People make mistakes. Corporations make mistakes. RBC has admitted it made a mistake, and in a full-page ad, written by its CEO, Gord Nixon, and published in every major newspaper in the country on April 12, apologized for its actions. It is, I believe, a complete, genuine and honest apology.
Beyond this news, however, I feel it is important for Canadians to know the many extraordinary things RBC and its employees do in our communities. Those of us who work in and around the non-profit sector or are engaged in philanthropic initiatives know that there are very few corporations more deeply committed than RBC to improving the lives of all Canadians, especially those who are in need.
Further, the commitment to community at RBC is engrained throughout the corporation, and goes far beyond simply writing cheques. I routinely see RBC employees donating their own time and resources at any number of events, and at agencies who are doing the hard work of supporting some of our most disadvantaged citizens.
In this case, as is seemingly the way these days, many will prefer to pounce and to attack. For me, I prefer to accept an apology and to forgive. I believe if you knew what the millions of Canadians whose lives have been made better by the efforts and extraordinary generosity of the people at RBC do, you would to.
Regarding the hiring practices of the Royal Bank and other banks, nothing much has changed. It was the female clerks, valued as the face of the bank to their customers as smart, knowledgeable and personable, who were denied promotions because those positions were reserved for men.
They trained boys just out of high school, only to find within a few years, the boys were now their bosses.