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Representation is the first step toward effecting lasting change for gender equity in the workplace.

At TD Bank Group (TD), the numbers are moving in the right direction: According to the company’s Wealth for Women report, women represent 48 per cent of TD’s workforce, and there have been an increasing number of women taking on leadership roles throughout the organization. In TD’s 2022 ESG Report, the company reported that women hold 40 per cent of roles at the vice president level or above, and the company is on-track to take that number to 45 per cent by 2025. What’s more, the executive leadership team that covers the Atlantic and Quebec regions is almost entirely women, which is unique in the Canadian finance sector.

This journey toward gender parity is important, because when there are women leaders in positions of power, it allows them to shape an organization’s culture as well as share their personal and professional experiences with emerging leaders of all genders. At TD, women leaders champion important initiatives, support large teams and offer their unique and important expertise and experiences. These invaluable contributions give women in finance access to trusted, experienced guides who can help them navigate their own careers.

Here the TD Wealth, Business Banking and Branch Banking executive leadership team for Quebec and Atlantic Canada share their leadership insights.

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Jenn Auld, Vice-President, Branch Banking, Atlantic regionSUPPLIED

Jenn Auld, Vice-President, Branch Banking, Atlantic region on being a woman in banking:

“In my experience, I think good management practices such as effective communication, clear expectations, delegation and feedback are really always essential, regardless of gender. Good leadership requires a balance of assertiveness, empathy, the ability to listen and respond to feedback. That’s how you create an inclusive culture.

I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that values inclusion and diversity as much as TD does. I think for some women, it can feel like a choice between being a parent and having a career. But, it’s still possible with the focus on the right amount of communication, both at home and work. It’s also important to set the right expectations across both spaces, which can actually lend itself to a very strong support network.”

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Suzanne Tremblay, Vice-President & Region Head, Private Wealth Management, Atlantic & QuebecSUPPLIED

Suzanne Tremblay, Vice-President & Region Head, Private Wealth Management, Atlantic & Quebec, on being a mentor:

“I’ve had amazing mentors in my career. They were inspiring, and they helped me build my own confidence, and this is something I want to give back. For me, it’s about guiding, teaching, and supporting my teams with a clear communication style so they understand the road map and north star we are all working towards and feel empowered to make an impact. Everybody has their own abilities and strengths and my goal as a mentor is to really leverage these strengths to help this person push themselves and go the extra mile to develop themselves.

My mentorship style is about being transparent, being consistent with my values, being genuine, having a clear purpose, but treating everyone with respect. And what I really like as a mentor is to see the person gain confidence in themselves. When I see that they go above their element, and they’re so happy they could do it, to reinforce their capabilities [and] to celebrate the success, is so important.”

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Isabelle Ménard, Senior Vice-President, mid-market Quebec and Atlantic and Commercial National Accounts Quebec, Canadian Business BankingSUPPLIED

Isabelle Ménard, Senior Vice-President, mid-market Quebec and Atlantic and Commercial National Accounts Quebec, Canadian Business Banking on facing big challenges in leadership:

“Building confidence as a leader happens over time. [At TD], people gave me opportunities to develop in different roles; retail, commercial, wealth management, and in different regions as well. You’re in so many different situations, so you always have to adapt and be flexible. But you become an expert at it, and then that gives you a lot of confidence to move on to the next challenge. So, [I developed my confidence] through the roles and opportunities that TD has given me.

I would also say never give up, and just persevere. You’ll figure it out. When you’re leading a team, at some point, you have to be decisive for the greater good and that’s what a leader is as well. So you can’t always please every single person, it’s got to be for the greater good for the team.”

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Julie Blackburn, Region Head, Financial Planning, Quebec and AtlanticSUPPLIED

Julie Blackburn, Region Head, Financial Planning, Quebec and Atlantic, on adopting healthy leadership styles:

“I worked for TD many years ago, and I just came back and I feel really privileged to be back at the bank in this role. I’m someone who values the knowledge and the skills and the experience of my team. I utilize the collective intelligence that my team has to offer to make decisions and to build strategies. I try to sit between being able to manage my day-to-day operations, and also always capitalizing on growth opportunities. At the same time, I try to create a safe space for my team so everybody can be themselves, they can bring ideas to the table, where they can agree or disagree. I’m also very transparent with people, especially when they’re having difficult conversations. For me, it’s important so people can trust me.

The way I developed myself through time is by observing what everyone else was doing around me, and seeing how people reacted during difficult situations or during times of change. Being able to observe and learn from people is how I got better and better. I also ask for feedback from my colleagues so I could learn from these comments and it’s helped me every day.”

Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with TD. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.