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BMO places on The Globe and Mail's third-annual Women Lead Here benchmark of executive gender diversity

TORONTO, March 25, 2022 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group has again earned a place on the 2022 Report on Business, Women Lead Here list, an annual editorial benchmark to identify best-in-class executive gender equity in corporate Canada.

Established in 2020 by The Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine, the Women Lead Here initiative applies a proprietary research methodology to determine Canadian corporations with the highest degree of gender diversity among executive ranks.

"For several decades, BMO has advocated for gender equity. Our Purpose, to boldly grow the good in business and life, calls for us to lead in eliminating barriers to inclusion by promoting equity for women and for all," said Darryl White, CEO, BMO Financial Group. "To achieve our targets, we will leverage new and innovative forms of data, challenge biases, and embrace leading with empathy - all towards making progress on our commitment to an inclusive society." 

For the 2022 ranking, Report on Business conducted a journalistic analysis of nearly 500 large, publicly traded Canadian companies, evaluating the ratio of female-identifying to male-identifying executives in the top three tiers of executive leadership. The resulting data was applied to a weighted formula that also factored in company performance, diversity and year-to-year change. In total, 74 companies earned the 2022 Women Lead Here seal, with a combined average of 46% of executive roles held by female-identifying individuals.

The bank's commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in its workforce has yielded important results:

  • More than 41 per cent of senior leadership roles are held by women; globally, this number has remained above 40 per cent for the past five years.
  • Half of the Independent Directors of BMO Financial Group's Board of Directors are women.

"Our Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy sets bold goals within the bank, ensures equitable access to career development opportunities and enables inclusive economic growth for our customers and communities," said Vanessa Lewerentz, Chief Inclusion Officer, BMO Financial Group. "We're proud of this recognition and what we've achieved while understanding there's still work to do. We are committed to continuing to find innovative ways to support women and to foster gender equity at BMO and beyond."

Additional initiatives and highlights of BMO's work to advance gender equity in its workforce and beyond include:

  • Introduced a five-year strategy, Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025, aimed at eliminating barriers to inclusion and increasing diversity goals for senior leader and executive roles. The strategy will give further opportunities for women who identify as BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities.
  • BMO Alliance for Women is BMO's largest Enterprise Resource Group with over 4,000 members, that is dedicated to championing the inclusion, connection, development, advancement and support of women for the betterment of BMO's business, communities and culture.
  • Supported 119,000 women entrepreneurs across BMO's Canadian footprint this year and re-committed $5 billion in capital available over five years to Canadian businesses owned by women.
  • BMO has a long and rich partnership with Catalyst, with BMO's CEO Darryl White serving as Chair of Catalyst's Canada Advisory Board and a Director on Catalyst's Board of Directors.
  • Launched a $750 million Women in Business Bond solution with proceeds allocated toward supporting Canadian women-owned businesses.
  • Committed $1.2 million in funding to SheEO – a not-for-profit company which offers financial support to businesses led by women-identifying and non-binary people.
  • A dedicated website for women,, provides tools and educational resources for women entrepreneurs, including podcast series Bold(h)er
  • Executive sponsorship of Plan International Canada's Girls Belong Here program, which places young women in positions of leadership, power and influence for a day.
  • Honouring the achievements of women leaders in communities across North America through the BMO Celebrating Women Grant program.
  • Partnering with The Prosperity ProjectTM, as co-presenting sponsor to fund industry-leading research on gender diversity and intersectionality in Corporate Canada.

The full list of 2022 Women Lead Here honourees can be found in the April issue of Report on Business magazine, distributed with The Globe and Mail on Saturday, March 26th, and online now at

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 $1.02 trillion as of January 31, 2022, 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.

About The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail is Canada's foremost news media company, leading the national discussion and causing policy change through brave and independent journalism since 1844. With our award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs, The Globe and Mail newspaper reaches 7.1 million readers every week in our print or digital formats, and Report on Business magazine reaches 2.2 million readers in print and digital every issue. Our investment in innovative data science means that as the world continues to change, so does The Globe. The Globe and Mail is owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family.

Internet:            Twitter: @BMOMedia

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For News Media Inquiries: Kelsey Rutherford, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996