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Business Leaders Should Spend More Time Mentoring Women, BMO Financial Group Executive Tells Professional Forum  


Effective mentoring can be key to overcoming the still-present obstacles for women in the business world, said Rose Patten, Executive Vice President, BMO Financial Group, addressing the annual Women in Capital Markets (WCM) networking event in Toronto.

“According to a recent study done by Catalyst (a leading source on information about women in business), women who have received mentoring tend to be more satisfied with their jobs and their chances for advancement,” said Ms Patten.  “In fact, Women in Capital Markets’ own benchmarking study last year found that women reported a lack of mentoring opportunities and female role models as important barriers to advancement.”

Ms. Patten sees mentoring and the active encouragement of women in business as a way for firms and other organizations to achieve their full potential.  She stated that BMO Financial Group has placed a strong emphasis on eliminating the barriers to women in its own workforce.  The result of properly addressing this important strategic and competitive issue has meant that today the percentage of Canadian women executives at BMO has increased to 35 per cent, up from 9 per cent only thirteen years ago.

However, Ms. Patten also noted that the financial industry still has a way to go in creating an equal market for women. “We will have succeeded when there is a critical mass of women around every board table, on our trading floors and across our entire industry,” she said.

Rose Patten is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Head, Office of Strategic Management at BMO Financial Group.   During her extensive career, she has had experience working in all four pillars of the Canadian financial services industry (banking, insurance, trust, and investment banking).  In addition to her role at BMO Financial Group, she also serves as the Vice Chair of the University of Toronto’s Governing Council.  A full copy of Ms. Patten’s remarks may be found in the speeches section of the website at

Women in Capital Markets is a nonprofit organization established in 1995 to advance the involvement and impact of women in the capital markets and to be a positive force for change in the industry in response to the evolving business environment. Capital markets activities include the issuing, buying, selling or trading of securities, currencies and derivatives. WCM is supported by nine founding firms, including BMO Financial Group, and the Board of Directors is assisted by an Advisory Council of distinguished leaders.

Beginning in 1817, BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO) is one of the largest financial services providers in North America.  With average assets of $253 billion and more than 33,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.  BMO serves clients across Canada and in the United States through its Canadian retail arm BMO Bank of Montreal, Chicago-based Harris Bank, a major U.S. mid-west financial services organization which also has wealth management offices and branches across the United States and BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of North America's leading full-service investment firms.