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Catalyst Canada Recognizes BMO CEO Bill Downe for his Extraordinary Leadership in Advancing Women in Business

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 8, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Tonight, as Catalyst celebrated the five-year anniversary of its signature Canadian event, Catalyst Canada Honours, it extended special thanks and recognition to Bill Downe, Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Group, and Chair, Catalyst Canada Advisory Board, for his leadership and dedication to expanding opportunities for women in business.

"Bill truly sets the gold standard for leadership on advancing women in business," said Deborah Gillis, Catalyst President & CEO. "Bill has been foundational to the growth of Catalyst Canada over several years, and his commitment to our mission has been unwavering. Having the active support of someone of Bill's stature and influence has been a formidable asset for Catalyst."

"Bill's role in championing gender diversity in business leadership is transformative," said Alex Johnston, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada. "He has relentlessly sponsored and mentored talented women at BMO and across corporate Canada. His commitment to supporting multigenerational talent and bringing other business leaders to the table to accelerate the advancement of women has inspired all of us."

The Catalyst Canada Honours annually celebrates champions of women in Canadian business, recognizing the critical role of individual leadership in creating opportunities for women to advance. Also at the dinner, five exceptional Canadian corporate leaders were recognized as 2014 Catalyst Canada Honours Champions, for their leadership and commitment to advancing women in their organizations, industries and communities. They included: Dean Johnson, Past President and CEO, Sodexo Canada; Ellen Moore, President and CEO, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada; Sharon MacLeod, Vice President, Personal Care, North America, Unilever; and Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC. Additionally, the Hon. Howard I. Wetston, Q.C., Chair, Ontario Securities Commission, received Special Recognition - Board Diversity Champion for his work advancing women to board leadership.


Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 700 member organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

For further information:
Francine Beck
+1 416 725 3710

Susan Nierenberg
Vice President, Global Communications, Catalyst
+1 646 388 7744

Ralph Marranca
BMO Financial Group, Toronto
+1 416 867 3996