Affinity groups

A group of people gathered together outside. Two of them are holding the inclusive Pride flag.

Affinity groups are grassroots, employee networks that bring together colleagues with similar concerns and interests around equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). They are forums where CSE employees share experiences, identify issues to be addressed and propose practical actions that can be shared with corporate supports or be implemented directly.

As outlined in the CSE EDI framework, these groups are at the core of CSE being an organization dedicated to learning from mistakes of the past. By working in partnership with some of our governance structures, like the Advisory Committee and the People Committee, affinity groups are key in building a respectful, welcoming, and inclusive CSE. Everyone is encouraged to participate in any of the groups as a person with lived experience or as an ally.

Employee affinity groups at CSE make a difference by:

  • leading initiatives to make CSE more inclusive
  • contributing to new CSE policies
  • creating and sharing guidance resources
  • fostering safe spaces for mutual support
  • organizing speaker events and panel discussions
  • hosting celebrations and commemorative events
  • collaborating with advocacy groups at partner agencies
  • delivering presentations and awareness sessions

CSE has several dedicated affinity groups that support various equity-seeking communities.

Women in Cyber and Intelligence (WICI)

Created in 2018, WICI is a network of employees committed to promoting the advancement, equality and interests of women across CSE.

“WICI helps empower women at CSE by hosting events to help others understand the challenges that women face and how they persevere through them, connecting the community through mentorship and identifying concrete steps that we can collectively take to make things better for everyone at CSE. We engage in important conversations through storytelling and being real with our colleagues about our own experiences. By sharing different perspectives, we help our colleagues grow. I am honoured to be a co-chair of WICI; it gives me the opportunity to work with an incredible team and to support, empower, strengthen and learn from the amazing community and affinity groups that we have at CSE.”

Melanie (she/her)
Co-chair of WICI

“As co-chairs of WICI, we seek out diverse voices and perspectives from within and beyond the WICI community, including the other affinity groups, to better understand issues facing the organization as a whole and to ensure engagement from an intersectional perspective. Since its inception, WICI has grown in multiple ways, including through the establishment of a Steering Committee, extensive collaboration with internal and external partners on equity, diversity and inclusion and through consultation and contribution to the establishment of CSE's framework on equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Heather (she/her)
Co-chairs of WICI

Pride network

The Pride Network is CSE's community-building and change advocacy group for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) employees and those with other identities related to gender and sexuality. This group is also open to allies and those wishing to learn more about or explore the community.

“The Pride Network is an incredible group for people who identify as a part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and allies. This group comes together regularly to network, provide support, and build community. Together, we have learned, educated, produced guidance and are now working towards even more events and changes at CSE. Our monthly meetings and online conversations create opportunities for members to have their voices heard. The Pride Network gives people a safe space within a corporate environment that allows people to be themselves.”

Paige (she/her)
Pride Network lead


EmbRACE is an affinity group for racialized and Indigenous employees at CSE, as well as allies, that provides a community of support, learning opportunities and mentorship.

“Participating in EmbRACE helps me share my life story and allows me to learn from the human experience of other CSE staff. In EmbRACE conversations, heartbreaking aspects of reality meet the uplifting aspirations of CSE people. We celebrate vibrantly and mourn sincerely. Allies of racialized employees have inspired me and helped me see my biases. EmbRACE helps me discover motivated and talented leaders across CSE. Together, we work for a version of CSE that is welcoming for people with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. I feel fully Canadian in EmbRACE.”

D.N. (he/him)
Chair of EmbRACE

Neurodiversity group

The Neurodiversity group provides a safe space for neurodiverse people and allies to communicate their experiences, share information and offer support to their network.

“As a neurodivergent individual myself, I am so excited to have the opportunity to volunteer as the group lead for the neurodiversity affinity group. I have worked in many different Government of Canada departments through my career, and I hope to use this experience, combined with other life experiences, to help make CSE a more neurodiverse-friendly workplace. The neurodiversity affinity group has been tackling all kinds of interesting projects, like creating an accessibility guide for Microsoft tools and creating neurodiversity buttons. I look forward to sharing our work with the organization and helping CSE grow and change into a more inclusive place.”

Amy (she/her)
Neurodiversity group lead

Disability group

The Disability group at CSE is an affinity group that was created to support persons with disabilities and caregivers.

“This group is important to CSE because it aims to make our workplace as accessible and accommodating as it can be. My role is to lead and advocate to ensure that all employees with disabilities have access to the tools and services that suit their needs.”

D.H. (he/him)
Disability group lead

Jewish affinity group

The Jewish Affinity Group’s mission is to create a welcoming, social, and educational group for CSE employees to share and explore what it means to be Jewish. It also aims to provide support for anyone dealing with problems related to antisemitism at work or in the broader Government of Canada community. This group is open to anyone in the Jewish community at CSE, or those interested in learning more about Judaism and Jewish culture.

“Being the leader of our Jewish Affinity Group at CSE has been an incredibly enriching experience. Not only have I had the opportunity to connect with my colleagues who share a similar heritage, but I have also had the chance to collaborate and engage with members of other affinity groups within the organization. By working together and sharing our diverse perspectives and experiences, we have been able to create a more inclusive and welcoming work environment for everyone. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this group and for the chance to foster meaningful connections with my colleagues.”

Ian S. (he/him)
Chair of the Jewish Affinity Group

Réseau franco (Francophone Network)

The Réseau franco promotes Francophone interests throughout CSE by spreading awareness on Francophone issues and the diversity of French cultures, as well as increasing the use of French in the organization’s daily operations. The group also fosters collaboration between Francophones and Francophiles and organizes several events throughout the year to support its community’s priorities and interests.

“While I’ve never really been the type to get involved, I’ve been at CSE since 2006 and I’ve always felt that the use of French was never a priority in the course of daily operations. Over the past few years, I’ve felt increasingly comfortable discussing issues related to the use of French at CSE and I strive to promote French respectfully and actively. In my role as co-chair of the Réseau franco, I hope to encourage other Francophones and Francophiles to voice their own concerns and propose solutions regarding Francophone issues earlier in their career at CSE.”

Fred (he/him)
Co-chair of the Réseau franco

“As a Franco-Ontarian who grew up in a minority setting, preserving my mother tongue and culture has always been very important to me. When CSE published its framework for equity, diversity and inclusion, I felt the need to get involved and be part of an affinity group that would represent the organization’s Francophones and Francophiles. Having a voice has strengthened my identity as a Francophone and my sense of belonging within my own community and CSE.”

Chantal (she/her)
Co-chair of the Réseau franco



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