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 active – ERGs at the firm, with 179 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 helps to support employee engagement and retention, and to build awareness around diversity and inclusion,” 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 group has helped the firm have a positive impact on our clients, our employees and the communities we serve.
Members of the RBC Wealth Management PRIDE employee resource group at a past Pride Month parade in Minneapolis.
PRIDE’s efforts to make RBC Wealth Management an inclusive environment for all employees is getting noticed. Last November, the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index named the firm as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” the eighth time RBC Wealth Management has received the recognition.
“That shows that we’re inclusive, we’re welcoming, and we respect all people,” says Neil McDevitt, a financial advisor in RBC Wealth Management’s Seattle office. McDevitt was one of the first members of PRIDE when it was created, and is currently serving his second term as co-chair of the group.
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. The group encourages its members to get involved in their local communities by serving on LGBT+ boards or supporting LGBT+ nonprofits. McDevitt serves on one of the oldest LGBT+ scholarship programs in the country, and is a corporate liaison of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Krider and her husband support a local gay and lesbian community center, and are council members of Equality Florida, a nonprofit working to achieve equality for the Florida LGBT+ community.
For Pride Month in June, PRIDE members will participate in an RBC marching unit in the Ashley Rukes Pride Parade in Minneapolis on June 24, in addition to other members celebrating in their own communities around the country. RBC Wealth Management also sponsored the Twin Cities Pride Grand Marshal Reception and Art Exhibition earlier in the month.
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,” McDevitt says. “We’re saying, ‘We’re here for you. We care about you.’”
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