Every June, the LGBT+ community in the United States and Canada celebrates Pride Month. But at RBC Wealth Management-U.S., employees have PRIDE year-round, thanks to the firm’s active and growing PRIDE employee resource group.
PRIDE stands for Proud RBC Individuals for Diversity and Equality, and it’s one of the largest – and most active – ERGs at the firm, with more than 330 members. The group was formed in 1999, and works to foster a culture of inclusion at the firm by providing support and a sense of community to LGBT+ and allied employees. PRIDE also provides education on LGBT+ issues and helps attract and retain top LGBT+ and allied talent.
“PRIDE supports employee engagement and retention, and helps to heighten awareness around strides and/or issues within the LGBT+ community,” says Wanda Brackins, RBC Wealth Management’s head of diversity and inclusion. “The group has helped the firm have a positive impact on our clients, our employees and the communities we serve".
At work and in the community
PRIDE’s efforts to make RBC Wealth Management an inclusive environment for all employees is getting noticed. In 2022, the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index named the firm as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” the 13th time RBC Wealth Management has received the recognition.
“That shows we’re inclusive, welcoming, and respectful of all people,” says Richard Beckel, co-chair of the PRIDE group and a senior manager of Practice Management at RBC Wealth Management.
For Ellen Krider, an ally and a financial advisor in RBC Wealth Management’s Fort Lauderdale office, that inclusivity was one of the main reasons she joined the firm in 2009. Krider has cared about helping the LGBT+ community since her best friend from childhood came out as gay when she was 21. When she learned about the group and what it does at the firm, she wanted to be a part of it.
“I feel that the group, for employees, is crucial,” Krider says. “That a person can come to work and not hide who they are, and put a picture of their significant other on their desk, it’s game changing.”
Cupcakes at an RBC Wealth Management employee event to celebrate Pride Month.
PRIDE makes a difference outside of the workplace, too, encouraging its members to get involved in their local communities. Across the country, members have volunteered with or served on boards of a wide range of LGBT+ nonprofits and organizations.
Through all of those efforts – whether in the workplace or in the community – RBC Wealth Management and PRIDE have made a concerted effort to make a difference for the LGBT+ community.
“That’s the message we want this group to send,” Beckel says. “We’re saying, ‘We’re here for you. We care about you.’”