UBC Sauder and RBC’s Group Risk Management team create new finance scholarship for women

Women sitting at a desk
Posted 2019-09-13

UBC Sauder School of Business and RBC have teamed up to help recruit more women to study finance with a new $25,000 annual scholarship.

The RBC Graduate Entrance Scholarship for Women in finance will be awarded to an outstanding female M.Sc student of finance in Business Administration. The scholarship was created with the inspiration and influence of UBC Sauder Ph.D. program alumnus, David Downie, who is now the Chief Risk Officer for RBC in the US.

“Positive change for women in the workplace won’t happen without our ongoing and visible commitment. This award is meant to set a strong foundation and build momentum for women interested in a career in finance,” said Downie. “There are many excellent career paths within the financial industry, including risk management. Well trained Finance graduates will have the ability to manage financial risk effectively, which is a core competency of running a business and has only become more critical in today’s environment.”

The Award also comes with an opportunity for an internship with RBC’s Group Risk Management team between the first and second year of study.

RBC believes diversity and inclusion is an engine for innovation and economic prosperity and has multiple investments that are geared for the leaders of tomorrow, with a goal to help early talent pursue a path to success with new skills, experiences and confidence so they can make a real difference in their communities and around the world. This is why RBC created Future Launch, a 10-year, $500 million commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

At RBC, we believe that diversity and inclusivity makes stronger teams, and strong teams are more innovative and make better, more informed decisions in this ever changing business environment,” said Downie. “By equipping outstanding female finance students with the means to achieve their educational goals, we’re ensuring the future talent pool is richer and more diverse.”

Several prominent faculty members at UBC Sauder were instrumental in making the award possible: Ron Giammarino, a professor of corporate finance; Associate Professor in Finance Ali Lazrak; and Senior Associate Dean of Research, John Ries, worked closely with Downie to envision and create the scholarship.

“There are still recruitment challenges to attract women to work in all areas of finance and also to study risk management at the graduate level. We’re confident this award will inspire more women to consider studying and pursuing finance, and risk management in particular, as a career path,” says Giammarino.

Thanks in part to RBC’s support, UBC Sauder was able to access two additional graduate scholarships from the provincial government. “This is an exciting development for the school as we strive to reach gender parity across the university,” says Ries.

The total gift is $150,000 over six years and it will be awarded annually. The first scholarship will be available for the 2020/2021 winter session and is conditional on the recipient’s continued satisfactory academic progress. The award may be renewed for one additional year of study and only one student can hold this award in any given year.

The first recipient of the award will begin classes at UBC in September 2020. If you know someone who might be interested in applying for this award, please check back here in January 2020 for more information. To learn more about the M.Sc in Business Administration at UBC Sauder click here.