Toronto Protégée Program

The city is now accepting applications for this unique program which pairs young female Torontonians with female City Councillors for six months. Learn about the opportunities for women in local government, gain hands-on experience and understand the multi-faceted role of a City Councillor.

Need to know
  • To be eligible, applicants must identify as female, live in the City of Toronto, and be between 19 and 26 years of age.
  • The application process is open until Thursday, November 24, 2016.
  • If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]
  • Apply now!

About City of Toronto's Protégée ProgramThe goal of this program is engage young women in municipal politics in hopes that they may consider running for office one day; or encourage their peers to do so.Over a six-month period on a part-time, unpaid basis, participants will be exposed to the process of policy-making, attend committee and council meetings, observe media interviews and interactions with constituents. Additionally, the mentees will network with one another to compare experiences and attend educational sessions regarding other aspects of municipal governance.The objectives are:

  • To connect young women with female councillors who can provide mentorship.
  • To provide young women with an opportunity to get first-hand experience in municipal politics.
  • To create a support network for young women that includes mentors, peers, resources and contacts.
  • To create a supportive opportunity for shared learning.

We are accepting applications now for the program which will begin in January 2017.How did this program come to be?In 2005 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) initiated a nation-wide call to address the unequal representation of women in municipal governments.Toronto’s female councillors responded by creating the Toronto Regional Champion Campaign (TRCC). The program, which is now known as the City of Toronto Protégée Program, is championed by Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell in partnership with participating female Council peers and the City’s Social Development, Finance & Administration Division.When the program runs in 2017, it will be the fifth time the City of Toronto has offered the opportunity.How long is the program?The program runs for six-months, from January to June.How many mentees will be accepted?Each participating councillor will work with one or two mentees.What skills and/or experience are you looking for?Applicants must identify as female, reside in Toronto and be between the ages of 19 and 26.We are looking for a combination of life, work and volunteer experiences.Applicants should highlight their experience in advocacy, council participation, community organizing, and committee work.Who will be reviewing my application?Applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of Social Development, Finance, & Administration staff and decisions are based on the information provided on the application and an interview with selected candidates.If selected, how many hours will I need to commit each week and how will my time be spent?The program runs from January to June 2017.The time commitment is:

  • four to six hours per month, which may include daytime or evening hours in a councillor's office, in addition to:
    • attendance at least one City Council meeting, committee meeting or community/ward meeting (approximately one to two hours).
    • attendance at three daytime or evening mentoring seminars (approximately one to two hours per meeting).
    • mentoring session in the councillor's office (approximately one to two hours)
    • making arrangements for mentoring councillor to present to a school or community group regarding Women in Municipal Government.
    • writing of a short article regarding the program experience and submission to a school or local newspaper.

Will I receive an honorarium for participating? Are transit or day care expenses covered?No financial incentives are provided however TTC tokens can be provided to participants for attending meetings, seminars, and events. My local councillor is male. Am I excluded from the program?No. Participants are not selected based on the ward they live in. However, when partnering a mentee with a specific councillor the selection committee will try to pair a mentee with a councillor in the quadrant of the city where the mentee may live/work to reduce travel times.

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