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BMO Celebrates International Women's Day 2020 with New Ad Campaign and Continued Commitment to Fostering Women Leaders

TORONTO, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ - To mark International Women's Day 2020, BMO Financial Group is taking a bold public position to break financial stereotypes tied to girls and women. A new advertising campaign will launch on International Women's Day aimed at raising consciousness and opening dialogue about the lifelong consequences of telling women they're bad with money. BMO's campaign will shed light on the stereotypes that are contributing to financial inequality by eroding women's financial confidence.

"Despite the strides that have been made in gender equality, stereotypes about women and money prevail. It is time we change the conversation that contributes to women feeling less confident with their finances," said Catherine Roche, Chief Marketing Officer and Head, Social Impact, BMO Financial Group. "This campaign was created in line with our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, which compels us in our continued commitment towards ensuring women feel confident about their finances and their financial futures."

In the lead up to International Women's Day, BMO, is reaffirming its commitment to women by showcasing its continued support for gender equality, economic empowerment, and representation and inclusion of women in the workplace, with the below events, commitments and initiatives:

Panel on Diversity and Inclusion
On March 10, Paulette Jagers, Chief Inclusion Officer, BMO Financial Group, will be speaking on a panel at The Economic Club of Canada discussing Diversity and Inclusion in today's workplace. In honour of International Women's Day, attendees can expect an inclusive conversation about what the future of work in Canada really looks like.

Financial Support for Woman-Led Businesses
In 2018, BMO committed $3 billion in capital over three years to women-owned businesses across Canada and created programs to ensure they succeed. It continues to stand behind this commitment; since the funding was announced, BMO's growth in loans to Canadian women-owned businesses surpassed the national average by almost 3 per cent.

This year, BMO has introduced Women Client Strategy Teams to tie together Business Banking, Private Wealth, and Financial Planning to provide a holistic support model. The teams have been put in place in the Greater Toronto Area as well as Calgary and will be introduced in Montreal and Vancouver in the coming months.

To provide further support for women entrepreneurs, BMO operates bmoforwomen.com, an online resource centre that provides critical advice for building a successful business. In January 2020, the bank rebranded and relaunched its podcast, now known as Bold(h)er.

Commitment to Empowering Women
Last year, BMO Financial Group and the department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) announced a new partnership to support not-for-profit organizations that empower women. The partnership highlights BMO's commitment to economic empowerment and driving long-term systemic change to improve the lives of women and girls.

Partnering for Success
In 2019, BMO became the first Canadian bank to sign the UN Women's Empowerment Principles – confirming our investment in more women business owners, elevating more women to leadership positions within BMO and promoting the financial education of girls so they're prepared to seize every opportunity.

BMO has held long standing relationships with GroYourBiz, Women Presidents' Organization, Women, Women's Business Development Centre and National Association of Women Business Owners. These organizations focus on fostering peer support networks and growth strategies to set women business owners up for success.

Through an ongoing partnership with Women Get on Board, which aims to empower women on their journey to corporate boards, an ongoing event series kicked off in Vancouver on March 4 and Calgary on March 5. It will roll out in Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax later this year.

Fostering Resilience in our customers and communities
Recognizing that resilience is a key component of and strategy for overall success, BMO is helping support resilience in its customers and communities through a series of Resilience Retreats for woman entrepreneurs.

In addition, through BMO Celebrating Women, 170 women have been recognized to date in communities across Canada and the U.S. for their achievements in business growth, philanthropy and community involvement.

BMO's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are core BMO values that guide its thinking and actions and are integral to the company's long-term sustainability. BMO's approach on diversity is all encompassing – it includes diversity of thought, approach, gender, race, age, ability, sexual orientation, and more.

Highlights of BMO's commitment to Diversity and Inclusion include:

  • Women in Senior Leadership Roles – 41 per cent of senior leadership roles are held by women.
  • Career Development – BMO believes in growing leaders from within. More than 85 per cent of its senior leaders have completed the Leadership EDGE program since its launch in April 2016 and 100 per cent are expected to participate by 2021.
  • Awards – This year, BMO Financial Group was named to Bloomberg's Gender Equality Index for the fifth consecutive year.

Follow @BMO on Twitter to join the conversation using #BMOforWomen.

Internet: www.bmo.com    Twitter: @BMOMedia

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For News Media Inquiries: Kelsey Rutherford, Toronto, kelsey.rutherford@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996

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