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BMO’s Claudette McGowan in conversation with Michelle Obama

At the recent Elevate technology conference in Toronto, BMO’s Chief Information Officer, Claudette McGowan, interviewed Michelle Obama.​

This year, Elevate brought together more than 20,000 people to hear from 300-plus innovators. And the main attraction was the far-ranging conversation between Claudette and the former First Lady, which touched on technology, career paths and diversity. On diversity, Michelle shared this advice: “Being smart is not enough – if you’re not fully experiencing the world, understanding the world, knowing the world, you can’t create for the world. Live in the world and have diverse experiences so that you have fuel to create – try to get to know people and really listen to what they care about, what they worry about, what they are concerned about.”

The meaningful conversation between these two women was a powerful demonstration of BMO’s aim to be a community leader and to set an example for our peers. The values and ideas that Michelle and Claudette discussed align with BMO’s values – we believe strongly that diversity is our strength, and we believe in technology as an enabler for growing the good in our communities. Supporting events like Elevate allows us to showcase those beliefs, and to bring those ideas to a broader audience.


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