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Equity Impact: Compassionate Leadership with Dr. Rachel Ruttan

Monday, January 31st 2022
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Virtual Program, ON

Becoming a better leader through allyship and compassion 

The Equity Impact series examines pressing issues impacting diversity, equity, and inclusion by featuring leading researchers in the space. WCM's Equity Impact events deliver practical actions that firms and leaders can take to address these critical issues. 

This second edition of Equity Impact features Dr. Rachel Ruttan of the Rotman School of Management presenting her research on interpersonal compassion. Her research reveals that despite intuition suggesting that shared experience breeds empathy this is often not the case and leaders are often less compassionate to those going through similar circumstances. Dr. Ruttan’s work highlights how recognizing those who have helped us along the way can reignite compassion.  In conversation with Lara Zink, Dr. Ruttan will discuss:

  • steps to become a more compassionate leader 
  • actions to be a better ally


  • 4:30 - 4:45: Dr. Ruttan presents research findings
  • 4:45 - 5:15: Fireside chat with Lara Zink and Dr. Ruttan 
  • 5:15 - 5:30: Q & A from the audience

This event series is included in the cost of your membership. The Equity Impact Series is hosted quarterly and one of the many reasons to become a member of WCM.  To claim your member ticket please login and your member rate will appear. To learn more about membership click here.


Rachel Ruttan, PHD

Rotman School of Management

Rachel Ruttan holds a PhD in Management and Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Her research interests include compassion and prosocial behavior, values, and moral judgment. Specifically, she studies lapses in interpersonal compassion, as well as the potential pitfalls of organizations' attempts to appeal to morals and values, showing when and how "doing well by doing good" can backfire. Her research has been published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Her work has been profiled in The New York Times, NPR, and The Harvard Business Review. 


Lara Zink

President & CEO

Lara Zink is currently President & CEO of Women in Capital Markets. WCM is the largest network of female professionals in Canadian finance, with initiatives that impact the careers of countless female students and professionals across the country. Prior to joining WCM, Lara spent 18 months in venture capital. She is an angel investor and a mentor at a startup accelerator called NEXT Canada. NEXT accelerates the growth trajectory of aspiring and scaling entrepreneurs with education, mentorship, funding, and access to Canada’s strongest entrepreneurial network.  From 1995 to 2019 Lara worked at RBC Capital Markets. She sold North American and European equity research and investment banking products to many of Canada’s largest institutional investors, including pension funds, bank owned mutual funds, and independent fund managers. A lead partner in RBC Women’s Leadership ETF, she has been a strong advocate for ED&I throughout her career and has extensive volunteer experience for social impact.  Lara holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from UWO, and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. Lara is a Governor on the University of Toronto Governing Council, she sits on two Foundation boards, the CAMH Campaign Cabinet, and is a volunteer for the Special Olympics.  Lara has been an active mentor to junior women and men throughout her career. 

What is your reaction to the fact that the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be chaired by a man?