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BMO Named to The Globe and Mail's Second Annual Women Lead Here Benchmark of Executive Gender Diversity

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TORONTO, March 26, 2021 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group has earned a place on the 2021 Report on Business Women Lead Here list, an annual editorial benchmark to identify best-in-class executive gender diversity in corporate Canada.

Established in 2020 by The Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine, the Women Lead Here initiative applies a proprietary research methodology to determine Canadian corporations with the highest degree of gender diversity among executive ranks.

"BMO has been championing the advancement of women within the bank for over three decades and this recognition is testament to the long-term work we've undertaken to bring greater gender balance to our bank," said Mona Malone, Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of People & Culture, BMO Financial Group. "From the work we started in the 1990s with the establishment of the Task Force on the Advancement of Women in the Bank to the recent unveiling of our Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy, we've been steadfast in our support for gender parity and inclusion. We will continue to uphold our commitment to empowering women now and into the future."

For the 2021 ranking, Report on Business analyzed nearly 500 large, publicly-traded Canadian companies, evaluating the ratio of female-identifying to male-identifying executives in the top three tiers of executive leadership. The results were applied to a weighted formula that also factored in company performance, diversity and year-to-year change. In total, 71 companies earned the 2021 Women Lead Here seal, with a combined average of 44 per cent of executive roles held by female-identifying individuals.

The bank's commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in its workforce has yielded important results:

  • More than 41 per cent of senior leadership roles are held by women

  • Women hold 45 per cent of Independent Board roles

Additional initiatives and highlights of BMO's work to advance gender equity in its workforce and beyond include:

  • The introduction of a new five-year strategy, Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025, aimed at eliminating barriers to inclusion and increasing diversity goals for senior leader and executive roles. The strategy will give further opportunities for women who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ2+ and persons with disabilities

  • Running BMO Alliance for Women, BMO's largest Enterprise Resource Group with over 4,000 members, that is dedicated to championing the inclusion, connection, development, advancement and support of women for the betterment of BMO's business, communities and culture

  • The issuance of $750 million of a five-year Women in Business Bond to mark International Women's Day 2021, with proceeds of the bonds allocated toward women-owned enterprises as defined in BMO's Sustainable Financing Framework, including micro, small and medium-sized businesses

  • Supporting women entrepreneurs' access to credit to grow their businesses by making $3 billion in capital available over three years (2018-2021) to Canadian businesses owned by women

  • Curating a dedicated BMO website, www.bmoforwomen.com, which provides tools and educational resources for women entrepreneurs, including podcast series Bold(h)er

  • Executive sponsorship of Plan International Canada's Girls Belong Here program, which places young women in positions of leadership, power and influence for a day.

  • Honouring the achievements of women leaders in communities across the U.S. and Canada through the BMO Celebrating Women Grant program

  • Partnering with The Prosperity ProjectTM, a new not-for-profit organization focusing on creating and disseminating knowledge on gender diversity and intersectionality in the senior ranks of Canadian workforces, and helping to drive an inclusive recovery of the pandemic

  • Committing US$300 million in 2020 for small business lending to expand resources for women, Black and Latinx-owned small businesses in the U.S., as part of the BMO EMpower initiative

  • Launching the BMO Harris Bank WMN•FINtech in 2020, a mentoring program for women-led fintech startups and the latest evolution of the BMO Harris / 1871 Innovation Program, designed to give more women entrepreneurs the opportunity to bring cutting-edge technology and products forward

The full list of 2021 Women Lead Here honourees can be found in the April issue of Report on Business magazine, distributed with The Globe and Mail on Saturday, March 27th, and online now at tgam.ca/WomenLeadHere.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $973 billion as of January 31, 2021, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail is Canada's foremost news media company, leading the national discussion and causing policy change through brave and independent journalism since 1844. With our award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs, The Globe and Mail newspaper reaches 5.9 million readers every week in our print or digital formats, and Report on Business magazine reaches 2.1 million readers in print and digital every issue. Our investment in innovative data science means that as the world continues to change, so does The Globe. The Globe and Mail is owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2021/26/c0575.html