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BMO and Catalyst leaders discuss inclusive leadership and emotional tax

October 24, 2019 | Diversity, equity and inclusion

Last week, BMO Harris Bank and Catalyst hosted an event and panel discussion in Chicago where leaders from both organizations heard from their senior leaders as they discussed intersectionality, emotional tax, the role of the inclusive leader, and how peers from neighboring businesses and communities can leverage these insights to be catalysts for positive change.

“BMO’s Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good, in business and life includes an explicit commitment to zero barriers to inclusion, and is aligned to our efforts to help our employees feel that they belong and can bring their whole selves to work,” said Tracie Morris, U.S. Chief Human Resource Officer and Chief Inclusion Officer. “It’s an honor to work with Catalyst and see the work they have accomplished on intersectionality and emotional tax – both of which have implications on inclusive leadership.”

Kicking off the event, Catalyst expert Dnika J. Travis, Vice President of Research started with a keynote presentation centered on her recent research on the experiences of people of color and other non-majority employee groups in the workplace. This research provided insight into the heightened experience of individual differences between peers at work based on gender, race and ethnicity, and the associated detrimental effects on health, well-being, and the ability to thrive at work.

Rounding out her research, Travis shared tactics that business leaders can adopt to help create the conditions for a more inclusive workplace culture where everyone feels equitably valued and empowered to achieve their fullest potential.

Following the presentation, panelists Dnika Travis, Marsha McDermott, Workplace Inclusion/EEO Compliance Officer for RR Donnelley, Bernard Narine, Head of Retail for BMO’s south Chicago region, and Jim Duff, SVP & National Head of Banking for BMO had a candid discussion about their own experiences with adversity. Each panelist weighed in on how they continue to overcome their own emotional tax, and how leaders can keep themselves accountable for creating inclusive workplace environments.

You can visit the Catalyst website to read Dnika’s research on intersectionality and emotional tax.

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