As RBC’s Chief Data Officer, Jennifer oversees data enablement for the organization and ensures data continues to be one of RBC’s greatest strengths and is foundational to our future success.
Since joining RBC over 30 years ago, Jennifer has held a variety of technology roles, including the SVP for Investor & Treasury Services Technology, where she provided leadership and strategic direction for the global I&TS IT team.
Jennifer is also a Board member of SHAD, an entrepreneurship program and network that empowers exceptional high school students to become tomorrow’s leaders and change makers.
Originally from Ottawa, Jennifer has an Honours Bachelor of Math degree (BMath’88) from the University of Waterloo and has completed an Executive Development Program at the Queen’s School of Business. Jennifer lives outside of Toronto with her husband and has three grown children.
As an inspiring leader, we asked Jennifer a few questions about her career and decision to pursue a degree in mathematics.
Why did you choose to study at Waterloo and the Faculty of Mathematics?
Math was something that I enjoyed and applying computing to real world business challenges was something that sparked my interests. Aside from Waterloo’s reputation as the best university for Math & Computer Science, the University had programs that married both computing and business classes as part of a BMath program so it seemed like a perfect fit.
Have you received any good career advice?
Some of the best career advice I received was when I was feeling a bit ‘stuck’ in my career and was focused on trying to figure out what my next role should be. A mentor of mine told me “Don’t look for the next role – look at where you want to be after that – and then choose your path based on that future. Don’t set your sights on a ‘job’, focus on what you have to contribute and what you are interested in learning or experiencing – different roles will become interesting to you when you use your own goals as your benchmark”. It’s something that I’ve done ever since and I’ve also shared with many folks that I mentor as well.
What unique skills do you see women bringing to the table in your field?
Diversity brings richness to any field. Given the world we live in, women are definitely using technology so why shouldn’t their perspective be a part of how we think about and build technology? I don’t believe that women have unique skills but women are just as capable in a technology forum as men. It is important that we are not building with biases – whether it is digital experiences or internal processes we are building for - diversity is a critical component. If we want our technology experiences as women to be better, then we have to have a role in making them better.