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Empowering young women to break barriers

BMO is committed to creating sustainable progress for women and girls that removes barriers to their empowerment and champions their advancement. That’s why we’re proud to support Plan International’s Girls Belong Here program.  

BMO’s Chief Communications and Social Impact Officer, Kimberley Goode welcomed Ava, a first-year business and pre-law student from John’s University in New York City, for a Plan International #GirlsBelongHere seat share. Ava spent the day in Chicago working side by side with Kimberley and her leadership team to execute their communications, community giving and Purpose storytelling agenda.  

BMO Girls Belong Here seat share: Kimberley Goode and Ava Wilson

“Every year we invite young women from #GirlsBelongHere to come to BMO and participate in helping run our business. We value the opportunity for Ava and other young women in the program to share their perspectives with us, and to see themselves in one of these senior leadership roles in the future.” 

Kimberley Goode
Chief Communications and Social Impact Officer

Ava has been working to grow the good in many ways.  She is a UNICEF volunteer who is working to find innovative engagement approaches to the inclusion of underrepresented and unheard voices. She came to Plan International’s attention with her research on gender inequalities for women in executive leadership. She also worked alongside administrators to create policies that address students’ mental health during her time as Head Prefect of her high school.  

We wanted to explore what fuels Ava’s passion for driving change and inspires her to get involved, so we asked for 12 facts you (probably) didn’t know about her

  1. I’m most inspired by women and girls in leadership who are breaking barriers. 
  1. Inspiring other young women to be change agents is important because what happens to one of us happens to all of us. 
  1. A time I felt empowered was when I was elected Head Prefect by the faculty and students of my school. In this role, I represented grades 9-12 and worked with administrators regarding student needs.  
  1. I hope to one day open a school! 
  1. I’m interested in investment banking and business entrepreneurship because I’d like to help underserved and underrepresented communities develop financial security and generational wealth. 
  1. My most influential learning experience was participating in an innovation hub because I was given a seat at the table to share my ideas. I really felt like I was contributing to BMO’s social impact strategy. 
  1. I was driven to join Plan International’s Youth Leadership Academy because it was an opportunity to gain additional leadership skills and work with other leaders to advance the rights of women and girls here and around the world. 
  1. When I want to have fun I go out with my friends to the city and try new places to eat. I love Indian food! 
  1. I’m most proud of my Senior Research exploring the importance of Women in Executive Leadership. It received honors and was featured during my high school graduation. 
  1. As a young woman, the future excites me because it’s unknown. Life is about the journey and the twists and turns that make it worth living! 
  1. The best advice I can give to my peers is when there isn’t a space designed for you, CREATE one.  
  1. I prioritize wellness by having self-care days. I love days when I can go on walks, play with my dog Sophie (she’s a Maltipoo), and laugh with my family. 

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