BY SONIA WEST
Jessie Shokar is a woman who has adapted and persevered. She has overcome adversity and taken challenges head-on. She is tenacious in her career as a Branch Manager with RBC Royal Bank. She achieved The Global Citizen Award in 2018, Leadership Award 2020, Award for Care, Empathy & Resilience during COVID for Clients and her team, and recognition for three consecutive years of High Employee Engagement.
Her compassion came from the adversities she faced through many occurrences in different phases of her life. She grew up in Bombay and experienced the Bombay riots. Its effect on her mental health & overall safety especially being a woman, impacted her immensely. She had to deal with challenges with her health where there were nearly two years where her health had declined, but she learned how to cope and maintain her resilience.
Jessie’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and up until the day she passed, Jessie was by her side tending to all of her mother’s needs. After her mother passed, Jessie became a caregiver to her dad. Her father has a special bond with her husband and her two sons.
“Traditionally, it’s a son’s role in our culture to be the primary caregiver to the parents, and society perceives this as a perfect picture. Since my upbringing was not any different from my brothers, it was natural for me to be the primary caregiver to my parents. A supportive and caring spouse has made a world of difference too for me,” she reminisces. She also recognizes the family’s first philosophy that RBC, Royal Bank, instills its brand and community.
“I am blessed with extremely caring, supportive family, friends & colleagues. They have been there for me in my high & lows. One group that’s very dear to my heart is my “Sister Circle” that I have created. This circle is made up of my close network from the community and work friendships. Every soul that I interact with – inspires me in some way.”
The “Sister Circle” comprises diverse women who share a mutual goal: to be a source of comfort and sisterhood without judgment. She believes that when we include and value every team member’s background and respect each other’s uniqueness and what each one could contribute—they become more creative, committed, collaborative, and motivated to participate to the fullest of their potential.
“I am a people person and get my energy by connecting and learning from others. The future is exciting personally as I look forward to meeting my network face to face post-pandemic. I envision myself serving my local community, energizing and growing myself professionally with RBC.
Her advice for young women is, “To have belief in yourself, focus less on comparing yourself to other women (your looks, body image, social status, external happiness). Get out of your comfort zone and learn new things. Understand that you are unique and be proud of your rich heritage.”
She says women can bring everyone in the community and family together. She looks forward to more opportunities to do just that, hosting family and friends as she did pre-Covid..