Zabeen Hirji, Former CHRO, Royal Bank of Canada

Zabeen Hirji of Royal Bank of Canada is part of Human Resources Director Canada's Hot List 2018

Hot List 2018

Former CHRO

Recognized with the award for Lifetime Achievement in the HR Industry at the 2017 Canadian HR Awards, Zabeen Hirji joined RBC in 1977 as a teller in Vancouver. Over the years, she brought her business acumen, determination and creativity to progressively senior roles in retail banking, operations and credit cards. She joined the HR function in 1997 and was appointed CHRO in 2007, a role she held until her retirement last year. Under Hirji’s leadership, RBC received many employer awards, including being acknowledged as one of the best workplaces in Canada for eight years running. 

One of Hirji’s most influential contributions was her championing of diversity and inclusion, an area in which she is recognized as a global leader. She has also guided the development of RBC’s new corporate citizenship strategy, focused on unlocking the potential of youth.

Hirji also helped shape RBC’s Collective Ambition, which embraced the idea of leadership as a collective accountability. Just as innovative was the bank’s Vision and Values Jam, which Hirji was heavily involved in. The event involved CEO Dave McKay and the company’s leaders asking questions, giving opinions, reacting to posts and fielding responses to unfiltered commentary on RBC’s purpose, vision, values and desired leader behaviours.