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BMO celebrates Black History Month

February 1, 2021 | Diversity, equity and inclusion

With the arrival of Black History Month, BMO is celebrating the achievements of Black Canadians and African Americans both within the bank and in the communities where it operates.

“BMO recognizes Black History Month as a time to celebrate the accomplishments and significant contributions of Black communities in Canada and the United States while acknowledging work still needs to be done to eradicate systemic barriers,” said Mona Malone, Chief Human Resources Officer & Head, People & Culture at BMO Financial Group. “Our Purpose-driven commitment is to grow the good for an inclusive society fueled by our recently launched Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy. This multi-year strategy aims to foster equity, equality and inclusion, and is focused on providing access to opportunities and enabling growth for our colleagues, our customers, and the communities we serve.”

Throughout February, BMO will be marking Black History Month with a social media campaign that celebrates Black-owned businesses and their resilience in breaking down barriers to success. The campaign features three real BMO small business customers: The Villij, a yoga and wellness program with locations across Canada; Glorious Malone’s Fine Sausage of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Deux Creative, a Toronto-based bilingual agency.

BMO’s support includes:

  • Support of the Government of Canada’s Black Entrepreneurship Program, with up to $33.3 million in lending capital for the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund. The fund will provide loans to Black business owners and entrepreneurs to support their growth and success.
  • Launch of BMO EMpower, a five-year, $5 billion pledge aimed at addressing key barriers faced by minority businesses, communities and families in the U.S. EMpower is a series of long-term commitments designed to drive meaningful change and champion racial equity. More information here:
  • A commitment to increase representation of Black employees in senior leadership roles to 3.5 per cent in Canada and 7 per cent in the U.S. by 2025, plus a commitment to do the same for Black and Latino interns and entry-level employees to 30 per cent in the U.S.
  • Launched workforce development program with Chicago non-profit, Cara, focused on recruiting individuals from underserved and diverse communities into customer service roles with the bank.
  • Creation of the Black and Latino Advisory Council (BLAC), focused on employee experience, advancement, and engagement of Black and Latino talent through dedicated taskforces and partnerships with BMO’s Enterprise Resource Groups (ERGs).
  • Established BMO Bold Conversations speaker series, virtual events designed to connect our colleagues, customers and communities through candid conversations about topics that affect People of Colour.

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