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The Protégé Project

The Protégé Project is the only cross-sector career sponsorship program in Canada. 

Are you or someone you know a senior executive woman ready to accelerate your career?

Are you or someone you know:

  • A senior female leader working in the Communications, Media or Technology sectors?
  • Aspiring to move into the top leadership tier in your organization?
  • Interested in working with a senior executive to support you in taking the next career step?

Then it’s time to take charge and accelerate your career with Women in Communications and Technology’s Protégé Project. This program is an innovative game changing career sponsorship program designed to advance the Canadian leadership landscape by helping to support senior women in the Communications, Media and Technology sectors move into top tier positions. 

See how this program has already launched WCT members into the C-Suite


Apply now

Protégé Project – Innovation in Leadership Development

The Protégé Project is a career sponsorship program that matches an influential, powerfully positioned Canadian C-suite executive champion with a senior female protégé. The matches are formed across companies with a focus on supporting the protégé to move into even more senior leadership positions. The protégé project is:

  • An innovative leadership program that will identify and assist capable, aspiring women in Canada’s digital economy to advance their careers
  • An original cross-sector approach to expanding networks and accelerating leadership stature through thoughtful, selective matches with executive champions
  • Rooted in WCT’s values of paying it forward and driving women’s advancement at all levels of their career

Program Objectives

  • To increase the number of top performing women in senior decision making positions in the Canadian telecommunications, media and technology sectors by expanding their relationship network
  • Develop a set of best practices and models for repeatable success
  • Empower protégés to pay it forward and create a ripple effect that will advance women’s leadership


Participants in the Protégé Project will benefit by:

  • Enhancing their understanding of how to navigate corporate environments
  • Receiving career coaching and specific advice from a senior leadership perspective
  • Building new networks
  • Developing executive level skills for relationship-building, decision-making and problem solving


While each executive and protégé match is unique with different goals, through the Protégé Project support, participants have reported the following results:

  • Promotion to the most senior positions in their companies
  • Expansion of network and contacts leading to new business opportunities
  • Fresh perspectives on steps required to pursue career objectives

Program details & eligibility

  • Senior women working in the Communications, Media and Technology field within with aspirations of moving into the most senior leadership positions in their organizations.
  • Nominations are being accepted at any time
  • The protégé-executive champion match will be made following a review of the applications and gaining agreement with executive champions.

Why the Protégé Project and Why Now?

The case for diversity is well known and includes higher returns to shareholders, stronger employee engagement and better financial results. However, we have yet to capitalize on the opportunity with the current state of women in senior leadership positions at less than 25% in the CMT sectors and board representation by women in these fields at only 23.5%.

The numbers are the reasons behind why Women in Communication and Technology (WCT) with Corus as presenting sponsor and Status of Women Canada and Catalyst Canada as partners are working together for change.

With over 190,000 jobs available in the CMT space by 2019, the face of Canadian Leadership needs to change quickly for companies to thrive and compete. The Protégé Project takes steps to close the gaps through active, hands-on engagement from senior executives who support the business case for more diversity and are willing to invest their time to give capable, ambitious women the advice, consultation and support to step up into senior leadership positions.

Executive Champions

To date, the following C-suite executives have committed to support the program:

  • Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges Institutes Canada
  • Namir Anani, President & CEO, Information and Communications Technology Council
  • Jeff Boyd, Regional President, Alberta & The Territories, RBC
  • Corinne Charette, Sr Assistant Deputy Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Wendy Freeman, President, CTV News
  • Elmer Hildebrand, CEO, Golden West Radio
  • Dale Hooper, Chief Brand Officer, Rogers Communications
  • Goldy Hyder, President & CEO, Hill + Knowlton Strategies
  • Mitch Joel, President, Twist Image
  • Jean LaRose, CEO, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
  • Jim Little, CMO, Shaw Communications
  • Craig H. Muhlhauser, former President & CEO, Celestica Inc.
  • Grace Palombo, Executive Vice-President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Great-West Lifeco Inc.
  • Michael Strople, President, Allstream
  • Vanda Vicars, former COO & Deputy CEO, Capgemini Americas
  • Lisa Kimmel, President, Edelman
  • Kristen Chapman, CMO & EVP Digital, Indigo Books & Music
  • Karla Congson, CMO, Dundee Corporation
  • Deirdre Horgan, Partner and National Leader of the Customer and Marketing Strategy Practice, Monitor Deloitte
  • Paul Bertin, President, No Limit Technologies, Chair Board of Directors – RIC Centre
  • Dave Jamieson, the CIO of OpenText
  • Eric Gales, Director of Amazon Web Services Canada Inc

Learn More

WCT Webinar on Career Sponsorhip with Shann McGrail. Learn about what it is like to participate in the program, and some of the testimonials of past participants. 

Next Steps

For questions, please contact the Program Manager:

Apply now



Frequently Asked Questions:

What is career sponsorship?

Career sponsorship is having an individual, usually someone at a more senior level, with strong influence, who assists a protégé to gain visibility for an assignment, promotion or position. A sponsor uses personal influence and relationships to champion deserving protégées. The sponsor’s main objective is to develop a protégé into a stronger leader and to help the protégé successfully take the next step in her career. 

How is sponsorship different from mentorship?

While both sponsors and mentors may provide guidance and advice, the relationship with a mentor tends to be one where the mentee primarily benefits from the mentor’s experience.  Sponsorship is more active in terms of the role the sponsor plays in promoting and developing the protégé.  Sponsorship can be thought of as an alliance where there is benefit to both the sponsor and protégé.

Who is eligible for the Protégé Project?

The Protégé Project is designed for experienced senior executive women who are approximately one to three years away from the most senior ranks in their organization/company. This program applies to women who work directly in Communications, Media or Technology companies as well as women working in industries such as financial or manufacturing where Communications, Media or Technology plays a major component (a Director of IT for example). 

How can somebody apply for the Protégé Project?

Interested potential protégés are invited to submit the initial application form. WCT will then assess and evaluate the application and inform applicants of next steps.   Matches will be made after step 2.

Apply now