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Diversity Canada Magazine Ranks BMO's Richard Rudderham Among Top Ten Leaders of 2014

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 20, 2014) - Richard Rudderham, Chief Human Resources Officer, BMO Financial Group, has been recognized as a 2014 Top 10 Diversity Change Leaders by Diversity Canada Magazine.

Diversity Change Leaders were selected based on their ability to raise awareness around the importance of being a diverse and inclusive organization and work to establish a culture of inclusion by including employees of different cultures, genders and backgrounds. Those who are recognized also have gone beyond creating hiring practices and are partnering with internal leaders and external community members to engage diverse people while fostering a supportive environment to ensure sustained success.

"Diversity matters – and the advantage it confers on an organization is inestimable. Every leader has an important role to play to help remove barriers to success – whether by addressing systemic issues such as workplace policies, or by helping those around them to widen their own lens on the world, and discover new ways to reach their potential," said Bill Downe, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. "BMO joins Diversity Canada Magazine in congratulating Richard on being named one of Canada's Top 10 Diversity Change Leaders. His success in challenging the status quo and championing diversity has allowed the bank to continue to be a diversity leader in its own right, setting the stage for the leaders of tomorrow."

Diversity & Inclusion at BMO- Recent Highlights

Under Richard Rudderham's leadership:

  • BMO established a cross-enterprise Diversity Renewal Council (DRC) in 2012 to renew and reset the organization's commitment to Diversity & Inclusion across the company. The DRC includes a business leader-led strategy committee with accountability for action plans for each line of business. It also set workforce representation goals, including a goal of 40 per cent women in senior leadership roles by 2016. The DRC has also spearheaded an effort to tackle "cultural blind-spots" (e.g. "unconscious bias") in the BMO workplace, to level the playing field for all talent, and develop inclusive leaders who appreciate and endorse difference and foster a speak-up culture. These efforts include leaders undertaking Inclusive Leadership self-assessments, team discussions and workshops, and Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Summits for more than 300 BMO leaders in Toronto and Chicago.

  • For persons with disabilities, BMO implemented an annual leader-led "Count Me In!" initiative in 2012 across the organization to dispel myths and advocate for a culture of inclusion. This initiative raises awareness, encourages open dialogue and aligns with October's National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. Now in its third year, the program has seen a year-over-year increase in BMO's workforce population of persons with disabilities since its inception from 2.1 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

  • In 2013, BMO launched a sponsorship pilot program to support and encourage the promotion of employees of all backgrounds. The success of this program has resulted in expanded networks, greater exposure to senior leadership and promotional opportunities for sponsor-backed protégés.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had more than $586 billion in total assets and approximately 47,000 employees at July 31, 2014.

For further information:
Media contacts:
Amanda Robinson, Toronto

Valerie Doucet, Montreal