MaRS and CIBC launch the Inclusive Design Challenge: Career Advancement

TORONTO, November 28, 2022 – Ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, CIBC and MaRS today announced the launch of the Career Advancement Challenge, the third phase of the Inclusive Design Challenge Series partnership. The country-wide innovation competition seeks solutions to support inclusive work environments and career advancement for Canadians with disabilities.

“At CIBC, we believe in designing an inclusive and accessible workplace where people can achieve career ambitions,” said Jennifer Davidson, Vice-President, Client Measurements and Insights and Co-chair of CIBC’s Accessibility Action Committee. “We are proud to partner with MaRS on the Inclusive Design Challenge Series to offer members of the disability community an opportunity to develop innovative solutions to barriers in career advancement.”

“We know that persons with disabilities are typically overlooked for career advancement opportunities and their full potential often goes unrecognized. This innovation challenge seeks career advancement solutions that will help overcome some of the barriers that persons with disabilities face, such as attitudinal bias, support networks, workplace disclosure and workplace structure,” Alex Ryan, Senior Vice-President, Partner Solutions, MaRS.

The career advancement challenge is open until March 1, 2023, with five prizes totaling $100,000. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2023.

Learn more and sign up here.



In 2020, MaRS and CIBC released a research report that profiled a range of barriers persons with disabilities face throughout their employment journey. The research prompted MaRS and CIBC to launch the Inclusive Design Challenge Series, a set of four distinct innovation challenges designed to seek solutions to help overcome many of these employment barriers. The innovation challenges invite changemakers from the disability and innovation communities to propose and develop solutions to these barriers. The first two challenges focused on Access to Work and Support at Work, respectively. This third  innovation challenge is focused on career advancement.



CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 13 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network and locations across Canada, with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at



MaRS is North America’s largest urban innovation hub. A registered non-profit, MaRS supports high-growth startups and scale-ups tackling key issues in health, cleantech, fintech and other sectors. In addition, MaRS convenes all members of the tech ecosystem to drive breakthrough discoveries, grow the economy and make an impact by solving real problems for real people — in Canada and around the world.


For further information contact:

CIBC media: Kira Smylie, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-980-2949 or

MaRS innovation challenges:

MaRS media:


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