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BMO Helps Break Barriers to Mark 10th Annual International Day of the Girl
  • Fifth year participating in Plan International Canada's Girls Belong Here program, fostering leadership opportunities for young women

TORONTO and CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2022 /CNW/ - BMO is once again supporting the International Day of the Girl (IDG), a day declared by the United Nations to celebrate girls' achievements and highlight the barriers they face. Today marks BMO's fifth year of participation in Plan International Canada's IDG activities. Through this partnership, BMO is leading several important initiatives that encourage girls to achieve their goals – supporting an inclusive future for all.

Through Plan International Canada's Girls Belong Here program, young women aged 14 to 24 get the opportunity to break barriers by being placed in positions of leadership, power, and influence for the day. According to a Plan International Canada survey, only 10 per cent of youth in Canada picture a woman when they think of a CEO. The program creates meaningful opportunities for youth to interact with leaders to exchange knowledge and provide insights and solutions behind their successful leadership.

"Girls Belong Here invites inspiring young women to experience a day in a position of leadership, connecting them with organizations, like BMO, where young women can be heard and set up to recognize their full potential," said Mona Malone, Chief Human Resource Officer and Head of People and Culture, BMO Financial Group. "I am honoured to have played a small part in helping these fantastic young minds on their path to building a sustainable and inclusive future."

Supporting IDG is one of the many ways BMO embodies its Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. BMO's participation also supports its Zero Barriers to Inclusion Strategy and represents the bank's commitment to highlighting issues of gender equity and inclusion for women by creating change within the financial industry.

Seat Share hosted by Mona Malone, Chief Human Resource Officer and Head of People and Culture at BMO

For BMO's 2022 Girls Belong Here Seat Share, Mona Malone, Chief Human Resource Officer and Head of People and Culture offered up her role to youth program participant Anoushka.

"BMO's Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life came to life for me during my Seat Share, as I got the opportunity to step into the Chief Human Resources Officer role with Mona Malone," said Anoushka, Plan Canada's Girls Belong Here participant. I courageously voiced my thoughts and helped bring important discussions around health, tech and mental wellness to the forefront."

Anoushka, 20, is a global health activist, STEM student and UN leader passionate about mental health and equal access to healthcare resources. She has worked with her community since she was ten and has impacted over 15,000 children. She is the recipient of the Diana Award and one of the youngest fellows of the Royal Society of Arts, London. She is a globally recognized female changemaker whose healthcare projects have been awarded at the United Nations and GirlUp; was featured on NASDAQ and inducted to the honor roll by President George W Bush Points of Light. She wants to make a positive impact using tangible skills in science so that each person gets access to equal and inclusive healthcare.

Seat Share to be hosted by Kimberley Goode, Chief Communications & Social Impact Officer at BMO

BMO's second Girls Belong Here Seat Share will happen in February 2023 where Kimberley Goode, Chief Communications & Social Impact Officer, will offer up her role to a youth program participant in the lead up to International Women's Day.

Innovation Hub 

Also, in February 2023, BMO will host a Girls Belong Here Innovation Hub for the second time featuring both Ms. Malone and Ms. Goode, as well as Plan International Canada youth participants. The Innovation Hub will provide an opportunity to connect with the youth participants and hear their unique ideas, solutions and insights on a challenge or project.

BMO Women Leaders Paving the Way

BMO's ongoing commitment to gender equity

Beyond IDG, additional initiatives and highlights of BMO's work to advance gender equity include:

  • BMO maintained gender equity for women in senior leadership roles, within a range of 40 to 60 per cent, as part of its Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 diversity goals.
  • BMO pledged CAD $5 billion in capital over five years to support women business owners, enabling access to capital and reaffirming BMO's commitment to Zero Barriers to Inclusion.
  • BMO expanded its Grant Program for Women-Owned Businesses across Canada; it pledgedC$150,000 in grants to be awarded to 12 women-owned businesses in Canada, and eight grants of US$10,000 each to women-owned businesses in the United States.
  • BMO was named among Canada's Best 50 Corporate Citizens by Corporate Knights, ranking first among major Canadian banks and receiving top-quartile scores in board gender diversity, executive diversity, and sustainability pay link.
  • BMO was recognized for the 7th year in a row by Bloomberg's Gender-Equality Index. The global index recognizes companies committed to gender equality and inclusion within the workplace and the community.
  • This year, BMO was recognized in the Report on Business Women Lead Here list for the third year in a row. The list names the Canadian corporations with the highest degree of gender diversity among executive ranks.
  • BMO appeared on Forbes' America's Best Employers for Diversity 2022 for the fourth year in a row.
  • BMO's dedicated website, BMO for Women, provides tools and educational resources for women entrepreneurs, including podcast series Bold(h)er.

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 $1.07 trillion as of July 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.

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SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For Media Relations Enquiries: Hannah Webster, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996