SVP, Digital & Direct Banking and Head of Simplii Financial
“If you don’t take time for yourself, you'll do yourself, your family and the people around you a disservice.”
Aayaz Pira’s favourite moments from his two-month parental leave are snuggling with his children, playing sports with his son and making home-cooked dinners with his wife.
Reflecting on his time away from the office, Aayaz has learned a few things he says he'll carry forward. “I’ve learned to be present, active and engaged. It’s important to spend quality time with the people you love and to simply enjoy the moment. It’s essential to take ‘me time’ to have a healthy mind, body and soul. If you don’t take time for yourself, you'll do yourself, your family and the people around you a disservice.”
As a father to a baby girl, Aayaz is even more passionate about continuing to be a strong voice and advocate for the advancement of women in the workplace. He's an executive sponsor of CIBC’s Women’s Network and an adviser to #movethedial, an organization that CIBC partners with to help grow the pipeline of women in tech.
Aayaz believes men play a pivotal role in advancing gender equality and says, “Inclusion and diversity are everyone’s accountability, but it's the role of our leaders, both men and women, to set the tone at the top and become advocates and change agents in making workplaces more inclusive. At CIBC, we're focused on creating an inclusive workplace by taking proactive steps to disrupt unconscious bias and encourage leaders to develop new habits and make better, more informed decisions.”
Aayaz has made a conscious effort to make sure his own team is diverse and his leaders feel equipped to disrupt bias and lead with inclusion.
“I’m proud to say we're one of the most diverse teams within our bank. We believe a diverse team makes us stronger, more innovative, and enables us to bring multiple lenses of thought when we develop best-in-class digital client experiences.”
Now that he's returned from his parental leave, Aayaz is ready to continue harnessing his role to help transform the bank, deliver exceptional client experiences and build a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world.
What Aayaz finds most rewarding in his role is seeing his team develop and take on leadership roles across the bank. He believes in developing leaders through empowerment. “Success is predicated on how well the team does when you’re not around. We're working hard to create a culture that's inclusive, collaborative, creative and agile; one that empowers our teams to take ownership to improve and create the very best client experience possible. I believe our team has the ability to transform our bank from the inside out and not only build the best bank in your pocket, but help build the best bank in Canada.”
Stories from our team
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"If there are women in leadership roles or you can see a culture that values diversity in leadership, then you're more likely to see yourself staying with the business long-term.”
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