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Creating safe spaces in the workplace and everyplace

October 17, 2023 | Diversity, equity and inclusion

October 18th is International Pronouns Day, a day created to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. 

BMO respects everyone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression – this includes addressing colleagues, leaders, and customers with their correct personal pronouns. 

This year, we introduced a new eLearning course for employees, “Respecting Pronouns and the Importance of Inclusion,” with content presented by the BMO Pride employee resource group. It outlines steps everyone can take to help build a culture of psychological safety where people can thrive inside and outside of work.  

As part of BMO’s safe spaces initiative, we’re working to normalize sharing pronouns in conversation, on name badges, and in email signatures. These are all simple, yet powerful, ways to promote inclusivity. 

For transgender and gender non-conforming persons, being referred to by their correct pronouns is basic to their human dignity, as it is for everyone. We all have the right to be addressed by the name and pronouns that honor our identities. 

“Using the right pronouns is a really simple way to affirm someone’s identity. It is a sign of acceptance and respect,” says Kei Sista, Expense Analyst at BMO Capital Markets and BMO Pride member.  

Hear Kei’s personal perspective on issues affecting transgender people: 

This is a time to embrace and reflect on everyone’s unique identities. Together, we can build a society with zero barriers to inclusion and contribute to a more understanding world. 

About BMO Pride 

The BMO Pride employee resource group is volunteer led by LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies. Members encourage and support one another’s personal growth and professional development through education, mentorship, and employee engagement. Recent initiatives include:  

  • Developing employee training on Respecting Pronouns: The Importance of Inclusion, a complement to BMO Pride Presents: Road to Allyship
  • Ushering in gender-inclusive restroom signage at BMO properties; and  
  • Coordinating enterprise-wide observances of International Day of Pink, Lesbian Visibility Day, and Pride Month, among others.

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