To achieve a diverse and inclusive workplace, we must be able to speak openly and honestly about topics such as bias, discrimination, racism, disability and inequality. Yet we recognize these can be uncomfortable conversations to have. People may be afraid of saying the wrong thing, inadvertently offending a colleague or mispronouncing a name. Once we recognize that we are all in this D&I journey together, we can have uncomfortable conversations and put the hard issues on the table, create opportunities for acceptance and build an inclusive culture for all employees.
Leading with empathy and creating safe spaces
Strengthening inclusive-leadership capabilities
Listening to our employees
“To achieve a truly inclusive culture in the workplace, we must create a sense of belonging and an environment where employees feel safe to speak up at all times. We have made significant progress, but we aren't done yet. I look forward to building on this momentum, having the hard conversations and driving a truly inclusive culture at RBC.”
Chinyere Eni-McLean, Regional Vice President,
Commercial Finance Services
How RBC is Strengthening Inclusion
Strengthening inclusive-leadership capabilities
To strengthen inclusive-leadership capabilities of all our employees, regardless of their position, we deliver programs and initiatives focused on three primary areas:
- Raising Employee Awareness
- Encouraging Employee Engagement
- Developing Relevant and Meaningful Learning Opportunities
- Accessibility Plan
Raising Employee Awareness
In 2018, we released the Speak Up for Inclusion video to reignite the conversation on D&I with leaders, colleagues, clients and communities. We invited people from all walks of life, including RBC leaders, to have a frank and honest conversation about inclusion on camera. The resulting discussion highlighted that many misperceptions are still prevalent when navigating topics of gender, race, ability and more. Building on the success of our Speak Up for Inclusion video, we turned our focus to driving more inclusive behaviours by challenging internal dialogues we all have when faced with uncomfortable situations. We all have that little voice in our head telling us how to act. The new “That Little Voice” video, which was introduced in January 2020, encouraged all of us to pay attention to the voices we’re not listening to or the dialogue we are ignoring – with ourselves and those around us.Watch That Little Voice Video
Encouraging Employee Engagement
Our ERGs bring together employees who share a common identity, characteristics and set of interests. They create a culture of inclusion that enhances employee engagement and further supports our organizational vision and values.Learn more
Developing Relevant and Meaningful Learning Opportunities
In addition to raising employee awareness through internal and external communications, storytelling and leader messages, RBC has a number of formal learning courses and tools for all employees:
- In 2020, RBC was the first Canadian financial institution to partner with First Nations University of Canada to implement 4 Seasons of Reconciliation, a transformative Indigenous cultural awareness program developed by Reconciliation Education and First Nations University of Canada. This online program has been a powerful resource in helping our employees understand Indigenous realities and histories in a new light, and to allow us to push forward in our commitment to honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action #92.
- In 2021, RBC launched the Anti-Racism training program to its global workforce as one of its commitments to take action against systemic racism.
- RBC has also piloted the Inclusion & Belonging webinar series on topics such as Discovering & Interrupting Bias, Recognizing and Responding to Microaggressions & Micro-Inequities, Enabling a Culture of Inclusion & Belonging, Unlocking Potential Through Inclusive Actions and Being an Ally for Change.
The intent of the Accessibility Plan is to outline how RBC will identify, remove and prevent barriers for Persons with Disabilities and meet relevant requirements of Accessible Canada Act (ACA).Learn more about Accessibility at RBC
Employee Resource Groups
Members of employee resource groups (ERGs) share a common identity, characteristics and set of interests that are usually associated with the primary dimensions of diversity. ERGs create a sense of belonging and provide a forum for our employees to develop both personally and professionally by providing access to networking and professional development opportunities, support for recruitment and retention efforts, mentoring, and engagement with the community.
Learn how the ERGs supporting each of these groups make a difference at RBC.
RWomen supports its members with a wide range of opportunities to network and further their own development and involvement with diverse communities.
Women’s Advisory Board (WAB)
WAB’s mission is to recruit, retain and enhance the productivity and career success of women in the roles of client-facing advisors, branch managers and head office professionals.
Women in Technology (WiTO)
WiTO envisions a workplace and culture that enables diverse employees within Technology and Operations to achieve personal and professional fulfillment; enabling RBC T&O as an employer of choice for creative, engaged and motivated talent.
Women's Association of Financial Advisors (WAFA)
WAFA supports its members with a wide range of information, events and programs. The group's mission is to recruit, retain and enhance the productivity of women financial advisors and branch directors.
Advancement of Women in Leadership
To help drive an environment that will support women in the achievement of their career development and goals. To assist in the development and advancement of women across the Office of the CFO, CAO and Internal Audit into new learning and leadership opportunities.
Canadian Banking (CB) Women's Forum
To inspire, challenge and enable all RBC employees to engage in gender equity issues and champion the advancement of women. The mission is to focus on creating an engaged and inclusive community, driving momentum and sharing best practices across Personal & Commercial Banking (P&CB) to work towards the goal of championing women at RBC by removing barriers and enabling success.
Our mission is to foster an inclusive culture by enabling the success of visible minorities and newcomers to Canada within RBC.
Multicultural Employee Alliance
The Multicultural Employee Alliance (MEA)’s mission is to enhance performance by promoting an environment that recognizes the multicultural interests of the firm's employees and clients, embraces inclusion of employees from all walks of life and encourages the firm to establish relationships with diverse communities.
To improve the experience of employees with disabilities by eliminating stigma and driving inclusion
To support the advancement, recruitment and retention of professionals with invisible and visible disabilities and diverse abilities, while raising awareness and promoting their inclusion.
Contributes to creating a positive, inclusive and sustainable work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) employees.
A fellowship of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees working together to raise awareness and support Indigenous culture throughout RBC.
A movement building engagement and attracting young professionals by empowering them to have a voice and contribute to the organization's business priorities, fostering collaboration and supporting the communities we serve. Built on three guiding pillars: Capabilities, Connections, Community.
RFuture aims to bridge the gap between current and future leaders within RBC through its founding pillars to unite, strengthen and retain young talent at RBC by giving the next generation of leaders a voice that can be heard. The four pillars are to unite RBC across all businesses and levels, advance connectivity with external professional bodies and networks, enhance the intellectual capital and satisfy the curiosity of our younger generation; explore topics aimed at creating healthier and more effective employees and give back to the community.
Champions the needs of working caregivers such as experienced, new or expecting parents, or those caring for elderly, sick or disabled relatives. i-CARE aims to improve the work and family lives of caregivers by sharing experience and knowledge, bringing in outside expertise and providing a voice for caregivers.
Veterans Engagement and Troops Support
The Veterans Engagement and Troops Support (VETS) ERG helps engage employees with awareness of internal and external veterans and military service-related events and communication.
With a dual purpose of connecting service men and women, families and allies within the organization — and serving communities across Canada — RBC Salute brings people together through a sense of pride and service.
Listening to Our Employeeslegal bug 1
We want our employees to feel valued, to experience a sense of belonging and to feel safe to speak up without fear of retaliation or reprisal. In confronting the structural and systemic racism and economic and social inequities that pervade our society, RBC is asking hard questions about race, inequality, inclusion and privilege. And we are committed to listening, learning and taking action. This first step – listening – has been and will continue to be vital to understanding the diverse and unique experiences of our employees.
feel they contribute to RBC’s success
are proud to be a part of RBC
are willing to go above and beyond
1 Data reflects our fiscal year 2022 Employee Engagement Survey results.
Leading With Empathy and Creating Safe Spaces
There’s no substitute for compassionate leaders who listen, support and encourage their colleagues, especially in uncertain times. Employees in a psychologically safe workplace feel more comfortable and confident to speak their mind and respectfully challenge something that doesn’t seem right. Psychological safety is an ongoing focus at RBC, reinforced in our Values, Code of Conduct and Respectful Workplace Policy.
For more information on programs, policies and practices to support employee well-being, please see the About Value for Employees backgrounder.
Accountability is critical to creating meaningful change, and to foster an inclusive culture, leaders must be accountable for role modelling inclusive behaviours. As such, diversity metrics are embedded in leadership goals across the company, and we include diversity and inclusion objectives in the performance management goals of all people leaders.
Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. This includes a vision to reduce inequality and promote inclusive economic growth – a vision shared by RBC and embedded in our D&I strategy. Strengthening Inclusion aligns with two specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and two targets.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Target 8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Target 10.2 Empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex,disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status