"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.”
Chint Kulkarni is a managing director in CIBC Capital Markets. She has nearly 20 years of experience in banking at CIBC. As a senior leader, a wife and a mother to three children, Chint has experienced the challenges women face as they climb the corporate ladder. She's also seen the evolution of inclusion and diversity in the culture at CIBC.
“You can start your career without focusing on gender or ethnicity, but as you advance into more senior roles, these differences can become more apparent. If you look around you and not one single person in a senior position looks like you, the path to leadership can become less clear. Conversely, 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.”
A growing body of evidence shows gender-balanced leadership and company performance are strongly linked. Increased representation of women on boards and in senior leadership roles result in higher rates of returns on equity, valuations and payout ratios.
According to Chint, CIBC’s focus on inclusion and diversity throughout the bank, including a commitment to developing talented women, has been a key component to the bank’s success. “If we don’t give women access to the right set of opportunities, they won’t advance and there won’t be enough women in the executive pipeline or ready to join boards. Leadership is a learned behavior and you need the opportunity to be able to practice it as you advance through your career,” she says.
In Chint’s current role, she leads CIBC’s Loan’s Syndications group, where she thrives on bringing out the best in her team members while helping corporate clients achieve their goals. “The capital markets business is collaborative, fast-paced and competitive. I like the multifaceted nature of this job. We are experts on the bank market; we use market data to provide advice and solve complex problems for our clients. We also have the opportunity to build strong relationships with clients and partners.”
Chint would like to see more women in leadership positions, which is one of the reasons she's committed to inclusion. She's a past diversity champion with the Diversity Council of CanadaOpens a new window., an organization focused on advancing gender-balance and diversity on Canada’s boards. “There are so many extremely talented, successful women who are capable of contributing to boards and who come forward with successful board nominations as a result of the diversity council’s encouragement,” says Chint.
As a member of CIBC’s Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Council, Chint also champions inclusion and diversity in CIBC's day-to-day business.
"I think there’s an opportunity for organizations, including ours, to make a big impact on our talent and culture, and ultimately our results."
Chint’s advice for other women aspiring to fill leadership roles is this: Find role models, both male and female, and lead in a manner that feels authentic and right for you. Challenge yourself regularly to do things that might fall outside of your comfort zone. Know that you can weave together a successful career with a life that's also rich with family and friends. And lastly, trust your instincts. Rally your supporters, create a positive dialogue with yourself and use that to navigate an evolved definition of leadership.
Did you know?
Dodig is a past chair of the Catalyst Canada Advisory BoardOpens a new window in your browser.. He's been named a Catalyst Canada Honours Company/Firm Leader Champion in recognition of his transformational leadership and passionate commitment to advancing inclusive workplaces and boards at CIBC, in businesses in Canada and around the world.
Dodig is a past chair of the 30% Club CanadaOpens a new window in your browser., supporting efforts to address the challenge of advancing women to boards, and collectively bringing Canada closer to having 30% of board seats occupied by women. CIBC currently has 44% women on its board of directors and is a proud supporter of gender-balanced teams.
CIBC became the first Canadian bank to sign the UK Women in Finance Charter in 2016, a pledge for better gender balance across financial services firms in the UK.
For the third time, CIBC has been included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, signaling our best-in-class status and commitment to gender equality.
In 2018, CIBC announced a new Women in Leadership Social Bond Framework, the first of its kind in Canada, which enables our institutional clients to invest in a bond focused on companies with a demonstrated commitment to gender diversity in leadership roles.
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"If you don't take time for yourself, you'll do yourself, your family and the people around you a disservice.”
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