I am Limitless: Shireen Fathi

Published March 21, 2022 | 3 min read

This Women's History Month, RBC employee Shireen Fathi shares how ERGs have enriched her life personally and professionally.

Tell us about yourself and your role.

I am currently an Associate in Corporate Banking covering Municipal Finance. I started at RBC as a Summer Analyst in 2015. Following graduation, I joined RBC as an Analyst in Corporate Banking covering a few different sectors. When I became an Associate, I began covering Municipal Finance. Corporate Banking is the lending arm of our Capital Markets platform.

 

What has been your experience being a woman in a male-dominated industry?

While the industry remains male-dominated, I am proud to be surrounded by colleagues who believe in diversity, equity and inclusion at RBC. When I started in my original vertical, I worked on a team where no one was considered to have limitations as a consequence of their gender, despite the team having significantly more men than women. Now, my team is made up of more women, including my manager who is also a woman. It is inspiring to be surrounded by strong female role models, and I have many opportunities to learn from their careers and advice.

As I advance in my career, I make it a priority to continue to advocate for and empower other women, as well as cultivate and ensure the progression of diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry.

 

What encouraged you to get so involved in RBC’s Employee Resource Groups?

As a summer analyst, I attended numerous Employee Resource Group events and knew I wanted to get involved more integrally when I joined full-time. As soon as I came on full-time, I got engaged with RWomen. A couple months later, RWomen was looking to become more coordinated and collaborative in RBC’s recruitments efforts with our Campus Recruiting team. Since I had recently been recruited myself, this resonated with me as I felt I could have a real and immediate impact on these efforts.

I was elected as Co-Chair of the RWomen Recruitment Squad, which to this day boasts a strong partnership with our Campus Recruiting team and is fully integrated with RBC’s campus recruitment efforts. Through my leadership in this initiative, I became part of the RWomen Steering Committee, which ultimately led to what I consider one of my big achievements, being elected RWomen Co-Chair. I’ll soon be entering my third year as Co-Chair, alongside Samantha Condron in Central Funding, as we continue to expand our involvement in an important area of our corporate culture.

A few years later when RHeart was founded, I instantly joined the Employee Resource Group and became the Co-Chair of Recruitment and Talent Acquisition.

 

How has your involvement in Employee Resource Groups helped shape your career?

I consider myself a member of all of the Employee Resource Groups and the Employee Resource Groups as a whole have given me an incredible platform to grow my network and develop my networking strategies across the platform, develop my team collaboration and leadership skills, and create genuine lasting friendships. Being actively involved with the Employee Resource Groups has given me the opportunity to be a culture carrier on behalf of the firm, and that culture is a key competitive differentiator for us in the U.S. market.

My involvement with RWomen has proven especially important in receiving insights from other women who are also navigating successful careers in a still male-dominated industry. Reflecting on this International Women’s Day, I would like to take the opportunity to thank my RWomen colleagues and friends, who have advocated for me and provided me important professional guidance as I have grown my career at this firm.

 

When do you feel limitless?

In my space in Corporate Banking, I have always come to work not feeling limits on what I want to achieve and contribute. Away from that, other ways I feel a sense of empowerment are by focusing on my mental and physical well-being. I have really gotten into running lately – I started out jump roping, but got tired of staying in the same place for 45 minutes and decided to give running a try. This led to recently winning a race I never expected to place in, which was very empowering. Now, I’m training to run the RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon, and, if all goes well, the New York City Marathon!


Diversity & InclusionWomen's History Month