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BMO and Catalyst Canada Welcome Newest Members of BMO Millennial Leaders Advisory Council

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 1, 2016) -

Note to Editors: There are two videos associated with this press release.

Following the introduction of the first BMO Millennial Leaders Advisory Council, BMO Financial Group and Catalyst Canada - the leading non-profit organization advancing women and inclusive workplaces - have convened the first meeting of the Council's newest members.

The new members, 27 female student leaders from universities across Canada, have started ongoing consultations with BMO and Catalyst to provide insights over the coming year relating to the workplace of the future and learn about inclusion. Students participating on the Council, who range in age from 20 to 27, act as ambassadors on campus and bring forward the dialogue on leadership locally.

"Our purpose in establishing the Council is simple: to inspire millennials to be agents of change," said Bill Downe, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. "The path to ensuring that the quality of opportunities in the workplace is the same for everyone has been leading Canadian organizations steadily in the right direction, but it's never fast enough."

The new members of the Council will continue the progressive work of the first cohort from last year on developing strategies to advance women, building inclusive workplaces and helping to grow Canada's talent advantage for the future. Despite the advancement and even dominance of women in many university undergraduate and graduate programs, Catalyst research shows that Canada's 'best and brightest' women continue to face gaps in opportunities when compared to their male counterparts.

"For us at BMO, it's important that we have these types of discussions and encounters with individuals coming into the workforce," said Sonya Kunkel, Chief Inclusion Officer and Vice President, People Strategies and Insights, BMO Financial Group. "It gives us a lot of insight into how we should be tailoring our people strategies."

The first Council cohort, which did its work over the past year, reported that the experience led them to gain further knowledge on the benefits of diversity and inclusion. These first Council members committed to raising these issues in everyday business environments, and said their learnings would help them in applying and evaluating corporate cultures in their careers.

"These impressive millennial women, who will soon enter the workforce, represent Canada's leaders of tomorrow," said Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada Inc. "They are motivated to support our mission of advancing women and inclusive workplaces, and we're so grateful to have their counsel, insights and support."

"Society needs to change its perspective on what we think defines a successful leader," said Dana Doswell, a Bachelor of Commerce student at Saint Mary's University in Halifax. "I'm inspired by our conversations about inclusion, collaboration and loyalty, and I'm ready to go back to my school with the ideas we've discussed."

"If we have a team that both promotes an inclusive environment and is diverse, we are going to be at our most productive and innovative," said Samantha Stuart, a Materials Science and Engineering student at the University of Toronto.

Members of the BMO Millennial Leaders Advisory Council 2016/2017

Business students:

  • Cassandra Bourque, Ryerson University
  • Andrea Cheng, University of Calgary
  • Juliana Chesterfield, University of Western Ontario
  • Dana Doswell, Saint Mary's University
  • Amy Groshot, Carleton University
  • Arunima Gupta, University of British Columbia
  • Neha Karnad, McGill University
  • Claudia Jiang, University of Toronto
  • Emilie Leduc, Concordia University
  • Nitzan Leibovitch, McGill University
  • Allison Lennox, University of Calgary
  • Aliyah Mohamed, McMaster University
  • Aliya Rota, University of Alberta
  • Danielle Skuy, Dalhousie University
  • Rabia Sohaib, University of Toronto
  • Breanne Timlick, University of Manitoba
  • Sara Tyler, Queen's University
  • Jia Hui Yan, York University

Engineering students:

  • Zaineb Al-Faesly, University of Ottawa
  • Rachel Chan, University of Calgary
  • Serena Chao, University of British Columbia
  • Jessica Dakkak, McGill University
  • Salma Ibrahim, York University
  • Taylor Sawadsky, Queen's University
  • Anna Sollazzo, University of Victoria
  • Samantha Stuart, University of Toronto
  • Clare Xu, McMaster University

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $692 billion as of July 31, 2016, and over 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail 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, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About Catalyst

Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 supporting organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.

To view the videos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Matt Duffin, Toronto, (416) 867-3996
Valerie Doucet, Montreal, (514) 877-8224

Twitter: @BMOmedia

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