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BMO Harris Bank and Catalyst host a diversity insights event and panel discussion

Reviewed research on intersectionality, emotional tax and the role of the inclusive leader

CHICAGO, IL. October 24, 2019 – BMO Harris Bank and Catalyst hosted an event and panel discussion at BMO Harris’s Chicago headquarters where leaders from both organizations discussed intersectionality, emotional tax, the role of the inclusive leader and how peers from surrounding businesses and communities can leverage these insights to be catalysts for positive change.

Catalyst Research Vice President Dnika J. Travis kicked off the event with a keynote, focused on her recent research on the experiences of people of color and other non-majority employee groups in the workplace. This research provided insight into the heightened experience of individual differences between peers at work based on gender, race, ethnicity and the associated detrimental effects on health, well-being and the ability to thrive at work. Travis also shared tactics business leaders can adopt to help create a more inclusive workplace culture where employees feel equitably valued and empowered to achieve their full potential. 

“It’s telling that high percentages of people of color in Catalyst Emotional Tax studies in the U.S. and Canada share the experiences of protecting against biased treatment because of a combination of their race/ethnicity, gender, physical appearance and other aspects of their identity,” said Travis. “And this research prompts leaders and managers to listen to and understand experiences of people of color in workplaces to start taking steps toward build inclusive climates where people are treated fairly, can thrive and contribute.”

Following the presentation, panelists Dnika Travis, Marsha McDermott, workplace inclusion/EEO compliance officer for RR Donnelley, Bernard Narine, head of retail for BMO’s south Chicago region, and Jim Duff, SVP & national head of banking for BMO, had a candid discussion about their own experiences with adversity. Each panelist weighed in on how they continue to overcome their own emotional tax and how leaders can keep themselves accountable for creating inclusive workplace environments.

“BMO’s Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good, in business and life includes an explicit commitment to zero barriers to inclusion and is aligned to our efforts to help our employees feel that they belong and can bring their whole selves to work,” said Tracie Morris, U.S. chief human resource officer and chief inclusion officer. “It’s an honor to work with Catalyst and see the work they have accomplished on intersectionality and emotional tax – both of which have implications on inclusive leadership.”

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 500 branches branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the United States. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, visit the company fact sheet. Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$839 billion, as of July 31, 2019, and more than 45,000 employees.

About Catalyst
Catalyst is a global non-profit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst drives change with pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership—because progress for women is progress for everyone.

For further information: Media contact: Kathleen Szot, Chicago, (312) 881-0388