Sara Stowe, Managing Director and COO for Global Investment Banking and Canadian Corporate Banking


The Scotiabank Women Initiative® for GBM spoke with Sara to learn about the development of the program’s Education Pillar and what it has to offer for clients and colleagues alike. 

Q&A Session

Q. How are you involved with The Scotiabank Women Initiative? 

A. Following its successful launch in Canadian Banking, our GBM team worked with clients to develop a Scotiabank Women Initiative program for GBM that would best address our clients’ specific needs. Initially, I co-led our efforts on the Advisory Pillar to build a board-ready database which assists us in recommending women leaders for open board roles with our clients. In early 2021, I transitioned to our Education Pillar as Advisor and worked with the team to provide our middle-level and emerging women leader clients with valuable training about key issues facing our businesses – AI, cyber security, payments modernization and more. Now, we are looking at ways to continue to share our expertise with our client base to have the greatest impact. 


Q. What are the key objectives of the Education Pillar? 

A. Whether directed at corporate, institutional or sponsor clients, the Education Pillar is designed to help our clients build their own skills by leveraging the Bank’s resources to connect them with our experts and leaders across the broader Scotiabank network. This also allows us to build relationships with emerging leaders.

Q. With the program in its second year in Global Banking and Markets, what stands out for you?

A. We have been deliberate to ensure The Scotiabank Women Initiative is relevant to our clients in Business Banking, Wealth Management and Global Banking and Markets. In GBM, we have developed our program holistically across the client side and designed activities that can help a wide-range of our clients – from mid-level leaders to an emerging leader on the client team. We are designing our programming to help our clients succeed as they progress in their careers.

Q. What can clients and colleagues look forward to going forward?

A. We have hosted panel discussions for larger client groups, including one that focused on strategies and implications as we emerge from the pandemic. We are also co-hosting sessions on ESG and Sustainability with our Innovation Pillar colleagues. We created Market Points Podcasts that speak to these events and can be heard here.

Our clients have provided great feedback about our events. They appreciate that we are responding to their specific needs, sharing interesting perspectives and expertise – whether in leadership issues or business challenges they face or building technical competency – and that we are showing a real interest in their future and their success.

Upcoming Education Pillar events include leadership fireside chats, technical development and risk management sessions. These sessions include highly customized content that is designed to help clients manage and succeed in their roles and for their organizations.

Building strong relationships with clients isn’t about one phone call or one successful transaction – it is the collection of things we do to understand them better and bring them the right solutions. We are mindful of the true value that The Scotiabank Women Initiative brings to both our clients and our teams.

Q. Along with your leadership for The Scotiabank Women Initiative, what would you like people to know about your role as COO for Global Investment Banking and Canadian Corporate Banking and the team you lead?

A. As part of the COO Team in GBM, my team provides operational support to the leaders in Corporate & Investment Banking on aligning and executing our GBM strategy and ensuring our leaders have the right tools and processes to drive the best results for the Bank. On the people side, we provide support on professional development, mentorship, building internal and external networks to develop our team’s capabilities. On the strategy side, we develop the appropriate structures to support each sector and product team so that they continue to execute our strategy, grow our business and deliver solutions our clients need to be successful.