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Women at Royal Bank

1902The first woman employed by Royal Bank was probably Jennie Moore, hired as a secretary in Vancouver, British Columbia.
1917The first woman ledger keeper entered Royal Bank’s service in Barbados at Bridgetown main branch.
1947More than 50% of the employees at Royal Bank were women.
1963Royal Bank’s Pension Fund was extended to cover women.
1968Georgette St. Cyr was the first woman to be appointed as a Royal Bank branch manager (Place Longueuil branch, Montreal, Quebec).
1974All bank benefits were extended equally to male and female employees.
Royal Bank introduced a Maternity Leave policy.
1976Mitzi Dobrin was the first woman to be appointed to Royal Bank’s Board of Directors.
Millie Vasquez was the first woman to be transferred abroad by Royal Bank (to Bogotá, Colombia).
1977Task Force on the Status of Women – CEO Rowland Frazee commissioned this task force in response to concerns expressed by women employees. The task force’s recommendations dealing with mobility, training, and assessment of job opportunities for women still form the basis of policies in these areas today.
1979Suzanne Labarge was the first woman to be appointed as a Royal Bank executive.
Royal Bank established an Equal Employment Opportunity program, the first of its kind for a Canadian bank.
1982Targets for recruiting, training and promoting women were established.
1987The first Royal Bank Employment Equity survey was conducted to assess our workforce representation of the four designated groups in Canada, including women.
1988The percentage of Royal Bank employees in Canada who are women reached 75%.
1994Closing the Gender Gap awareness initiative was launched to increase effectiveness in dealing with and respecting gender differences.
1999Suzanne Labarge was appointed Royal Bank’s first female Vice-Chairman.
2004Janice Fukakusa was appointed Royal Bank’s first female Chief Financial Officer.
2006Royal Bank sponsored an ongoing study of women in capital markets with Catalyst Canada, tracking the impact of efforts to increase the representation of women in the industry.
2008Women in Royal Bank executive roles (in Canada) reached its highest level to date at 39%.
2010Royal Bank received the prestigious Catalyst Award, an annual global award given to companies with an exceptional commitment to women and minorities.
Royal Bank established it first chapter of RWoman in Toronto, Ontario with subsequent chapters launched in New York (2011) and London, England (2012). RWoman is an employee led networking forum dedicated to fostering the development and career aspirations of Royal Bank’s female employees.
2011Heather Munroe-Blum, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University in Montreal and Bridget van Kralingen, general manager of North America for IBM Corporation in New York, were appointed to the Board of Directors, bringing the number of women on the 16-member Board to five.
2012Royal Bank signed the Catalyst Accord, supporting a call to action for Canadian corporations to increase the overall proportion of “FP500” board seats held by women to 25 per cent by 2017.
2014Kathleen (Katie) Taylor was appointed Chair of the Board of Royal Bank, effectively becoming the first woman to chair the board of a major Canadian bank.
2014Jennifer Tory was the first woman to be appointed Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking.