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BMO Celebrates International Day of the Girl 2021

Leading up to International Day of the Girl on October 11, BMO Financial Group is showing its ongoing support through a series of initiatives to encourage young women on the path to leadership and backing the goal of achieving a sustainable future.

Plan International Canada’s Girls Belong Here program places young women in positions of leadership, power, and influence for a day. One year into BMO’s five-year Zero Barriers to Inclusion Strategy, International Day of the Girl reminds us of the continued importance of amplifying girls’ voices, advocating for their rights, evaluating their position in society and reinforcing their capacity as decision-makers.

“Going into our fourth year participating in Girls Belong Here, we are continuously inspired by these young women who are powerhouses of innovation, inspiration and drive,” said Karen Collins, Chief Talent Officer, BMO Financial Group. “Fostering inclusion in the corporate world begins by setting our future leaders up for success and allowing them to realize their full potential. We are proud to support Girls Belong Here and as we celebrate International Day of the Girl; we continue to fulfil our Purpose to boldly grow the good, working towards our goal of zero barriers to inclusion.”

Annual Seat Share with BMO’s General Counsel, Sharon Haward-Laird

In this year’s Seat Share, Sharon Haward-Laird, BMO General Counsel will offer up her role to youth program participant, Riti*.

 “The Girls Belong Here program is very dear to my heart because it champions values of gender equity and youth empowerment, both themes inspiring my long-term involvement with Plan International Canada,” said Riti*, Plan Canada’s, Girls Belong Here participant. “The seat share program with BMO will allow me to gain an intimate look into an industry I hope to pursue a career in, make my voice heard at a table where impactful decisions are made, and consider the importance of nurturing community relations at all levels of influence to enact change both locally and globally.”

Riti, 19, is a second year Bachelor of Arts student at the University of British Columbia where she is pursuing a major in gender studies and a minor in law and society. She is originally from Saskatchewan where she is an honoured guest on Treaty 6 territory. She is passionate about social, environmental and economic justice which has paved the way for her advocacy and activism.

BMO Innovation Hub “A Just Transition”

New this year, BMO hosted an interactive ThinkTank inspiring youth to work towards a sustainable future. Last week, BMO provided seven young people an opportunity to consult and share their perspective on sustainability related issues and hear from experts in the industry. Facilitated by BMO’s Sustainability team, the event featured a three-part discussion followed by a networking session where youth could connect and share concerns and questions. Coming out of the discussion, important issues were raised and discussed but one participant, Rhea*, captured the importance of this program by saying “mentorship allows for you to extend your hand down and bring other women up.”

The conversation has now been developed into a podcast, framed around the three discussions. The participants discussed what sustainability and a sustainable future means to them, why our current system for energy is not “just,” and the growing necessity to respond to the needs of women and marginalized groups. *Program participant last names are not included for confidentiality reasons

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