CHICAGO — Nov. 30, 2022 — BMO today announced the launch of its Returnship Program, a collaboration with The Mom Project, to provide moms who have a gap in their career or have left the workforce a smooth path to return without having to start over. The program will focus on recruiting, training, and upskilling moms and women of color for technology roles with paid, full-time employment while providing mentorship and support each step of the way.

“BMO’s commitment to building a society with Zero Barriers to Inclusion is one of the defining hallmarks of our culture,” said Atul Verma, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Personal and Business Banking at BMO. “As a leader in our communities, we strive to make pathways to inclusion a priority. Our new program for returnship in technology roles is an innovative way to help build such a pathway to attract talent for a diverse organization.”

Since the start of the pandemic, a staggering 2 million women exited the workforce in the U.S., according to the National Women’s Law Center, with moms of color being hit particularly hard by job loss. By partnering with The Mom Project to continue the bank’s efforts to break down barriers faced by women and people of color, Returnship hires will receive formal training and development to accelerate time to productivity, catch up on industry advancements, and receive mentorship to set employees up for success.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Mom Project on BMO’s Returnship Program to support women who have selflessly put their careers on hold and smoothly guide them back into careers in banking and technology,” said Mary Kay Kaminski, Managing Director for U.S. Personal and Business Banking at BMO. “This program is a bold step to help women regain momentum in their careers and we look forward to welcoming and supporting these talented women as they reenter the workforce.”

“Partnering with BMO to launch their Returnship Program will not only create more opportunities for moms and women of color in financial services and technology, but it can also build new economic pathways that may not have been accessible before,” said Allison Robinson, CEO, The Mom Project. “We see firsthand how our RISE graduates have significantly benefited from the ability to upskill and pivot careers and industries, proving the economic and social value these programs deliver to an underserved but very talented group of women.”

BMO’s U.S. Personal and Business Banking Technology team has already began hiring for FTE developer roles and the program’s unique model allows the bank to fill positions as often as needed over a 12-month period. For each BMO hire, The Mom Project will provide a technical scholarship through RISE, its not for profit, equity-focused upskilling arm, designed to empower moms and women of color with access to greater career opportunities in emergent industries.

BMO is committed to supporting the advancement of women both within the bank and beyond, including through:

    • $1.2 million in funding to SheEO – a not-for-profit company which offers financial support to businesses led by women and non-binary people. BMO’s financial commitment allowed SheEO to fund all 2021 venture applicant companies.
    • BMO Empower – a series of long-term commitments to advance inclusive economic recovery in the United States, pledging $5 billion over the next five years to address key barriers faced by minority businesses, communities and families.
    • WMNfintech program – a collaboration between BMO and 1871, designed for women-led fintech start-ups that create services or solutions for the financial sector, offer insights and advice to customers, or help identify customer needs. The program provides women founders with curriculum and guidance from industry experts and an opportunity to pitch venture capital investors for feedback, mentoring, continued connections, and potential for funding.
    • BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program – a partnership with Deloitte, BMO pledges $80,000 in grants each year to support the high-level growth plans of eight women-owned businesses across the United States.
    • Set new diversity goals for senior leader and executive roles through its Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy, including maintaining its leadership in gender diversity with at least 40 percent of senior leadership roles filled by employees who identify as women.

Learn more about BMO’s support for women entrepreneurs, its Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, and 1871 by visiting bmoforwomen.com.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $1.07 trillion as of July 31, 2022, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About The Mom Project
The Mom Project is the leading platform for moms to discover their economic potential. Serving over one million moms and 3,000+ companies through its robust suite of hiring, education and retention solutions, The Mom Project is supporting mothers in finding success on their own terms. The Chicago-based company was founded in 2016 by Allison Robinson, who serves as CEO, and has raised $116M in funding to date. Serena Williams joined The Mom Project as a Strategic Advisor in 2020 to further mobilize the mission.

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