Throughout September and early October, several members of BMO's leadership team took part in a takeover day – part of Plan International Canada's International Day of the Girl activities – to amplify girls' voices, advocate for their rights, elevate their position in society and reinforce their capability as decision-makers.
Seven of our senior executives – Darryl White, Cam Fowler, Joanna Rotenberg, Patrick Cronin, Christine Cooper, Nadim Hirji and Darrel Hackett stepped down from their positions to allow a girl ambassador from Plan International to take on their role for the day.
From the girls' perspective
What was it like? How did it go? We're turning it over to the seven girls who took over a leadership role for the day and get to know more about them. Hear from Rhidita below.
Get to know Rhidita
Program/area of study: I am currently in grade 12 in the Talented Offerings for Programs at my school. I am interested in pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
Passions/interest outside of school: Outside of school, my passions and interests include reading non-fiction books about psychology and biographies and learning Indian classical music. I am also passionate about advocating for gender equality and global health.
Took over for: Christine Cooper, SVP & Co-Head Corporate Finance Division, BMO Financial Group, September 28, 2018
What you were most looking forward to in your role? I was looking forward to learning about the stories and personal experiences of the people I would be meeting during my takeover. I was also excited to learn about the initiatives that BMO is leading to promote gender equality in finance and entrepreneurship.
What surprised you the most about the day? I was most surprised about how all the executives I met were so welcoming and understanding. I was so inspired by how much they care about their employees and helping other people develop their skills in the company. I was also surprised to learn about all the amazing initiatives BMO is doing within the company and in the local community to give opportunities to those who typically have not had them in the past.
Advice you have for other girls from this experience: From this shadowing experience, one piece of advice I would give to other girls is to be a leader in your own way. I learned that leadership is not limited to one stereotypical model and that it comes in many forms. It is important to be genuine and bring your own personality and experiences to your leadership because there is nothing more inspiring than being yourself.