I feel fortunate to have been raised in a home where my father set the bar high for me and my nine siblings. Throughout our school years, my father never allowed us to get comfortable receiving a grade less than a “B.” He said that a “C” meant “average,” and he didn’t raise “average” children.
My father believed that each of his children had the ability to excel, and he expected us to do so. He motivated us with one sound piece of advice: “You can do anything that you set your mind on.” This continually inspires me to increase my internal drive, and has shaped my perspectives throughout my entire life.
In addition to my father’s advice, my success is due to building my career with companies that understand the value and importance of a diverse, global workforce. RBC Wealth Management is a company that leverages the unique contributions of every employee to ensure long-term business growth and profitability. Specifically, increasing the representation of women and people of color in leadership and client-facing roles is integral to the firm’s business strategy as well as the day-to-day business operations.
This culture of diversity is incorporated in initiatives, policies and practices throughout the organization. Most recently, an innovative program called “Create Connections” was launched, designed to support efforts to recruit female financial advisors. The program leverages the involvement of the RBC Wealth Management Women’s Association of Financial Advisors (WAFA), an employee resource group of more than 250 female advisors, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
As part of “Create Connections,” WAFA members serve as liaisons and resources to branch directors in the firm to recruit female advisors. Additionally, RBC Wealth Management launched “WAFA Together,” an internal networking website designed to better connect women advisors across the organization.
My advice to emerging leaders is two-fold. First, pursue opportunities with an organization that embraces the contributions of women and values diversity. Second, take heed of good advice. Young professionals must not only prepare themselves for career development and advancement through education, training and acquired skills, but also realize that success is motivated from within. I have consistently followed my father’s advice that I can do anything I set my mind on, and it has made a significant difference in my career and my life.