BMO has announced new, five-year, diversity goals to address gaps affecting Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Latino, and LGBTQ2+ employees, customers, and communities. The Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 goals reflect an ambitious expansion of the multi-year diversity strategy last set in 2017.
New benchmarks and plans include doubling enterprise-wide representation of Black senior leaders, accelerating Indigenous talent strategies, introducing an LGBTQ2+ representation goal, and sustaining a strong gender equity position.
“Our commitment to create a more inclusive society is unwavering, and our renewed diversity strategy is one of the ways we’re driving meaningful change for our employees, customers, and local communities,” said Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. “These ambitious goals will help us achieve our vision of eliminating barriers to inclusion in society, by directly addressing gaps in representation across our organization and the financial services industry, to create opportunities for all.”
BMO’s Zero Barriers to Inclusion Strategy and Workforce Representation Goals
BMO’s renewed diversity strategy focuses on underrepresented employees, with yearly milestones set in order to reach the Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 goals, which include:
- Increasing representation of Black employees in senior leadership roles to 3.5 per cent and 7 per cent in Canada and the U.S., respectively
- Increasing representation of People of Colour employees in senior leadership roles to 30 per cent or greater in Canada and the U.S., respectively
- Increasing representation of Latino employees in senior leadership roles to 7 per cent in the U.S.
- Sustaining our current gender equity position with a range of 40 to 60 per cent representation in senior leadership roles across our organization
- Increasing representation of Black and Latino interns and entry-level employees to 30 per cent in the U.S. and ensuring 40 per cent of student opportunity in Canada is directed to BIPOC youth.
- Increasing representation of Indigenous Peoples across our workforce in Canada to 1.6 per cent
- Increasing representation of persons with disabilities within a range of 5 to 7 per cent of our workforce
- Introducing an LGBTQ2+ representation goal of 3 per cent of our workforce
Having achieved four out of five goals from our previous workforce diversity strategy, the new benchmarks were developed with a combination of inputs including data-driven trends, labour market availability, and internal and external environmental factors. These goals will be reviewed on an ongoing basis by the bank’s Performance Committee, chaired by Mr. White.
Investing in Colleagues, Customers, and Communities
BMO’s Zero Barriers to Inclusion strategy is also focused on providing access to opportunities and enabling growth for our colleagues, our customers, and the communities we serve.
Internally, we are committed to continuing the diversification of the composition of our workforce and ensuring an equitable employee experience. Ongoing strategies to accelerate these key initiatives include:
- Creation of the Black and Latino Advisory Council, focusing on employee experience, advancement, and engagement of Black and Latino talent through dedicated taskforces and partnerships with BMO’s Enterprise Resource Groups (ERGs), including the Black Professionals Network ERG and the Leadership Committee for Inclusion and Diversity (LCID)
- Focus on a culture of inclusion through learning with development programs that build the leadership pipeline for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) talent; Indigenous history and culture education available across the organization; access to relevant and timely racial injustice education materials, dedicated resources website, and e-learning programs; as well as 40 per cent of student opportunities directed to BIPOC youth.
- Continuous action from the Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC), comprised of Chiefs and Indigenous leaders from across Canada, informing BMO policies and practices with a focus on education, employment and economic empowerment.
- Creation of a dedicated Indigenous Talent Strategies team that is identifying and resolving barriers to recruitment, development, and retention.
As we continue to eliminate barriers in our community alliances and partnerships, especially in areas such as workforce development, healthcare, small business, affordable housing, arts, and culture, BMO will remain focused on supporting minority-owned businesses as part of our overall diversity strategy. Efforts to create meaningful change for customers and communities include:
- Partnering with Canadian business leaders to launch the Black Opportunity Fund, offering Black businesses and organizations long-term capital by attracting investment from the business community, philanthropists, and government.
- Creating inclusive banking products and services to meet the diverse needs of Black and Latino business owners and customers.
- Providing improved access to financial products and services in Indigenous communities across Canada through 13 full-service branches, one business office on-reserve, and 20 ABMs.
- Expanding Supplier Diversity Council enterprise-wide to ensure spending with diverse suppliers and partners that positively affect local communities.
- Supporting disadvantaged communities through previously announced donations, including $1 million to North American organizations focused on social and racial injustice; $10 million to the United Way of Metro Chicago’s Neighborhood Network in support of the Chicago Mayor’s INVEST South/West initiative focused on addressing economic disparity; $10 million partnership with United Way Greater Toronto to foster inclusive economic opportunities; and $5 million to Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, in support of Minnie’s Hope Social Pediatric Centre for the Cree community of Whapmagoostui and the Inuit community of Kuujjuaraapik on the southern shore of Hudson Bay.
- Ongoing action connected to the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism’s CEO Pledge, which was endorsed by Mr. White and aligns with our plans related to representation and advancement, education, collaboration with the Black community, and setting conditions for success.
- Continued support of efforts by the Chicago City Treasurer’s Office and the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office to address the need for greater equity and opportunity for Black communities in the financial service industry.