I can point to three factors that contributed to my career advancement – education, experience and people. Clearly, my education and experience were essential to doing my job well. However, I’d have to say my relationship with people has mattered the most. And I’m fortunate that I work for a company that highly values its people.

RBC U.S. Wealth Management provides a welcoming, inclusive work environment that offers the flexibility and support that most employees look for in a company. This type of culture, along with diversity and inclusion initiatives that continually improve our workplace, is particularly important to me as both a female professional and working mother.

I’m very pleased with the accomplishments our firm is making toward women’s growth. What’s more, I’m also proud that our parent company, Royal Bank of Canada, was honored with the 2010 Catalyst Award for exceptional initiatives that support and advance women and people of color in business.

I believe women in business can advance in their careers and overcome challenges in the workplace by seizing learning opportunities and garnering the support of other women. I have had wonderful women supporting me my entire life; specifically, my mother and my five sisters. By sharing our qualities and perspectives, we have helped each other through critical decisions and life’s challenges.

Many other women and men have also provided guidance and advice throughout my career. These have inspired me, in turn, to reach out, mentor and give back to others.

For women who want to know the secret to building a successful career in business, my answer is this: seize every opportunity to acquire a wide array of business experience, get a well-rounded education and, most importantly, value key relationships, because people can and will help others succeed.