Gay-Mifying the Home Equity Space
Tony Giannopoulos began his career studying engineering cybersecurity at McMaster before eventually doing his MBA at Schulich for two years. He currently works at RBC as the Director of Transformation within Home Equity Financing.
However, he began his time at RBC through their Leadership Development program which he highly recommends as it gives MBA graduates the chance to rotate across various departments in the bank. The program is built for people who have no prior experience working in banks before and provides exposure to different parts of personal commercial banking. Tony worked in marketing, the physical networks strategy team, commercial banking as well as the product and portfolio management for home equity. “You can spend an entire career at one bank but do very different things and have a very multi-faceted and fulfilling career by not doing the same thing for 30 years”, asserts Tony.
Tony has previously volunteered with Start Proud, a non-profit organisation rooted in facilitating professional development of 2SLGBTQIA+ students. His time at Start Proud helped him in developing many skills related to marketing, operations. He was eventually elected as a Board of Director at Start Proud. Tony strongly advocates for business students to volunteer with organisations that pique their interest to build a network and hone crucial skills that are required at the workplace.
Tony also speaks about diversity being a core value within RBC. The company has enhanced family benefits for fertility, surrogacy and adoption which goes hand in hand with creating more inclusive spaces for the community. They have also made a move towards inclusivity by having gender neutral washrooms.
For business students coming into the corporate space, Tony advises people to be open if possible, and share parts of yourself to your colleagues to connect better with them. “Be brave, and be courageous. Bring your authentic self to work,” he encourages. He believes that showing up authentically at work can help establish trust between colleagues which can in turn create inclusive and empathetic spaces. Although not every company is inclusive, self-advocating to creating that space for not only yourself but other employees coming in is key for change.