Skip to main content

Janice Fukakusa: “The pipelines are pretty positive for women to get there now.”

Erin Elder/The Globe and Mail

Janice Fukakusa, chief financial officer at Royal Bank of Canada, has been tapped by American Banker as one of the 25 most powerful women in banking for the third consecutive year, and her profile will probably head higher after RBC closes its $5.4-billion (U.S.) acquisition of Los Angeles-based City National Corp. later this year.

The magazine pointed to that transaction in its write-up, noting that it is the biggest bank mergers and acquisitions deal of the year so far, and that Ms. Fukakusa was instrumental in assessing City National's fit with RBC's strategic goals and cultural footprint.

But her ranking goes well beyond the deal, of course. It resonates strongly with Canadians because Ms. Fukakusa is the only Canadian represented. It also resonates with RBC's U.S. personnel, who don't always expect to see their bank ranked alongside brands such as KeyCorp and JPMorgan Chase (whose top female executives placed No. 1 and No. 2 on the list, respectively).

Story continues below advertisement

"It really makes them feel good to see that recognition of RBC," she said.

Ms. Fukakusa said there has been a renewed focus on women within banking in the past five or 10 years, as stakeholders recognize the value of gender diversity. Yet there's more progress to be made. She pointed out that women make up 63 per cent of RBC's work force but only 38 per cent of the executive team. "That's quite a difference," she said.

"There is more of a recognition that if you are serving clients, you have to be reflecting the demographics," she added.

But are we on the verge of seeing a female chief executive officer at a Big Six bank?

"The pipelines are pretty positive for women to get there now," Ms. Fukakusa said, pointing to the three women on RBC's executive committee and a number of others at senior levels. "So I think it is just a matter of time."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter