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RBC Media Statement: Actions Against Systemic Racism

TORONTO, July 6, 2020 — At RBC, we acknowledge wide-spread systemic racism has disproportionately disadvantaged Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) for far too long, significantly impeding the ability of those communities to compete equally in opportunities for economic and social advancement. Our Purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper is core to who we are as an organization, and can only be achieved when everyone has an equitable opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. We also know we’re not immune from systemic bias and racism, and we believe we have more work to do to better understand, identify and address issues that impede the success of Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups in our workforce.

Diversity and Inclusion has been a cornerstone of our Values for years. We have made progress against some of our goals, but there is more to be done. Today we’re taking direct actions to tackle issues of inequity and systemic bias.

Enabling Economic Growth and Wealth Creation
The Financial Services industry plays an important role in enabling economic mobility and prosperity, and small businesses are the engine of that growth.

Alongside our existing commitments to Indigenous communities, we’re committing $100 million over five years in small business loans to Black entrepreneurs. As part of that commitment, we’ll also establish a program to bring business, marketing, digital experts and community leaders together to share ideas and best practices to advance growth for Black owned businesses.

Investing in the Future
Ensuring the leaders of tomorrow have equal opportunity today is critical to building more inclusive companies and communities that can achieve their greatest potential.

We’re committing to invest $50 million from now up to 2025 through RBC Future Launch to create meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for 25,000 BIPOC youth with investments in areas such as skills development and mentoring.

Internally, we’re committing 40% of all summer opportunities to BIPOC youth, with a specific focus on recruiting from Black and Indigenous communities, to bring broader perspectives to our teams and create career opportunities for a more diverse group of students. We will also establish and measure annual internship and new hire goals for Black and Indigenous talent in Canada, the US, and the UK as applicable beginning in 2021.

Redefining Inclusive Leadership
The only way we can truly represent the communities we serve and harness the potential of our diversity is to grow the number of BIPOC leaders across our bank.

We’re starting with enhancing our existing company-wide Unconscious Bias training, and making anti-racism and anti-bias training mandatory for all employees.

We’re increasing our staffing goals for BIPOC executives from 20% to 30% with a focus on increasing Black and Indigenous representation to accelerate the diversity of our leadership pipeline for senior executive roles. We will also double our investment in Ignite, a leadership program focused on driving the development of BIPOC talent, to complement other experience-based development opportunities.

To ensure these commitments are realized, we’re including diversity and inclusion objectives in the performance management goals of all people leaders, and will further expand our annual diversity reporting beginning in 2021 to drive even more transparency on our BIPOC efforts, including enhancing our pay equity reporting to encompass racial and ethnic pay equity analysis.

As one of Canada’s largest companies and a global organization, we have an opportunity and business imperative to put our collective energy toward positive, sustainable change. Our goal is to create a more equitable future, remove biases and barriers, and expand opportunities for BIPOC clients, colleagues, and communities to prosper.

These actions are part of an ongoing commitment to Diversity and Inclusion – to redefine inclusive leadership at our bank, and support economic growth and wealth creation for BIPOC youth and communities. Over the coming months, we will continue to listen, take feedback and evolve our response. We know we can do better to drive meaningful change at RBC and inspire progress in our communities. And we will.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.‎

These actions complement RBC’s June 6 announcement of a $1.5 million commitment to provide direct support to Black communities.

To learn more about our diversity priorities and objectives visit rbc.com/diversity-inclusion.

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For more information, please contact:
Andre Roberts, 416-313-7436