Financial services industry leader Zabeen Hirji joins SFU Beedie as Executive in Residence
Based in Toronto, Hirji is a strategic advisor to business, government and academia, and a director on corporate and not-for-profit boards. In her current role as Executive Advisor, Future of Work at Deloitte, Hirji advises the firm and its clients on the changing nature of work, a pressing issue at a time of rapid technological, demographic and social change. Prior to this, she had a distinguished career at RBC, where she held senior executive roles in human resources, including Chief Human Resources Officer, and business leadership.
As a recognized champion of inclusive growth and prosperity through investment in people, she advises senior levels of government and academia on diversity and inclusion, talent, and the future of work. A long-standing community leader, Hirji currently chairs CivicAction, a civic engagement organization that brings together established and rising leaders from all sectors to develop solutions for pressing issues in the greater Toronto region.
Hirji is a leading expert in preparing organizations and individuals for the future of work, focusing on leadership and culture, lifelong learning, diversity and inclusion, and purpose-led organizations. At SFU Beedie, she will advise the dean and leadership team on equity, diversity, and culture. She will influence new programming and advise SFU Beedie’s social innovation hub, RADIUS, on its Future of Work Program. She will also participate in the broader community through speaking engagements with students and alumni, and at public events hosted by the school.
“SFU played a pivotal role in my life, and I’m honoured to return to the business school as an executive-in-residence and contribute to cultivating the next generation of business students,” says Hirji, a lifelong learner.
“I am inspired by SFU Beedie’s mission to develop innovative and socially responsible business leaders who have a global perspective. Building a dialogue between business and academia is essential to preparing young people for the future of leadership and work.”
Hirji has received widespread recognition for her lasting impact on business and society. Her many awards include the Canadian HR Awards Lifetime Achievement for leadership in human resources; Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal for advancing diversity and inclusion; SFU’s Outstanding Alumni Award; and Catalyst Canada Honours Champion Award. She was listed among WXN’s Canada's Most Powerful Women three times, in 2008, 2010 and 2011. In 2012 she was inducted into the Top 100 Hall of Fame and in both 2011 and 2014 was named as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence by the Women of Influence organization.
“We are thrilled and honoured to welcome Zabeen to this new position,” says Ali Dastmalchian, dean of SFU Beedie. “Zabeen is one of our most accomplished alumni, and has reached the very top of her profession. She has an enormous amount of wisdom to offer and her counsel will be invaluable as we continue to build an inclusive school that empowers the next generation of innovative business leaders.”