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BMO Recognized for Gender Equity by Report on Business' Women Lead Here List 2024

TORONTO, March 28, 2024 /CNW/ - For the fourth consecutive year, BMO has been recognized in the 2024 Report on Business, Women Lead Here list – an annual benchmark recognizing Canadian businesses with the highest achievement for executive gender diversity. 

In line with its Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to accelerating initiatives that eliminate economic and societal barriers to achieve meaningful and sustainable progress for underrepresented communities, including women. The bank's commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in its workforce has yielded impactful results:

  • Over 42 per cent of senior leadership roles are held by women; globally, this number has remained above 40 per cent since 2016.
  • Half of the independent directors on BMO's Board of Directors are women.

The companies on the Women Lead Here list have made tangible and organizational progress related to executive gender parity and are chosen through a proprietary research methodology to determine Canadian corporations with the highest degree of gender diversity among executive ranks.

"Our work to eliminate barriers to inclusion is part of everyone's responsibility at BMO – it's embedded in our culture and founded on our values of diversity, integrity, empathy and responsibility," said Darryl White, CEO, BMO Financial Group. "Research has demonstrated that diverse teams are stronger, higher-performing teams. It's critical that our leadership teams represent the diversity of our workforce and the communities we serve."

"We are honoured to be recognized for another year by Report on Business' Women Lead Here," said Sharon Haward-Laird, General Counsel and Executive Champion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, BMO. "Gender equity is a key pillar of BMO's Zero Barriers to Inclusion strategy, which is enabling us to drive progress for women and other equity deserving groups – both inside and outside the bank."

"Recognizing the achievements of companies that effectively address the challenges of executive gender parity represents a pivotal stride forward," says Dawn Calleja, the editor of Report on Business magazine. "Although there's always more that can be done, the businesses showcased here serve as catalyst for corporate Canada, inspiring them to progress toward gender parity and, in turn, cultivate exceptional enterprises."

BMO is committed to promoting gender equity in the workplace and beyond. Additional initiatives include:

  • BMO made a commitment to increase the number of women-owned businesses supported across our Canadian footprint. As of 2023, BMO supported more than 146,000 women-owned businesses in Canada with more than $10 billion in loans.
  • In 2023, BMO Alliance for Women, BMO's largest Employee Resource Group with over 10,000 members, celebrated ten years of championing the inclusion, connection, development, advancement and support of women within BMO's workforce and culture.
  • BMO has established customer programs, BMO for Women (CAN) and Women in Business (US), which focus on advancing gender parity for the bank's clients, supporting the growth of women-owned businesses and empowering women to feel confident about their finances and their financial futures.
  • BMO has a partnership with 1871, which has led to the development the WMN•FINtech program. Since its inception in 2018, over 15 percent of all women fintech founders in North America have come through this initiative.
  • In 2020, to support women entrepreneurs during the pandemic, BMO for Women launched the Celebrating Women Grant Program. Over the last three years, it has provided 56 business owners across North America with over half a million dollars in grant funding.
  • In 2023, the Advocate Strategy began connecting women business owners with region-specific Commercial and Business Bankers trained and dedicated to supporting women clients.
  • BMO recently partnered with the National Women's Soccer League's (NWSL) Angel City Football Club (ACFC). As part of ACFC's sponsorship model, the organizations reallocated 10 percent of the partnership into the community through a sponsorship of Girls Play Los Angeles (GPLA), where BMO is supporting over 400 high school-aged girls and non-binary youth across Los Angeles with no-cost access to soccer.
  • BMO proudly supports the purse for The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction. The Prize is the largest English-language literary award in the world for women and non-binary writers, celebrating creativity and excellence in fiction in Canada and the United States while aiming to help address inequalities in literary reviewing, reading and prize culture.

For the 2024 ranking, The Globe and Mail Report on Business conducted a journalistic analysis of approximately 500 large publicly traded Canadian companies based on revenue, evaluating the ratio of female-identifying to male-identifying executives in the top three tiers of executive leadership. The resultant data was applied to a weighted formula that also factored in company performance, diversity and year-to-year change.

The 2024 Women Lead Here list is in the April 2024 issue of Report on Business magazine, distributed with The Globe and Mail on Thursday March 28, 2024, and online at

About BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.3 trillion as of January 31, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

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 6.2 million readers every week in our print or digital formats, and Report on Business magazine reaches 2.9 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.


SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media contact: Kate Simandl, BMO,