My Life, My Say: RBC Sustainable Livelihoods Program

RBC and YWCA Toronto employees hold a novelty cheque for $50,000

When women have the tools for financial independence, they empower themselves and their communities. That’s why RBC is investing $50,000 in Sustainable Livelihoods, a pilot project with YWCA Toronto to support job readiness and financial literacy for young women in Etobicoke and Rexdale.

The program will train 45 low-income women aged 16 to 25 in priority neighbourhoods that are striving to create better socio-economic opportunities for residents. The program model used by YWCA Toronto has proven to help marginalized women move toward short- and long-term economic goals using a combination of financial literacy, employment skills training and counselling.

“YWCA Toronto’s purpose is to help women and girls transform their lives, and the Sustainable Livelihoods program will have a transformative impact on young women living in Etobicoke and Rexdale,” affirms YWCA Toronto CEO Heather McGregor. “Many of these women face considerable socioeconomic barriers, and this program has enormous potential to support them in their crucial early years in the workforce.”

YWCA Toronto will offer Sustainable Livelihoods workshops once per month, in addition to a suite of online courses ranging from “Personality Dimensions” to “Introduction to Asset Mapping”. As part of their investment, RBC financial planners will also provide one-on-one volunteer support to women in the program. “The need for skills-based employment education and financial literacy in these neighbourhoods is immense,” says Tina Sarellas, Head, RBC Strategic Revenue Initiatives, Business Financial Services. “This program will empower women to achieve their full potential – both in the workplace and in their communities.”

On Thursday, March 6, YWCA Toronto celebrated the new partnership by leading a group of RBC employees on a tour of the YWCA Elm Centre. “It was such a beautiful thing to see the pride that all of the staff at YWCA Toronto took in being part of such an impactful and influential program to change women’s lives,” reflects RBC team member Katie Hanratty. “I am truly looking forward seeing the partnership between RBC and YWCA Toronto bloom in Etobicoke.”

For more information and to register, please call 416.269.0091 x231 or email To donate to programs like this one, click here.