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BMO Financial Group Named One of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2015

BMO recognized for its workplace diversity and inclusiveness initiatives

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 31, 2015) - BMO Financial Group has been named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2015 by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the publishers of Canada's Top 100 Employers. This designation recognizes employers in Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.

"BMO has a long history as a champion of diversity and inclusion - it's a core value and a key priority for us," said Sonya Kunkel, Chief Diversity Officer, BMO Financial Group. "Being recognized as a top Diversity Employer reflects our dedication to creating an inclusive workplace that values and encourages the different perspectives and experiences of our employees. We want our workforce to be a reflection of the customers and communities where we live and work so our employees and customers can benefit from more creative ideas and innovative solutions a diverse workforce can inspire."

Judges recognized BMO for introducing initiatives that support diversity in the workplace by promoting awareness, encouraging inclusivity and creating new opportunities for employees. These initiatives include:

  • An enterprise-wide Diversity Renewal Council - comprised of top leaders from across the company - that creates action plans to integrate diversity more deeply into each line of business
  • BMO's "Count Me In" program, which encourages those with a disability to self-identify in the organization's workforce survey to raise awareness, dispel myths and highlight their valued and meaningful contributions to the success of the company
  • Learning sessions and workshops to help senior leaders strengthen their understanding of diversity, recognize and minimize hidden biases, and formulate plans to encourage a more diverse and welcoming work environment within their business units
  • An enterprise-wide pilot sponsorship program to connect diverse high-potential employees with senior leaders
  • Sponsorship of ACCES Speed Mentoring sessions, which provide new Canadian job-seekers with opportunities to meet and network with professionals in their field
  • Scholarships and summer internship programs for students from Canada's aboriginal communities
  • Multiple initiatives that support women, such as signing the Catalyst Accord as a pledge to increase the representation of women on BMO's Board of Directors and launching a new employee resource program called W.I.S.E. (Women in a Supported Environment) that champions the support and advancement of women internally

A full outline of the judges' comments can be found here:

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 total assets of approximately $672 billion and more than 47,000 employees at January 31, 2015.

For further information:
Media contacts:
Amanda Robinson, Toronto

Valerie Doucet, Montreal