TD Gift Aims to Attract More Women to Pursue Business Careers

    $1 million gift to Richard Ivey School of Business will be used to fund
    MBA scholarships for women

    LONDON, ON, April 26 /CNW/ - TD Bank Financial Group today announced a $1
 million gift to the Richard Ivey School of Business designed to attract more
women to business careers by funding MBA scholarships. Female enrollment in
Canadian MBA programs currently stands at around 36 per cent, and according to
a recent study by Catalyst, while the proportion of women corporate officers
continues to increase, the overall number of women in senior leadership roles
has risen less than two percentage points since 2002.
    "From corporate officers to board directors, women are underrepresented
at the highest levels of business," says Colleen Johnston, Executive Vice
President and Chief Financial Officer, TD Bank Financial Group. "Making
business education more accessible to working women is one of the first steps
in rectifying this problem. The greatest barrier to an MBA is often the cost,
so we're proud to be partnering with one of Canada's top business schools to
provide financial assistance to dozens of women."
    Many companies are now creating diversity roles within their
organization, with the aim of attracting women and visible minorities to
senior positions. Industry leaders have found that mirroring increasingly
diverse communities in their workforce can be a competitive advantage in a
global market. Creating a truly diverse workplace requires applying diversity
management principles across the board, from hiring and advancement, to
marketing and community involvement, to purchasing practices.
    TD Bank Financial Group offers mentoring programs for women including
symposiums with question and answer sessions, career panels and formal and
informal networking opportunities. Knowing that flexible and supportive work
environments are important for women with families, TD employees can tailor
their work hours and locations that best suit their needs.
    "When women leave the workforce, it's likely due to outside pressures or
a lack of opportunities within. And every time this happens we lose valuable
and skilled employees who can make us stronger and more competitive," says
Johnston. "That's why creating a flexible and supportive work environment that
meets the needs of all our employees is so important to us."
    "Ivey has a number of initiatives to encourage more young women to
consider an MBA, and to mentor and develop female students once they've been
accepted into the program," says Ivey Dean Carol Stephenson. "We hold Women in
Management recruiting events for potential students; networking and mentoring
programs through our Women in Management club; and are producing research on
diversity in organizations through faculty member Alison Konrad, who holds the
Corus Chair in Women in Management. I see diversity as a key driver of
organizational success."
    TD's $1 million gift qualifies for the Ontario Trust for Student Support
(OTSS) program. Under the OTSS program, the Province of Ontario will provide
$1 million in matching funds over time, resulting in a total endowment of $2
million, enhancing Ivey's ability to attract and support women in the MBA

For further information:

For further information: Marisa Kanas, Richard Ivey School of Business,
(519) 850-2536,; Mary Weil, (416) 970-1906,;
Jennifer Martin, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-6473,

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