Speaker Series - toronto

Ignorance is Not Bliss

Recognizing and Unpacking Unconscious Bias

Event Details:

While prejudice and discrimination remain pressing issues in workplaces around the world, the more elusive challenge facing many organizations is unconscious bias. This is not a new concept, so why have both public and private organizations struggled to address it? Learn the theories behind biases, and the tactics to limit their impact. We must challenge our existing beliefs. In doing so, we can outsmart our brains and make less-biased decisions, both in the workplace and in our social lives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase the learners’ awareness of the concept of Unconscious Bias
  • Assist learners to recognize bias within themselves
  • Enable learners to recognize the impact of their personal bias on others
  • Ensure the learner understands bias is natural, but needs to be managed


6:00 pm – 6:40 pm – Registration & Networking

6:40 pm – 8:00 pm – Cocktails, Discussion & Networking

8:00 pm – Cocktail Concludes

8:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Optional Networking


Tej Singh Hazra
Director of Diversity & Inclusion, BMO

Tej Singh Hazra portrait

With over thirteen years in the arena of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion with enterprises such as IBM, HSBC and most recently Bank of Montreal, Tej has amassed both regional and global expertise addressing and embedding open minded leadership, intentional talent attraction, employee development/retention and establishing brand marketplace integrity.

In his current role as Director of Diversity & Inclusion with the Bank of Montreal, Tej holds accountability for the design, development and implementation for enterprise strategy and programs/initiatives that support the bank’s business objectives for Canada.

His extensive knowledge and experience with the Employment Equity Act of 1995, previously saw HSBC recognized for three consecutive years by the Minister of Employment Social Development Canada for their outstanding commitment to Employment Equity.

During his time at the helm of IBM Canada’s Diversity & Inclusion office he was appointed to lead IBM’s Global Emerging Issues Response Team – accountable for managing real-time global and regional issues, involving cultural, regulatory and faith-based nuances in the company’s major and emerging markets.

Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Tej graduated from The University of Huddersfield (UK) where he studied Computer Aided Engineering.

Tej immigrated to Canada with his spouse in 1996 where they now live raising their son.

Tara John – Head, Succession Planning and Leadership Staffing, BMO Financial Group

Tara John portraitTara John is the Head, Succession Planning and Leadership Staffing at BMO Financial Group.

Tara has spent 20 years in the financial services industry and has experience in both front line sales and human resources. She is a business-focused professional with a strong commitment to aligning the employee experience with the customer experience. Tara has worked in both Canada and the United States and during her tenure in HR she has been involved in M&A, risk & regulatory, HR strategy, organizational design, change management and learning and development. Throughout her career, Tara has built a reputation as an action-oriented individual with a clear focus on the development of human capital strategies which align to and enable the achievement of BMO’s business goals.

As Head, Succession Planning and Leadership Staffing, Tara is accountable for building and strengthening the leadership pipeline across BMO Financial Group while mitigating succession risk. Her role includes oversight of senior leadership staffing, leadership and succession planning, senior leader development and coaching, and board & governance leadership accountabilities.

Tara has an MBA from Dalhousie University and Honours BA in Business Management from the University of Toronto. Tara is currently on the Board for Access Living in Chicago and the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN).

Kristine Remedios – Chief Inclusion and Social Impact Officer, KPMG

Kristine Remedios portraitKristine Remedios is KPMG’s Chief Inclusion and Social Impact Officer for KPMG Canada, proudly leading the firm’s vision and strategy. Working closely with the Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity and Co-Chair with the CEO of the Executive Inclusion and Diversity Council for KPMG Canada.

With over 20 years of experience as a Human Resources professional, Kristine has a deep understanding across the HR landscape and for the past 5 years leading the Inclusion and Diversity strategy for the firm. While at KPMG, Kristine has been involved in developing innovative strategies and partnerships focused on Women’s Initiatives, LGBT+ Initiatives, Inclusive Leadership, Unconscious Bias and Mental Health to name a few. Kristine earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, she has served on a not-for profit Board, completed her certification in Leading a Healthy Workplace through Queens University, Get on Board Governance Education program and Inclusive Leadership Training through Catalyst.  More recently, Kristine is a committee member of the Chief Inclusion Officer Forum for Ascend Canada and the Inclusion Advisory Committee for TRIEC.


Jennifer Laidlaw – Strategic Gender Partnerships, CIBC

Jennifer Laidlaw portrait

Jennifer Laidlaw joined CIBC in 2014 and leads CIBC’s external strategic gender partnerships team, evolving CIBC’s position as a leader in promoting the economic imperative of better gender balance on Canadian boards and c-suites. They are transforming the conversation with a focus on engaging men, exploring masculinity and leveraging data. In addition, they are amplifying the impact of organizations with gender and governance mandates, building partnerships to develop diverse talent pipelines and strengthening CIBC’s client relationships.

Previously, Jennifer was the Chief Human Resources Officer at the Ontario Securities Commission, where she developed a People Strategy that enabled its evolution as a modern, 21st Century regulator.  She has an extensive background in both business operations and human resources, having held executive roles in the private and broader public sectors.

Jennifer has significant board governance experience in the non-profit sector.  She is currently serving as a Board Director on Informed Opinions, an Advisory Committee Member on the Economic Development Council of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and an Advisory Board Member on the Ryerson School of Management, HR and Organization Behaviour Council.  Previously, Jennifer served as a Board Director for the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPA), as well as the Toronto Chapter, HRPA and was Chair, Surrey Place Centre. Jennifer has an Advanced Certificate in Board Governance and a Leadership Certificate for Board Chairs from the Ontario Hospital Association. In addition, Jennifer has an MA from the University of Toronto, Lean Six Sigma Certification, a Certified HR Executive designation, and is an Adler Trained Coach.


Vantage Venues logoVantage Venues
150 King Street West
27th Floor
Toronto, ON M5H 1J9


Silver Partners:

   Scotiabank logo

April 11, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Toronto, ON