On June 3-6 2019, Vancouver acted as the first-ever North American host to Women Deliver 2019, the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women. Women Deliver brought together world leaders, influencers, innovators and change-makers.
The conference this year shone a light on the issue of power – how it can drive, or hinder, progress and change. From education, health and human rights to political participation, economic empowerment and access to resources, the conference explored the numerous issues in the struggle for gender equality, and offered both solutions to advance progress, and opportunities to cross-pollinate ideas across disciplines, generations and geographies.
BMO participants in the conference shared a natural affinity for two of those key conference topics: equity in the workplace and enabling women entrepreneurs.
The advancement of women in the workplace provided a steady drumbeat across panels and presentations each day of the conference. But even before the official program began, working women were on the agenda. A private sector pre-conference on June 3 gathered high-level corporate decision-makers including BMO’s Group Head of Wealth Management, Joanna Rotenberg, to explore the impact of the “future of work,” and the specific actions the private sector can take to minimize risks to women’s employment, and maximize the opportunities for women to succeed and thrive.
Across panels and presentations, there was also a strong focus on driving more entrepreneurship globally for women, and on making resources more accessible for them. Among the opportunities to learn more about this important topic was a presentation from BMO’s Mike Bonner, Regional President, BC and Yukon, addressing issues of credit, and what our research has told us about how women entrepreneurs finance their growing businesses –and how those choices impact the growth trajectory.
The Women Deliver conference provided a perfect backdrop for the BMO team to celebrate local Vancouver-area women for their business and philanthropic success. The BMO Celebrating Women event held on June 4 carried the theme of “local action for global impact” and featured Cam Fowler, President, North American Personal and Business Banking, introducing the event, and an inspiring panel discussion moderated by best-selling author Samra Zafar.
In addition to panel participation and presentations from senior leaders, BMO’s presence at the conference as a sponsor included an engaging booth on the conference floor. Hundreds of attendees visited BMO’s booth, which featured information on our BMO Celebrating Women awards programs (which has recognized more than 150 women entrepreneurs to date across Canada and the U.S.), daily book-signings from Samra and a photographer offering complimentary professional headshots. It was all part of a coherent message for conference participants: BMO believes that women’s economic empowerment can grow our global economy, further gender equality, and set women on a path to fulfill their remarkable potential. And when it comes to empowering women, at BMO, we’re all in.
Learn more about how BMO champions equity in the workplace and supports women entrepreneurs with access to capital, advice and support.