were being underutilized in their current role.
    • VM respondents (regardless of gender) experience the workplace less positively and than their white/Caucasian colleagues in some areas.
  • An Early Preview PDF (opens new window) (released February 2007)

    This report is based on the early findings of 6000 survey participants and focuses on the recognition of foreign educational credentials and career satisfaction among visible minority (VM) respondents. The findings indicated a significant proportion of VM respondents who have been in the Canadian workforce for on average of 12 years, who have educational credentials obtained outside of North America and/or Europe, felt their organizations did not recognize these credentials as being “on par” with equivalent Canadian degrees, diplomas and certificates.


Doing Disability at the Bank: Discovering the Learning/Teaching Strategies Used by Disabled Bank Employees PDF (opens new window) (released October 2007)

This report issued by the Ryerson School of Disability Studies identifies the informal learning strategies employees with disabilities use in order to be successful in a corporate environment. Over 70 RBC employees participated in focus groups and interviews. Some key findings include:

  • Individuals with disabilities feel fortunate to work at RBC.
  • The decision as to whether to disclose a disability remains a big issue.
  • Working for someone you can trust and who has personal or previous experience in working with disability makes a big difference in disclosing disability.
  • To facilitate integration, individuals with disabilities learn to hide their disability (whether it is visible or not).
  • Tension exists for managers between concerns for producing results while developing practices which support a disability agenda.

The Diversity Advantage: A case for Canada’s 21st Century
PDF (opens new window)
(released October 2005)

RBC released a major economic study entitled: "The Diversity Advantage: A Case for Canada’s 21st Century Economy” in 2005. The report, which outlines a hard-hitting case for a national productivity agenda, contains 22 recommendations ranging from tax and policy reform to ways the country should capitalize on immigration, gender and age diversity.


Diversity & Inclusion Blueprint 2020

Review our blueprint to find out more about our diversity priorities and objectives.

RBC Diversity Blueprint™

RBC’s diversity and inclusion initiatives are guided by the Diversity & Inclusion Blueprint 2020, which outlines enterprise priorities and objectives. Our progress to date is tracked in the (opens PDF in new window)2012 - 2015 Diversity Blueprint Report Card.