OTTAWA AND TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Jennifer Stott is an information technology (IT) executive at RBC – and she wants more women to join her. As she rose through the ranks over the years, she noticed that she was increasingly the only woman in a meeting. That's when she decided to join an RBC employee resource group focused on developing and advancing women into IT leadership positions. Today that group of RBC employees has stepped up its commitment to women by becoming a national sponsor of CanWIT (Canadian Women in Information Technology), an organization committed to the recruitment and retention of women in technology and technology-related roles.
"I always enjoyed science and math at school, so a job in technology seemed like an obvious choice. But it turns out it's not so obvious to most people. In fact, when I tell people I'm a technology executive, they're often surprised. That perception is one of the things that we are trying to change," said Jennifer Stott, vice-president, Investor & Treasury Services IT at RBC and co-chair of the employee group Women in Technology & Operations (WiTO). "Ultimately, we want to make sure that the work we're doing not only benefits our RBC colleagues, but also helps to encourage women across Canada to choose a career in technology."
Through the partnership with RBC, CanWIT will extend its national and regional initiatives to the more than 5,400 women in IT-related roles as well as the larger employee population at RBC.
"We're thrilled to have RBC as a National Sponsor," said Sandra Wear, CEO, CanWIT. "Together we share an interest in building a thriving national technology community that reflects gender diversity. We will be working together to make sure we have more women in technology related roles."
"Winning in IT is critical to the future of banking. We can only be the best if we have the best people – and that means making sure everyone has a chance to succeed," said Rob Muroff, VP of End User Services at RBC and co-chair of WiTO. "Our alliance with CanWIT will help us to promote RBC as an employer of choice and attract more women to a growing field that is exciting, creative and has a wealth of specialized career choices."
Today, women comprise 47 per cent of the overall Canadian workforce with only 24 per cent representation in Canada's technology workforce and an even smaller percentage as managers. At RBC, 44 per cent of the IT employee population is made up of women.
CanWIT and RBC aim to create a measurable impact on the representation of women in technology related roles. The national sponsorship includes mutual support on development and talent initiatives, opportunities for RBC to support CanWIT's advocacy programs, events, workshops and networking sessions and the development of a recognition initiative for outstanding role models within the CanWIT community.
Canadian Women in Technology (CanWIT, a division of CATA Alliance) is a national volunteer organization that encourages young women to consider a career in a technology field and helps accelerate the careers of women already in the field. It provides knowledge and support through various programs, that include its mentorship initiatives, networking events, professional development and advocacy. CanWIT offers both national and local events to promote networking and education among women in technology.
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 40 other countries. For more information, please visit www.rbc.com.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.
Image with caption: "RBC is working to make the IT field more desirable for women. Our partnership with CanWIT will help us meet this goal. (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140929_C3554_PHOTO_EN_6058.jpg