Gordon M. Nixon
President & CEO, RBC
Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
Primary Business: Financial services
Revenues: $29.7 billion
Establishing Diversity Leadership Council Accomplishment
I am often asked why diversity matters to me. Simply put, it’s both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. It simply makes good business sense.
Why do I say that? First, talent is diverse. Attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent is essential to the success of any business. I also know that diversity is a source of strength.
When I became CEO in 2001, we had already made great strides in diversity. Building on that success, I established our Diversity Leadership Council (DLC)—which I still chair—and helped adapt our programs to engage all talent.
Through the DLC we created the RBC Diversity Blueprint, a public statement that outlines our many commitments contributing to a more inclusive, prosperous world.
By chairing the DLC and setting out clear and public leadership diversity goals, I have made my leadership team and their teams accountable for achieving results.
I’m proud to say that over the last few years at RBC, I have seen genuine inclusion produce dialogue and action around diversity. Many active leaders, advisory committees, and councils have stepped up to help drive efforts. Thousands of RBC employees have chosen to join our network of employee resource groups to contribute their experiences and insights directly to RBC’s diversity journey.
My personal experience has shown me that when it comes to the advancement of diversity and inclusion, active sponsorship, in particular, has the power to break through barriers and accelerate change. My experience as a mentor in RBC’s Diversity Dialogues mentoring program (which matches senior leaders to mid-level diverse employees,) as well as my DLC work, has given me valuable insight into the career concerns and realities facing women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, LGBT people, and persons with disabilities.
I have taken my message beyond the workplace as a public and vocal advocate of the business case for diversity. I have served as the chair of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) since 2009, helping to bring leadership together to better integrate skilled immigrants into Toronto’s labor market.
One of my proud moments was in 2010 when RBC received the prestigious Catalyst Award. It was a testament to efforts at embedding diversity and inclusion into our culture and how we do business.
Collectively at RBC, while we have a sense of pride for what we have accomplished, we have an equally strong sense of purpose for what we have yet to achieve. We will continue to work at leveraging our diversity for the growth and prosperity of employees, clients, and our communities.
Education: BComm, Queen’s University
First Job: Working in Global Markets at Dominion Securities in Toronto
What I’m Reading: The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity, by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
My Philosophy: Think about the consequences of your decisions
Interests: Golf and art