TORONTO, March 8, 2024 /CNW/ - Throughout the month of March, BMO joins global festivities to mark International Women's Day and Women's History Month through a number of initiatives. BMO is dedicated to breaking down gender-based barriers and to continued investment in support of the progress of women and girls, including our clients, colleagues and the communities we serve.

"International Women's Day is a time to honour the achievements of women and celebrate the progress we are making towards gender equity," said Mona Malone, Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of People, Culture & Brand. "At BMO, we are committed to building a society with zero barriers to inclusion and helping groups facing systemic challenges overcome them. Supporting women is an important way we live our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life."

Plan International Canada, Girls Belong Here – BMO Leaders Share Their Seats

To reinforce the bank's ongoing commitment to fostering women leaders of tomorrow, Deland Kamanga, welcomed a youth participant on February 28 to shadow him in his role as Group Head, BMO Wealth Management. Through the Girls Belong Here program, BMO and Plan International Canada aim to amplify girls' voices and support their capacity as decision-makers by creating meaningful opportunities for them to interact with leaders directly.

"BMO is proud to participate in the Girls Belong Here program for the seventh consecutive year, as Plan International Canada shares our values and aligns with our Purpose," said Deland Kamanga, Group Head, BMO Wealth Management. "I am honoured to share my seat with the youth ambassador for the day and help provide opportunities for young women to explore future career paths and sharpen their leadership skills."

BMO has taken part in 22 Girls Belong Here activations globally in partnership with Plan International Canada.

The Prosperity Project 2024 Annual Report Card 

For the fourth year in a row, BMO is partnering with The Prosperity Project on its 2024 Annual Report Card on Gender Equity and Leadership (ARC), which acknowledges the representation of women, including Racialized Women, Indigenous Women, 2SLGBTQIA+ Women, and Women with Disabilities, at the leadership level of a group of public and private companies, crown corporations, co-operatives, not-for-profits, and Canadian subsidiaries of foreign-owned corporations.

The ARC provides invaluable insights into the landscape of women's representation in Canadian leadership, offering a comprehensive overview of current trends and future developments.

The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction nominees

For the second year, BMO is supporting the purse for the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction. The Prize is the largest English-language literary award in the world for women and non-binary writers, celebrating creativity and excellence in fiction in Canada and the United States while aiming to help address continued inequality.

Novels, short story collections, and graphic novels written by women and non-binary authors published in the United States and Canada are eligible for the Prize. The longlist is being announced today.

Powerful Women: A photo exhibition by Angèle Etoundi Essamba

BMO is co-presenting with The Consulate General of the Netherlands in Toronto an exhibit of the extraordinary photographs of Black women by Angèle Etoundi Essamba, a well-known Amsterdam-based artist. In partnership with Brookfield Properties, the art will be on display in the lobby of First Canadian Place in Toronto until March 29.

BMO's ongoing commitment to supporting the advancement of women also includes:

  • In 2022, BMO supported over 130,000 women entrepreneurs across Canada and re-committed $5 billion in capital over five years to Canadian women-owned businesses.
  • In 2023, BMO Alliance for Women, BMO's largest Enterprise Resource Group with over 10,000 members, celebrated 10 years of championing the inclusion, connection, development, advancement, and support of women within BMO's workforce and culture.
  • BMO has established customer programs, BMO for Women (CAN) and Women in Business (US), which focus on advancing gender parity for the bank's clients, supporting the growth of women-owned businesses and empowering women to feel confident about their finances and their financial futures.
  • In 2018, BMO partnered with 1871, leading to the development the WMN•FINtech program. Since its inception, over 15 percent of all women fintech founders in North America have come through this initiative.
  • In 2020, to support women entrepreneurs during the pandemic, BMO for Women launched the Celebrating Women Grant Program. Over the last three years, it has provided 56 business owners across North America with over half a million dollars in grant funding.
  • In 2023, the Advocate Strategy began connecting women business owners with region-specific Commercial and Business Bankers trained and dedicated to supporting women clients.
  • BMO has been recognized on the Globe and Mail's Report on Business Women Lead Here list for the three consecutive years, which names Canadian corporations with the highest degree of gender diversity among executive ranks.
  • BMO recently partnered with National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team Angel City Football Club (ACFC). As part of ACFC's sponsorship model, the organizations reallocated 10 percent of the partnership into the community through a sponsorship of Girls Play Los Angeles (GPLA), where BMO is supporting over 400 high school-aged girls and non-binary youth across Los Angeles with no-cost access to soccer.

Learn more about BMO's support for women entrepreneurs and its Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, by visiting

BMO Gives. Good grows here.

Helping communities thrive by supporting the organizations that sustain them and encouraging employee giving and volunteerism is at the heart of BMO's Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. In 2022, our social impact included more than $69 million donated to hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations across North America to help drive progress by enabling individuals to thrive and communities to prosper. Our colleagues spent almost 50,000 hours volunteering in the community and contributed more than $26 million of donations through our annual employee giving program. For more information, please visit

About BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.3 trillion as of January 31, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

Copyright 2024 Canada NewsWire

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