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BMO Financial Group Leaders recognized as 2018 Catalyst Canada Honours Champions
  • Simon Fish and Kona Goulet recognized as exceptional role models for accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion
  • BMO only Canadian financial institution recognized

TORONTO, June 27, 2018 /CNW/ - Two leaders from BMO Financial Group have been recognized for excellence in fostering inclusion for women as 2018 Catalyst Canada Honours Champions. BMO is the only organization with two leaders honoured, and is the only financial institution with leaders honoured in 2018.

Simon Fish, General Counsel and Executive Diversity Champion, and Kona Goulet, Director of Inclusion, will be celebrated at the Catalyst Canada Honours Conference and Dinner to be held in October. Both are champions of inclusivity who ensure that all talented people regardless of gender or background have equal opportunity to be recruited, developed and succeed in the workplace.

Central to this recognition is BMO's Diversity and Inclusion program, and its commitment to harnessing the power of all the bank's professionals to create an inclusive culture that benefits its people, shareholders, customers and the communities where it operates.

"In the workplace, performance should be the only predictor of success. As vocal and visible advocates, Simon Fish and Kona Goulet have contributed greatly to our inclusion and diversity efforts," said Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. "We are very proud that they are being recognized by Catalyst. Kona's and Simon's discipline and leadership have played an important role in ensuring that everyone at BMO – without exception – has the opportunity to meet their full potential."

BMO believes that everyone is responsible for creating an inclusive culture. The bank has a network of thousands of people who are committed to grassroots change and transformation; it takes care both to utilize employee insights and engage BMO leaders to foster inclusivity.

BMO's dedicated focus on diversity and inclusion has helped the bank achieve important results:

  • 40 per cent of senior leadership roles are held by women
  • 38 per cent of independent Board roles are held by women
  • More than one quarter of senior roles are held by Minorities or Persons of Color
  • Bloomberg recognized BMO as one of the top ranked Financial Institutions for gender equality
  • BMO was recognized as one of the best places to work for LGBT Employees by The Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  • Recognized as one of the Most Diverse & Inclusive Companies in the World by Thomson Reuters
  • BMO's employees rated the bank's commitment to inclusion in the highest category as a leading company

Simon Fish – 2018 Catalyst Canada Honours Business Leader Champion
Simon Fish is an exemplary leader, and a trusted advisor to BMO's senior leaders. Guided by his life-long commitment to social justice, inclusion and equitable treatment, Mr. Fish has been instrumental in driving BMO's place as a global leader in diversity and inclusion.  

Simon Fish has led the bank's five-year enterprise strategy to increase the diversity of the workforce at all levels. Simon has built a diverse team of more than 650 legal and compliance professionals across North America, Europe and Asia. More than 45 per cent of the women on this team are in senior leadership roles. Simon has been the guiding force behind BMO's diversity and inclusion efforts. As the Executive Diversity Champion and Co-Chair of the Leadership Committee for Inclusion and Diversity, he's helped set ambitious goals for the bank's strategy.

Kona Goulet – 2018 Catalyst Canada Honours Emerging Leader Champion 
As  Director of Inclusion, Kona Goulet has played a pivotal role in establishing inclusion and diversity goals across all BMO's business and corporate segments, as well as coaching and guiding the businesses, diversity and inclusion steering committees and councils to help them build strategies that integrate inclusive programs, policies and behaviours. Among her numerous achievements, Ms. Goulet played a key role in developing BMO's Learn from Difference (LFD) initiative, which aims to build inclusive leadership capacity among BMO's 7,000 people managers. Within three months, 84 per cent of people managers completed the non-mandatory e-learning module, with 95 per cent stating they could apply their learning to the workplace.

Ms. Goulet is a proud indigenous woman who has dedicated much of her adult life to breaking down barriers that stand in the way of development and advancement of women.  In addition to her work at the bank, Ms. Goulet is a member of the Board of ImagineNATIVE, the world's largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. In a previous role, Kona served on the White House Project as Vice President, External Affairs.

BMO has a long, rich history with Catalyst, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. The bank was a founding signatory of the Catalyst Accord, and in 1994, BMO became the first Canadian company – and the first bank in North America – to win the prestigious Catalyst Award, given to employers that show bold initiative in promoting career and leadership development for women.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $744 billion as of April 30, 2018, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial 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, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contact: Julie Smithers, Toronto - Julie.smithers@bmo.com, 416-643-9180

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