Christina Ho: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones
Philip Hayford  |  Commercial Account Manager 

Creating Supportive Work Environments

“Diversity and Inclusion are not just values written on paper at RBC,” says Commercial Account Manager Philip Hayford. “They are alive and embedded into the fabric of how we work together — and serve our community.” Philip has directly experienced these values and believes they have inspired his potential as he creates meaningful change in every aspect of his life.
Philip specializes in Diversified Markets, helping medium-sized businesses in the industrial sector. Since every client is different, he takes an adaptive approach, working with them to fully understand their needs. Only then can he provide the best possible financial support through credit solutions and tailored advice. “This is usually the most exciting and creative part of the role,” says Philip. “When this is done properly it deepens the relationship with the client.”

Helping businesses reach their goals is incredibly satisfying for Philip. Not only does this make his clients happy, but he sees the macro impact of their success, such as supporting their employees’ livelihoods and their local economies. “Having an opportunity to take part in this process every day is a joy of mine,” he says. 

Philip credits RBC’s incredible training program for being able to assist his clients in such meaningful ways. The curriculum was well-designed and he was assigned mentors to directly learn from. “Simply put, it was the most phenomenal training experience I had ever been a part of,” he says. “It prepared me to hit the ground running when I took on my own portfolio of clients.”

He continues to learn and develop everyday thanks to his supportive manager and having team members who are interested in seeing him grow. “RBC has a superb corporate culture that is designed to build teams of incredible people who respect and support one another,” reflects Philip. “It is a fantastic work environment to be a part of. A safe, encouraging workplace is conducive to having healthy, satisfied employees.”

Another part of working at RBC that gives Philip immense satisfaction are the opportunities for community involvement. He is part of two Employee Resource Groups: Royal Eagles and the Black Professionals Network. The first is a group of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees who create awareness and support Indigenous culture throughout RBC. The second group enhances the engagement of Black employees and impacts the ethnically diverse communities that RBC serves.

Philip has done extensive community work through both groups. As a member of the Black Professionals Network, for example, he was a guest speaker for a University of Alberta entrepreneurial program for Black youth and took more than 30 students through the fundamentals of starting a business. “We were so amazed by how receptive the students were and how quickly they learned,” says Philip. “It was incredibly rewarding.”

He also connected RBC with the Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage (CCACH). One of the many ways CCACH supports the Black community is by offering educational tutoring for students. “When I was a child, I was tutored there and once I reached university, I went back to tutor there for three and a half years,” says Philip. 

Thanks to this connection, RBC partnered with CCACH and provided the single largest donation the organization had ever received for its tutoring program. “CCACH was floored by the support RBC provided and excited about the impact the sponsorship will have on the lives of Black youth,” says Philip.

Philip has experienced that care and support on a personal level, as well. After George Floyd’s murder, he was struggling and his manager noticed. “He took the time to talk with me and allowed me to process what I was experiencing,” he says. “I could not think of a better response from my leader in that scenario.”

The VP who hired Philip also reached out a few days later just to see how he was doing. “And it didn’t stop there,” says Philip. “Our CEO Dave McKay hosted a panel discussion with a few Black leaders in the organization. He encouraged everyone to change how we see, hear, learn and understand each other’s experience. I felt so honored by the concern that RBC showed for my well-being, starting from my direct managers all the way up to our CEO.”

Christina Ho

Philip Hayford

Commercial Account Manager