BMO Recognized for Sixth Year in Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index
BMO has been included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the sixth year in a row. The global index recognizes companies committed to gender equality and inclusivity within the workplace and the community, and publicly demonstrates each company’s commitment to equality and advancing women. This year, the index has expanded to include 380 companies across 44 countries and regions.
“Our efforts on gender inclusion are an integral part of BMO’s Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy to support diversity, equality and inclusion,” said Mona Malone, Chief Human Resources Officer & Head, People & Culture at BMO Financial Group. “It’s all part of our Purpose-driven commitment to grow the good for an inclusive society – one with zero barriers to inclusion. We are honoured to be recognized by Bloomberg for our efforts for the sixth consecutive year.”
“BMO’s work to propel the economy forward includes supporting the aspirations of women entrepreneurs,” said Erminia (Ernie) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal and Business Banking, BMO Financial Group. “We’ve made a bold commitment to double our support for women entrepreneurs by 2025; currently we have $9.5 billion in loans out to women-owned businesses in Canada. As well, the BMO Celebrating Women Grant program, launched in Canada in 2020 and expanding to the U.S. this year, is putting capital into the hands of businesses who demonstrate innovation in the face of adversity. Now more than ever, we are proud to stand behind women throughout society to ensure gender equality.”
BMO Financial Group is committed to Zero Barriers to Inclusion for its colleagues, customers and communities through several initiatives including:
Fostering women in leadership
- BMO is committed to gender equality in its workplace. That’s why women make up over 40 per cent of its senior leaders, while 45 per cent of its board members are also women.
- BMO Alliance for Women, BMO’s largest Enterprise Resource Group, with over 4,000 members, is dedicated to championing the inclusion, connection, development, advancement, and support of women for the betterment of BMO’s business, communities and culture.
- BMO supports 113,000 women entrepreneurs across its Canadian footprint, with a target of 179,000 by 2025.
Providing support and resources
BMO is a leader in its commitment to supporting and empowering women entrepreneurs and investors:
- In 2020, recognizing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on industries with high concentrations of woman-owned businesses, BMO pivoted its Celebrating Women community program to the BMO Celebrating Women Grant program, awarding ten grants of $10,000 each to woman-owned businesses that demonstrated innovation and resilience in keeping their business moving forward.
- Supporting women entrepreneurs’ access to credit to grow their businesses – In 2018, it announced $3 billion in capital would be available over three years for Canadian businesses owned by women, which will also create new jobs and strengthen communities. As of July 2020, close to $2 billion had been authorized.
- BMO for Women connects female investors and business owners to support, advice and tools – BMO for Women is a first of its kind team dedicated to developing an understanding of the wealth and business needs of women, and supporting them with digital tools, research sponsorships of organizations, and more.
- BMO launched an online training module for employees in Commercial and Business Banking and Wealth relationship management roles, to assist them in better understanding the nuances in working with women entrepreneurs and women investors.
Empowering women in the community
BMO is committed to closing the fairness gap giving women everywhere the opportunity to be leaders, catalyzers and builders—and grow the good for themselves and their communities:
- In 2019 BMO was the first Canadian bank to sign the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, an initiative launched in 2010 by UN Women and the UNGC, which offers a platform to mobilize businesses action for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2020, UN Women selected BMO to feature as a case study in supports that private industry has created for women during the pandemic.
- For the past three years BMO was the lead sponsor of Plan International Canada’s “Girls Belong Here” initiative inspired by International Day of the Girl. In 2020, BMO offered three seat shares where the Capital Markets Chief Information & Technology Officer and the Group Head of North American Personal & Business Banking stepped down to allow BMO’s youth participants to experience what it’s like to be a leader for a day.
- BMO was a founding sponsor of Black Mom’s Connection Rent Bank, helping to provide relief to Black Moms Connection members in need of emergency financial support for needs such as groceries, formula, or housing.