Women's History Month: Shelley Sylva Followed Her Passions and Talents

Shelley Sylva

March 19, 2019 - DC, DE, MD, VA Florida Maine New England New Jersey, New York and PA North and South Carolina

In honor of Women's History Month, the Digital News Center is profiling female TD leaders speaking about My Truth regarding their careers, work in the community and how they've overcome challenges.

TD Bank's US Head of Social Impact Shelley Sylva believes in payback.

"I believe to whom much is given, much is required," Shelley said. "I had many people, including wonderful parents, who shaped me to who I am today. I feel obligated to do the same for young women. Most of the organizations I am involved in support young women, the Girl Scouts, my alma mater Philadelphia High School for Girls and my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha."

Shelley's extensive professional experience and passion for community issues makes her a perfect fit for her new role leading the TD Charitable Foundation and efforts surrounding The Ready Commitment. For Shelley, Women's History Month has a very special meaning – to celebrate the contribution of all women.

"It's also a time for us to acknowledge and recognize those women of color whose contributions so  often go ignored although they are integral to the fabric of society," she said.

Here are some other insights from Shelley:

Can you share a bit about yourself and your role?

I am a native Philadelphian, a wife, mother of two great kids (Henry 10, Harper 8), sister, aunt, community leader and Bank executive. I have the best job at the bank, leading TD's Ready Commitment, our Charitable Foundation and employee engagement initiatives.

 I work with 21 of the most passionate subject matter experts in the space of corporate citizenship, community partnerships, philanthropy and employee engagement. My mandate is to develop and execute a strategy to drive TD's US global citizenship goal to build an inclusive future where everyone has the opportunity to succeed with confidence in a changing world.

Most important is remaining true to TD's identity in each of its communities that it operates and continuing to deliver Unexpectedly Human results to all those who we serve.

What was the driving force to enable you to achieve your career success?

My parents are amazing people. They encouraged and supported me no matter what I wanted to do. As an adventurous middle child with a Type A personality, I took more of my parents' time, compared with my siblings. Having a strong educational background also set me up for success.

What community issues do you care about and why?

I care about many community issues, particularly the development and success of girls and women. Another issue I care deeply about is quality healthcare for children in underserved urban areas. I never take it for granted, and I know how blessed my children are to have it.

What career opportunities did you have that earlier generations of women did not?

I think women of today can literally do anything. I am an attorney, real estate professional and now Bank executive.

How do you achieve work/life balance?

My goal isn't balance. I tell myself that it is okay for things to not be in balance. Having an 8-year old and a 10-year old is demanding. Some days, specifically during basketball season on Saturdays, they require my full attention. Other times, my work requires all of my attention. It's a challenge to juggle everything. 


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