Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 7, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Citi Canada was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Citi Canada invests in ongoing employee development, offering generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses (up to $5,250 per year) -- and maintains a global experience program, allowing employees to broaden their horizons and work at one of the company's global locations (Citi absorbs housing and travel costs and provides a daily stipend for meals and other needs)
- Citi Canada promotes a culture of health and well-being through various onsite wellness initiatives, including an annual health fair, monthly site-wide fitness challenges, healthy huddles and team stretch breaks
- Citi Canada supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments to 75% of salary for up to 17 weeks
Citi Canada staffs up on GTA tech talent
Recognizing the abundance of highly skilled technologists in the Greater Toronto Area, Citi Canada has been hiring in a big way, filling 400 new positions in 2017 alone. The bank's technology centre in Mississauga now employs almost 1,000 technologists who build systems that are used around the world.
"Citi is the world's most global bank, and we have the opportunity to look at the talent footprint at our various sites internationally and choose where to locate new talent for development operations," says Ed Heffer, Site President and head of Citi Canada's Operations and Technology group. "We're very happy with the technology talent in the GTA so it's one of the locations we're building on."
Citi's environment allows for a highly collaborative workplace, with exposure to new technologies and new ideas from a global perspective. To complement this atmosphere, the firm also offers an integrated graduate program, with six weeks of training and a two-year team rotation.
"The people we're hiring are a combination of new graduates and those with more experience," Heffer says. "We look for people who are engaged, enthusiastic and work well in teams, because technology is best practised collaboratively. We want them to come up with new ideas and implement them. There's a lot of opportunity for employees to champion new ideas."
There's also a lot of opportunity at Citi Canada for people to move into leadership positions, Jerry Mcgranaghan has found. She started with Citi five years ago in Belfast, Northern Ireland, following graduation, and in 2015 the company helped her move to Canada to further her career. She's now Assistant Vice President, leading two technology teams with a total of seven people.
"Our area, which is application support, has almost doubled in size over the last year, to about 120 members," she says. "I help with hiring at the graduate level. One of the things I appreciate most about working for Citi is the company's deep diversity."
Since technology is still heavily male-dominated, the bank offers leadership programs tailored specifically for female managers. These include Prometheus, which provides women starting out in management with mentoring, career training and one-on-one time with senior leaders; and Day in the Citi, which consists of networking sessions for female technology students while they're still in school.
Mcgranaghan has been involved in both programs. "For me, Prometheus was a fantastic experience," she says. "It enabled me to build a strong personal network and I was given tools that have helped me greatly. After I finished Prometheus earlier this year, I took part in Day in the Citi to help girls who will soon be graduating learn what it's like to work here."
The bank has been rethinking its community support programs in order to engage younger employees, Heffer says. "Many of them are new to the corporate world so we talk about why we support charities and we try to find community partners with more of a technology orientation."
For example, the bank recently held a Citi Skills Marathon, a day-long event in which young Citi technology professionals provided local charities with free consulting services to help them address their specific technology and business challenges.
The bank has also sponsored coding sessions for kids run by Ladies Learning Code. "These events are very engaging, with great energy and enthusiasm," says Heffer. "It's so gratifying to watch young ladies learning what code is all about. It opens their eyes about working in technology. It's another type of contribution we can make as part of our larger charitable programs."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Citi Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Citi Canada manages a number of Campus Analyst programs to provide recent graduates with opportunities to gain career-level experience -- each program includes mid- and year-end performance reviews, regular check-ins with HR, and networking events that bring participants of each Campus Analyst stream together
- Citi Canada offers a number of unique philanthropic opportunities for participants of its Analyst programs, including ServiceCorps for incoming technology analysts (a 1-year fellowship at a non-profit or public organization) and Citi Volunteer Africa for participants of the Corporate and Investment Banking Analyst streams (junior bankers help low-income entrepreneurs in Uganda for a 5-week period)
- Citi Canada offers a Global Experience Program, allowing employees to live and work in one of the company's global locations for 8 weeks -- Citi Canada absorbs all housing and travel costs and provides a daily stipend for meals and other needs
A world of possibilities awaits at Citi Canada
As part of a global financial-services organization with a presence in more than 100 countries, Citi Canada uses its global reach to provide exceptional experiences for its employees, through exposure to colleagues, clients and markets around the world as well as with a variety of exchange programs.
Some of these programs are designed specifically for younger employees who are just starting their careers.
"We recognize how incredibly competitive the market is for campus graduates, so a couple of years ago we embarked on a major global initiative to become the employer of choice for young professionals," says Christine Discola, Country Human Resources Officer for Citi Canada, which is based in Toronto. "From the moment they come in the door, we give people close support in training and career development, and we offer unique programs for those who are globally minded."
For instance, newly hired employees may opt to defer their start dates for a year to allow them to work in volunteer service on something they're passionate about, and get paid while they do it. One such program for select analysts, called Volunteer Africa, enables new employees to travel to Uganda and Kenya to help low-income entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running.
Citi also offers numerous opportunities for employees who choose to stay in Canada. Recent graduates gain experience through the bank's analyst programs, which include mid- and end-of-year performance reviews, regular check-ins with HR, and networking events. As of 2018, there are expected to be about 75 analysts in these programs.
"Each analyst program lasts two and a half years. There's a general introduction for six months, followed by two full-year rotations in different areas of the business," explains Gursahiba Chandhoke, who started with Citi Canada in June 2016 after graduating from Queen's University with a commerce degree.
"I'm just completing my first full-year rotation as an analyst in the Treasury and Trade Solutions group," Chandhoke says. "You decide with managers as you go along which areas to focus on, based on business needs and your own interests. I've found it to be a very well-rounded experience. The ownership and responsibility you're given are tremendous, and there's a network of global expertise to draw on -- you don't realize the power of this until you see it.
"When you've completed the analyst program, you have the opportunity to stay in Toronto or go anywhere else if you wish."
With Citi Canada's 100th anniversary on the horizon (its parent company, Citi, is over 200 years old), the bank is ramping up its internal programs in a number of areas. One example, soon to be launched, is an early career mobility website to demystify the career planning process for employees and help the bank develop talent for the long term.
It was Citi's global footprint that first attracted Chandhoke to the bank, and since she has been working there she has also come to appreciate its diversity and focus on community involvement.
"This makes Citi seem very special," she says. "The company is great at supporting causes you're passionate about. I love the opportunity to work with other teams on extra-curricular and volunteer activities."
"Volunteerism is very strong at Citi, both globally and in Canada," agrees Discola. "We see strong participation by everyone but especially younger analysts. Diversity and inclusion are also very important and we have an extremely competitive total rewards program.
"One of the best things about Citi Canada," Discola adds, "is that while we're part of a large global organization with all the advantages that offers, we're not very large in Canada so it feels like a small company in some ways. There are many opportunities for broad roles and interaction with all levels. It's the best of both worlds."