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Women in technology have training and mentorship opportunities in a nine-month leadership development program (‘Prometheus’) at Citi Canada.Provided

Sheeba Kinger is ready to take on new career challenges at Citi Canada thanks to an innovative leadership program targeting women in technology.

Earlier this year, the quality assurance lead completed Prometheus, a nine-month leadership development program for female technology talent at Citi. “It has brought a lot of value to my career,” says Kinger, who works in equities technology at the company’s Mississauga office. “It has given me a confidence boost. It has empowered me to speak up at meetings and share my ideas and thoughts and improve my decision-making on the team.”

In 2014, Kinger started her career in information technology in India before immigrating to Canada and joining Citi in 2019. After securing a full-time position in markets technology, she went to her senior manager to ask for career development advice. He suggested she apply for the Prometheus program. Having identified that she needed to become more assertive and confident in expressing herself publicly, he thought the program would be a perfect fit.

“I was very afraid to put my thoughts up front,” she recalls. “I used to also be scared to say ‘no.’”

After completing the rigorous application for the competitive, global program, she was thrilled to learn she was one of about 25 women in the company’s technology development centre in Mississauga who were accepted into the program last year. Currently, there are more than 2,000 employees in the office working on projects for Citi’s global institutional products and offerings. Based in New York, Citi operates in 160 countries and jurisdictions.

Jerry McGranaghan is a big advocate of the Prometheus program, having graduated from the first Canadian class in 2016.

McGranaghan, a senior vice president at Citi and site lead of its new technology hub in Toronto’s financial district, joined the leadership development program one year after emigrating from Ireland, where she had worked for Citi. She credits the program for helping her settle in Canada and embark on increasing leadership roles.

“The whole experience is curated in a way that really supports women’s development and how they can achieve the next level of their careers,” says McGranaghan. “Women often have a different experience in the workplace. When you step into a program like this, you meet like-minded people. There is strength in that. You can lean on each other. You understand that you are not alone.”

That was exactly Kinger’s experience. Through seminars, training sessions and mentorship and by executing a large team project, she made valuable connections and developed skills to allow her to take on more leadership responsibilities within her technology team. As part of Prometheus, Kinger helped organize a quarterly networking event at the Mississauga site. The event was a huge success, drawing 300 people to the first gathering last February.

“It was so amazing,” Kinger says. “Initially I was nervous but then I hosted the whole program by myself. I got a lot of positive feedback.”

Kinger’s Prometheus certificate hangs prominently on the wall in her work cubicle. Being a program graduate puts her in a league with other highly talented women in technology. She hopes one day to be a mentor like McGranaghan and be able to help other women like herself.

“The people who lead the program at a local level are also the folks who have been through the program,” says McGranaghan. “We can appreciate what it has done for us as individuals and for our careers.”

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