BMO Marks International Day of the Girl with an Evolution of ‘Jane’s Story’

As part of its longstanding commitment to empowering the female leaders of tomorrow, BMO has launched an online initiative to eliminate discriminatory language in dictionary definitions for terms such as “gold digger” and “shopaholic.

Timed to coincide with the International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11, the social media campaign from FCB Canada is an evolution of “Jane’s Story”—an initiative timed for International Women’s Day in March that illustrated the subtle but pervasive obstacles women face when it comes to establishing financial independence.

BMO is urging consumers to take action through a Change.org petition aimed at eliminating gender bias in dictionary definitions that undermine women’s financial confidence and independence.

The creative shows a young girl accompanied by a super featuring the dictionary definitions of terms like “gold digger” and “shopaholic”—both of which contain discriminatory descriptions like “a woman who forms relationships with men purely to obtain money or gifts from them” and “…Diane loved looking for new clothes with her two daughters.” The social media ads use the hashtag #BMOForWomen and #DayOfTheGirl.

“These biased words are so ingrained in our culture,” Elma Karabegovic, Associate Creative Director, FCB Canada. “By officially amending the meanings, we can start changing old and outdated habits. It will take time, but this is the first step.”

BMO is also working with influencers to amplify the petition and explore the stereotypes around women and money such as needing a man for financial security and that retail therapy is a cure for feeling down.

“The first step to financial empowerment for women is understanding the societal issue that may be holding them back,” said Jennifer Carli, VP Head, Brand & Social Media, BMO Financial Group. “We are using the petition to raise awareness of the impact that the words we use can have on women’s financial confidence, and we’re inviting consumers to help us make a change for the next generation of girls.”

BMO has made empowering women one of the cornerstones of its business, including investing more than $3 billion in capital over three years to women-owned businesses and programs. Since the funding was announced in 2018, BMO’s growth in loans to these Canadian women-owned businesses has surpassed the national average by nearly 3%.

For more information on BMO for Women, visit: https://bmoforwomen.com/ourcommitment, and for more details on BMO’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit: https://corporate-responsibility.bmo.com/.

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