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BMO partners with Prosperity Project to drive insights on women in leadership

The Prosperity ProjectTM is a new not-for-profit organization focusing on creating and disseminating knowledge on gender diversity and intersectionality in the senior ranks of Canadian workforces. The project fills an important need to explicitly link women and prosperity, underscoring the economic importance of gender equality during the COVID-19 and as society recovers. It applies an intersectional lens, emphasizing the importance of equity and foregrounding inclusivity. The Prosperity Project was founded and is being led by Women’s Executive Network and Canadian Board Diversity Council Founder Pamela Jeffery.

Partnering with The Prosperity Project is a natural fit for BMO because their mission aligns so well with both our Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy and our focus on driving an inclusive recovery from the pandemic. The organization’s focus on going beyond gender-based diversity to ensuring intersectionality in senior leadership makes The Prosperity Project’s work ground-breaking, and the focus on the pandemic impacts is topical and timely. BMO was among 48 organizations to anonymously provide data broaden the picture.

On February 24, The Prosperity Project will release its first report, the 2021 Annual Report Card on Gender Diversity and Leadership: The Zero Report. Driven by ground-breaking research, the report will shine an important light on a group of TSX-listed companies and CBCA-governed corporations, including BMO, that are at the forefront of tackling gender diversity through collecting race-based data.

It will set a new standard for collecting and reporting gender diversity and leadership in Canada, and is the first to present intersectional data (women who also identify as BIPOC and/or living with disabilities) on women in leadership roles, and look at the representation of women in board, executive officer and in the pipeline to executive officer roles across the economy in some of Canada’s largest organizations. The report provides three snapshots in time to determine if Canadian women at the leadership level are being disproportionately affected by the current crisis: March 31, 2019, March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020.

To launch its inaugural report, The Prosperity Project will present a roundtable virtual event featuring executives across a host of industries in Canada, including Vanessa Lewerentz, BMO’s Chief Inclusion Officer, discussing how to increase women’s representation and apply an intersectional lens to succession planning, creating more gender and non-gender diversity at the leadership level.

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