On International Women’s Day, RBC celebrates women’s contributions to technology while also recognizing the unfortunate reality that women* still face significant obstacles when pursuing careers in technology. At RBC, we strive to be a recognized leader in enabling and advancing women through inclusive business, talent and community practices. We work year-round to foster opportunities for women at every stage of their careers.
Building tomorrow’s talent pipeline
Working within a cross-functional team to find disruptive solutions to real business challenges...has taught me to look at things through a different lens.
Kiran Sandhu, RBCx alumni
To inspire more young women to choose STEM careers means engaging with them early and creating meaningful experiences. RBC sponsors or participates in a number of hackathons and community events like the upcoming March Break tech camp Hack the Break for 25 high school students, ElleHacks at York University, Canada’s first all-girl hackathon, and the Cryptochicks hackathon and conference.
We’re proud to have achieved parity in many of our student programs, including high school programs, co-op programs, and our upcoming intensive summer innovation program, Amplify. As Hilal Asmat, a young woman who participated as a developer in the Amplify program says, the experience was, “So much more rewarding than I could have imagined. I have had the opportunity to connect with so many driven individuals, and have been so inspired by their passion and drive.”
Our sponsorship with Bridge School supports the non-profit in providing free, advanced education to women, non-binary and agender professionals in the tech industry. with programs in Software Development and Product Design programs, and soon to include Machine Learning and Fullstack Development.
These types of opportunities have been effective in engaging the next generation of talent. We will continue to work with partners and organizations to inspire young women to consider careers in tech.
Enabling emerging talent
We’re identifying and supporting high potential women to help them take the next step in their careers.
For several years, we’ve run an internal innovation program — open for all RBC employees to apply — called RBCx, which challenges participants to think and work differently. To date, nearly 170 employees have participated. This season we introduced a special “Women in Tech” edition, specifically for women in technical roles or interested in a career in technology.
This program taught me not just #DesignThinking methodologies, but: how to battle imposter syndrome, that success lies on the other side of failing, and to not be afraid of ambiguity.
Chelsea Palmer, RBCx alumni
During the nine-week program, they are working on creative and innovative solutions for a variety of pressing business technology issues like cyber security and data integrity. They will also be paired with mentors and take part in personal branding workshops that will provide them tools and resources to help them excel.
Career resources for women are also promoted through employee groups like Women in Technology & Operations, which fosters a culture of inclusion by offering networking, upskilling and professional development opportunities, including a mentorship circle that has been running for more than ten years.
At the end of 2019, women represented 46 per cent of all RBC executives, an 8 per cent increase from 2014, demonstrating progress in achieving the goal of equality at all levels.
To ensure gender equality in our technology leadership team, RBC looks at the talent pipeline three, five and ten years out to consider and address representation gaps as early as possible. And RBC is focusing more on development opportunities to ensure women and visible minorities get the exposure and experience required for increasingly senior roles within our business.
*We recognize that the terms “women” and “woman” may not encompass all gender-diverse identities. We welcome and strive to create an inclusive environment for all transgender female, gender non confirming/genderqueer, non-binary and agender persons.
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