Career Story

Claudette McGowan

Claudette McGowan

Vice President,
Technology Service Engagement

Over time, I've learned how important it is to assist with the growth and development of the next generation of leaders. In many cases, I am approached by visible minorities or women in technology who are inspired by my journey and looking for guidance. Connecting with people and assisting with their journey is truly an honour.

Why did you decide BMO was right for you and why do you love working here?

I decided to join BMO because BMO impressed me.   What impressed me most was a collection of things: the sheer size of the organization, diversity of businesses, number of geographic locations and the endless opportunities to make a positive difference for people. I love working at BMO because the culture is one of continuous improvement.  We are always thinking about how to deliver value for our customers in new and meaningful ways.  At some companies, employees get one day a week to work on a cool, ground-breaking project.  In technology, I get the privilege to work on innovative projects every day.

What has made you successful at BMO, helped you in your career development and what lessons have you learned along the way?

When I reflect on my career at BMO, I attribute my success to four things: laser focus on customer and employee experience, embracing ambiguity, building an informal network of experts and making tough decisions with pace.

What helped me most with my career development is a commitment to continuous learning. In the past few years, I’ve completed studies in cyber security, emotional intelligence, web design, graphic arts, change management, project management and strategic visioning.  My thirst for learning has added new dimensions and skills to my toolkit, enabling me to bring new and sometimes unexpected value to BMO.

What are you currently working on that is helping you build on different skills?

The one thing I am working on that is helping me build new skills is an external North American conference focused on engaging and encouraging Millennials and Gen Z’ers to pursue careers in Technology.  This work involves raising awareness about the diversity of roles in technology while showcasing some of the shining examples we have at BMO.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job relates to mentoring.  Over time, I’ve learned how important it is to assist with the growth and development of the next generation of leaders. In many cases, I am approached by visible minorities or women in technology who are inspired by my journey and looking for guidance.  There is tremendous value in sharing experiences, discussing difficult situations and exploring strategies to thrive.  By far, connecting with people and assisting with their journey is a rewarding way for me to give back.

What is your proudest moment working at BMO, especially as we celebrate BMO200 & what excites you about the year ahead?

My proudest moment at BMO relates to the implementation of Skype for Business across the enterprise.  What brings me and my colleagues immense joy is the way this collaboration tool has been adopted by every business unit and is widely used throughout the organization every day.  BMO colleagues are now hosting over 70,000+ virtual meetings a month, reducing travel expense and leveraging digital tools so they can work more efficiently.

I am very excited about the way we are accelerating the deployment of digital technology to transform our Bank. As we assess new capabilities in social, mobile, analytics and cloud, it is inspiring to work collaboratively with my colleagues knowing the outcomes will modernize our processes, products and services for BMO customers.

BMO Harris Bank N.A. is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer that values diversity in its workforce. BMO Harris Bank N.A. encourages applications from all qualified individuals regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, age or any other characteristic protected by law.

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