What we’re doing
Within our own business (BMO Financial Group)
With our investee companies
In 2020 we:
During 2020 we engaged extensively with investee companies on their COVID-19 response, including health and safety of workers, and support for employees having to take time off related to illness or caring for family members, as well as support for people working from home. We continued gender diversity and equality engagement initiatives globally with a specific focus on Japan, the UK, Canada and the US. We also implemented a global voting policy with minimum board gender diversity requirements for all markets, and increased expectations in the US and Canada – in 2021 we are requiring at least 25% gender diversity on North American boards. Finally, we expanded our collaborative efforts on gender equality by, in addition to our 30% Club memberships in Canada and the UK, joining the French chapter and the US 30 Percent Coalition.
Women are often the first to feel the negative impacts of systemic ESG challenges, including public health crises and climate change. But we also need women to address those challenges: research by PwC shows that female directors consistently prioritize ESG issues in a way their male counterparts do not, and can better see the links between ESG and company strategy.
Let’s get all hands on deck in the coming years to ensure we accelerate rather than slow down progress on gender equality.