RBC Wealth Management—U.S. has launched a video series designed to spotlight trailblazing women in an effort to inspire the next generation of female leaders.  

The series, titled “Stories of Empowerment,” will feature pioneering women from all fields sharing their stories with acclaimed journalist Soledad O’Brien.

"With this initiative, we set out to capture stories of leadership and success, discover what empowerment means to women who embody it,” said Kristen Kimmell, head of business development at RBC in a news release. "The goal of the new initiative is to continue to inspire and empower women to become their fullest and true selves in financial services and beyond," she added.

The project is the latest in a series of initiatives from RBC that support diversity and inclusion in business. In May 2018, RBC and City National Bank donated $100,000 to the PowHERful Foundation, an organization co-founded by O'Brien that supports young women through college with financial assistance, mentorship and other services to enable them to reach their highest potential.

In September 2017, the firm launched an earlier video series, titled “Everyone's Path is Different, But They Can All Lead to RBC,” which featured female advisors sharing personal stories about their entry into the wealth management business and encouraging more women to follow in their footsteps. RBC said that as a result of that video it received more than a thousand inquiries from women and diverse candidates who wanted to learn more about financial services professions.

RBC Wealth Management's Women's Association of Financial Advisors (WAFA) was created more than 25 years ago by a group of women who sought to connect the firm's female advisors across the country. Today, the group serves as a key contributor to RBC Wealth Management's efforts to attract, retain and increase the productivity of female advisors.

Kimmell said RBC wants to empower women by “offering a platform to tell their stories, supporting them in their career journeys or helping them to make the most of their financial assets.”

O'Brien, in the release, said one of the most important lessons to emerge from these conversations “was that empowerment is not just about having the confidence to pursue your dreams, but it's also about having people around you who support your vision. RBC is incredibly supportive of the women among its ranks and in the industry at large, and this project really speaks to that.”

Women featured in the new video initiative include:

• Lindsay Whalen, head coach of the University of Minnesota women's basketball team and former Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) world champion;
• Dessa, a singer, rapper and writer whose album reached the top 200 on the Billboard charts and whose writing has been published in The New York Times Magazine;
• Cynthia Vernon, Ph.D., an educator and "hidden figure," who in 1963 was the only black employee in the NASA Data Center; and
• Susannah Wellford, who has founded two organizations, Running Start and Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, designed to raise the political voice of young women in America.