BMO Innovation Hub: Inspiring young women to pursue inclusive action
Many young women face a complex combination of barriers to leadership, such as harmful gender norms, discrimination and negative perceptions that may either deny or impede them from unleashing their full potential.
As part of our Zero Barriers to Inclusion strategy, BMO is focused on providing access to opportunities and enabling growth both inside and outside our doors. That’s one of the reasons we partner with Plan International and the Girls Belong Here program – to empower young women to disrupt stereotypes, break barriers, and move from dreaming to achieving.
BMO Innovation Hub
Yesterday, BMO invited five young women from the Girls Belong Here program to Toronto and Chicago to lead a collaborative think-tank workshop hosted by two BMO executives: Mona Malone, Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of People and Culture, and Kimberley Goode, Chief Communications & Social Impact Officer.
We briefed the participants on BMO’s Zero Barriers to Inclusion strategy before asking them to bring their best out-of-the-box thinking for BMO’s engagement with our customers and communities going forward. A panel of BMO coaches joined the young women throughout the workshop to provide subject matter expertise and insights into BMO’s purpose. At the end of the session, the participants presented us with their ideas for new approaches.
Team Toronto was hosted by Mona Malone at First Canadian Place. Youth participants Anoushka and Tracy were joined by BMO leaders Darlene Heenan, Director & Human Resources Business Partner, Capital Markets; Jonah Rubin, Sr. Advisor, Corporate Areas; Kamilah Reid-Burrell, Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Canada; Kerry Gaetano, Head, Corporate Communications, Technology & Operations and Corporate Areas (TOCA); Sarika Gundu, Director, Canadian Health and Welfare Benefits; and Shiromy Persaud, HR Program Specialist. Together the group was tasked with creating an employee engagement plan for internal stakeholders.
Mona Malone welcomes youth participants Anoushka and Tracy to the Innovation Hub in Toronto.
“The young women who joined today’s Innovation Hub have inspired me with their creativity, passion and drive. Through our work with Plan International, we can help them – and thousands of other like them – get access to the education, skill development and mentorship opportunities they need to take their rightful place at the leadership table.”
– Mona Malone
Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of People and Culture
Team Chicago was hosted by Kimberley Goode at BMO Tower. Youth participants Ava, Colette, and Dhiya were joined by BMO leaders Chris Nardella, Director, Technology & Operations and Corporate Areas (TOCA) Communications; Ernest Chang, Sr. Advisor, U.S. Personal &Business Banking; Janie Cervera, Head, Wealth Client Field Services; Mike Jackson, Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, U.S.; and Shaheena Khan, Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives. The Chicago group was tasked with creating an employee engagement plan for external stakeholders.
Kimberley Goode welcomes youth participants Colette, Dhiya and Ava (virtual) to the Innovation Hub in Chicago.
“Today, we engaged with a group of young women who demonstrated powerful insights, innovative business solutions, and remarkable leadership skills. BMO’s partnership with Plan International and through the Girls Belong Here program helps us connect with our communities and the next generation of the workforce who is well on their way to boldly growing the good.”
– Kimberley Goode
Chief Communications and Social Impact Officer
Helping young women recognize their full potential is one of the many ways BMO embodies our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. We are proud to support the Innovation Hub participants on their path to building a more sustainable and inclusive future.
More to come!
In the lead up to International Women’s Day, Innovation Hub participant Ava will return to BMO for a Girls Belong Here Seat Share with Kimberley Goode.