Project is latest in a series of initiatives from RBC Wealth Management – U.S. that support diversity and inclusion in business

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (March 6, 2019) – RBC Wealth Management – U.S. today announced the launch of a digital storytelling initiative designed to spotlight women who are trailblazers in their respective fields and inspire the next generation of female leaders. The videos feature pioneering women from athletics, entertainment, aerospace and political activism and their “Stories of Empowerment,” shared in their own words with acclaimed journalist Soledad O’Brien.

“Stories connect people. With this initiative, we set out to capture stories of leadership and success, discover what empowerment means to women who embody it, and help inspire the next generation of female trailblazers,” said Kristen Kimmell, Head of Business Development at RBC Wealth Management – U.S.

Women featured in the new video initiative include:

  • Lindsay Whalen, head coach of the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team and former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) world champion;
  • Dessa, a singer, rapper and writer whose albums “Parts of Speech” and “Chime” reached the top 200 on the Billboard charts and whose writing has been published in The New York Times;
  • Cynthia Vernon, Ph.D., an educator and “Hidden Figure,” who in 1963 was the only black employee in the NASA Data Center; and
  • Susannah Wellford, who has founded two organizations, Running Start and Women Under Forty Political Action Committee (WUFPAC), designed to raise the political voice of young women in America.

“The goal of the new initiative is to continue to inspire and empower women to become their fullest and true selves in financial services and beyond,” Ms. Kimmell said.

Added Ms. O’Brien, “One of the most important lessons to emerge from these conversations was that empowerment is not just about having the confidence to pursue your dreams, but it’s also about having people around you who support your vision. RBC is incredibly supportive of the women among its ranks and in the industry at large, and this project really speaks to that.”

Bolstering Women Every Day

“Stories of Empowerment” is the latest in a series of commitments from RBC Wealth Management – U.S. to women’s initiatives and causes. In May 2018, RBC and City National Bank donated $100,000 to the PowHERful Foundation, an organization co-founded by Ms. O'Brien that supports young women through college with financial assistance, mentorship and other services to enable them to reach their highest potential.

In September 2017, RBC launched another video series, which features female advisors sharing personal stories about their entree into the wealth management business and encouraging more women to follow in their footsteps – called “Everyone’s Path is Different, But They Can All Lead to RBC”. As a result of the video campaign, RBC received more than a thousand inquiries from women and diverse candidates wanted to learn more about financial services professions.

Outside the firm, RBC provides ongoing sponsorship to Ellevate, the professional network dedicated to closing the gender gap in business. In 2018, the firm provided support for and hosted events including: Mobilizing the Power of Women, the organization’s annual conference in New York City; an event exploring the connection between wealth and health in Minneapolis; and an event called “Challenges Facing Women of Color in Business & Entrepreneurship” in Los Angeles. The firm plans to continue its partnership with the organization throughout 2019, including at the next Mobilizing the Power of Women conference.

RBC also prides itself on promoting board diversity in North America. In March 2018, Ms. Kimmell spoke at Forbes and theBoardlist’s #BoardForward Awards Gala, which celebrated innovative approaches to tackling issues of diversity and inclusion in corporate boardrooms.

The firm’s commitment to advancing women in financial services, while increased, isn’t entirely new. RBC Wealth Management’s Women’s Association of Financial Advisors (WAFA), was created more than 25 years ago by a group of forward-thinking women who sought to connect the firm’s female advisors across the country. Today the group serves as a key contributor to RBC Wealth Management’s efforts to attract, retain and increase the productivity of female advisors.

“Whether it’s offering a platform to tell their stories, supporting them in their career journeys or helping them to make the most of their financial assets, RBC stands firm in its commitment to empowering women,” Ms. Kimmell said.

About RBC Wealth Management – U.S.

In the United States, RBC Wealth Management operates as a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC. Founded in 1909, RBC Capital Markets, LLC is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and other major securities exchanges. RBC Wealth Management has $344 billion in total client assets with approximately 1,800 financial advisors operating in 200 locations in 42 states.

Media Contacts:

Jonell Lundquist, RBC Wealth Management, 612-371-2239, or Jonell.lundquist@rbc.com

Nicole Garrison, RBC Wealth Management, 612-371-2999, or Nicole.garrison@rbc.com