Royal Bank of Canada’s investment arm has launched a new coaching program for LGBT professionals in the capital markets industry in the Greater Toronto area, which the bank says is the first program of its kind in the country.

The program, called Common Grounds, has been launched in a partnership with LGBT in Capital Markets, a not-for-profit organization that advances LGBT individuals in the capital markets industry.

“There is a tremendous business case for diversity, and this program is an important step forward in enabling and investing in LGBT+ talent,” said Derek Flood, head of Canadian equities and co-chair of the Canadian Diversity Leadership Council at RBC Capital Markets, in a statement. “We hope Common Grounds sends a strong message about the support that exists for bringing one’s full self to work.”

Common Grounds participants are matched with industry professionals based on career objectives, industry interests, LGBT community involvement, and other criteria. Participation, which is confidential, involves one-on-one coaching and development sessions.

“Common Grounds is about building meaningful connections between people, providing LGBT+ and straight allies in the industry with an opportunity to advance the career trajectories of LGBT+ talent,” said Steven Solarz, executive director of LGBT in Capital Markets. “The program also allows LGBT+ talent to feel both empowered and valued.”

Financial Post