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In collaboration with The Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Bain & Company, The Letters @ Rotman and the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) hosted a case competition with over 50 Rotman MBA students in 18 teams to strengthen LGBTQ2+ diversity and inclusion efforts at BMO.

The Letters case competition on diversity and inclusion

The challenge question:

“How can BMO become the #1 employer in the world by empowering its employees and leadership to champion the needs and professional development of LGBTQ2+ people?”

The Finalists

The students developed several ideas that offered new approaches to diversity and inclusion at BMO. Six of these ideas were selected to be presented at the final round of competition at Bain & Company.

BMO’s Family First Benefits Plan (winning idea)–A benefits coverage plan for a wide range of assisted reproduction and adoption costs, which are particularly important for LGBTQ2+ employees.

Transformation Investment Fund–A trans-centred investment fund that provides capital, mentoring and advisory services to trans-owned businesses.

BMO Art Labs–A dedicated space for employees that supports self-development and expression through art.

BMO Allies to Advocates Program–An employee program that supports and promotes ally education through seminars, Q&A sessions, and empathy exercises.

BMO Board of Diversity and Fellowship Program–A group of employees that champion LGBTQ2+ employees and an undergraduate fellowship program for young LGBTQ2+ talent.

Project Unicorn–A series of programs that support the trans community including initiating BMO Allies Pledge Week, a dedicated time during the year when allies showcase their support for the community.

The winning team comprised of Alicia Riolino, Baidong Sun, and Alison Zimmer. For their prize, they received a first round interview with Bain & Company, and lunch with BMO’s Chief Inclusion Officer, Rajini Nagendran.

In addition to the finalists, 12 other teams pitched their ideas. These ideas centred on a range of themes, including; developing inclusion and diversity policies; creating transformational programs for ally engagement; celebrating gender expression and sexual orientation; investing in LGBTQ2+ talent; developing effective metrics to measure diversity and inclusion efforts.

Thank you to all of the participants, coaches, and judges for being a part of this great event!

To see all of the students’ ideas, view or download this short brief.


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