Statement from Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction
TORONTO, October 31, 2017 – Today, Zabeen Hirji officially retired from RBC after a 40 year career – including 10 years as the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer. As we celebrate Zabeen’s corporate accomplishments, I am happy to announce that she will continue to build her legacy of community impact through her roles with CivicAction as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of CivicAction’s Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers initiative.
Zabeen’s experience and advice has been invaluable to CivicAction since she joined the board in 2011. Under her leadership on Escalator, CivicAction has identified key opportunities for private sector engagement, successfully launched a number of programs that are making a difference in the lives of thousands young people, and is now working with employers to advance more systemic, cultural and long-term change within their workplaces.
Zabeen has always used her impact and influence to improve the quality of life of some of our region’s most vulnerable citizens and is a strong community leader as much as she is a corporate dynamo. As another community giant has said “Many pop-up in our city, province and country’s social change landscape, but few have worked as long, as quietly, as strategically as Zabeen Hirji,” – Daniele Zanotti, President & CEO, United Way Toronto &York Region.
A life-long champion of diversity and inclusion and youth education and employment, Zabeen has been honoured with the Governor General’s meritorious Service Medal for advancing diversity and inclusion and is a three-time recipient of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Most recently she was awarded the Ivey Business School Award for Lifetime Achievement in the HR industry. On behalf of CivicAction and our Board of Directors, I thank Zabeen for her contribution to CivicAction, to our region, and to the many people she has helped elevate and champion along the way. We look forward to her continued partnership.