Brightly coloured wooden moose in front of Pride flags hanging on the side of a building

Creating an environment that is equitable, diverse and inclusive is a priority at CSE and there is a lot of work being done across the organization to support this important goal.

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Diversity is what makes CSE strong, so we make time to embrace our differences through annual employee-led commemorations. These include:

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • Black History Month
  • International Women’s Day
  • International Transgender Day of Visibility
  • Neurodiversity and Autism Awareness Month
  • National Autism Awareness Day
  • Day of Pink
  • Asian Heritage Month
  • Mental Health Week
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia
  • National Accessibility Week
  • Pride Month
  • Brain Injury Awareness Month
  • National Indigenous History Month
  • National Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Canadian Multiculturalism Day
  • Linguistic Duality Day
  • International Day for Persons with Disabilities

Image gallery

  • A poster with images of women and the words “International Women’s Day”.
  • Traditional Haitian food in a cardboard takeaway container. Next to it on a table is the Haitian flag
  • Hot sauce bottles and maracas on a colourful tablecloth
  • Group of people dressed in pink with their backs to the camera
  • A hand holds a dyed Ukrainian Easter egg above a candle flame
  • Two young women in traditional Inuit attire are holding microphones and facing each other
  • A white ribbon on a person’s black shirt
  • The inclusive Pride flag painted on a crosswalk outside

Linguistic duality

Canada’s two official languages, English and French, are fundamental elements of our public service. At CSE, we aim to create an inclusive culture that respects the language rights of our employees and of Canadian citizens.

All our corporate communications are delivered in both official languages, and we engage employees in the official language of their choice on our internal communications channels.

We offer:

  • full-time, part-time and online second-language training
  • special second-language learning events
  • translation tools
  • mentorship opportunities
  • informal learning opportunities such as:
    • conversation groups
    • book club
    • the Linguistic Risk-Taking Passport – a checklist of challenges to encourage CSE language learners to practice their skills in real-life situations

We recognize that as a heavily anglophone organization we have to work harder to achieve linguistic duality. We are actively striving to adapt our corporate culture to include more use of French in all places, at all levels.


Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a core principle of CSE’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Framework.

CSE is building relationships with local Indigenous leaders to listen to their experiences and to make sure our reconciliation efforts are culturally appropriate.

The Cyber Centre is discussing with Indigenous organizations how to collaborate on cyber security outreach initiatives.

CSE is part of the Government of Canada IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples and is exploring ways to encourage more Indigenous candidates to join CSE.

Internally, the EmbRACE affinity group brings together Indigenous employees with other racialized employees and allies to create community and advocate for change. Indigenous employees also network virtually on a dedicated internal discussion forum.

Two young women in traditional Inuit attire are holding microphones and smiling

Inuit throat signing duet, "Tarniriik", performs at CSE to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day.

CSE works with the EmbRACE affinity group and Indigenous employees to organize all-staff events to raise awareness of the experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada. Past events have helped employees understand the history and legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools system and introduced them to important cultural practices like Inuit throat signing.

Reconciliation is not something that can be achieved overnight, but CSE is seeking out opportunities to advance it, step by step, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.


Anti-black racism awareness

In February 2021, two CSE employees, Marie Calixte-McKenzie and Jonathan Gohidé, delivered their presentation, “Being Black in Canada”, to a CSE all-staff event for Black History Month. They created it following the murder of George Floyd to provide insight into what Black employees at CSE, and in Canada, were experiencing.

The presentation had a profound impact in our organization and beyond. Marie and Jonathan were asked to deliver it to managers and executives and a recording of the presentation was added to our mandatory training for new hires in July 2021. The presentation also inspired employees to form the EmbRACE affinity group.

As of March 2022, Marie and Jonathan have delivered their presentation to over 36 groups, including:

  • CSE employees, managers and executives
  • CSE’s UK counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • the University of Ottawa’s leadership program for senior public service executives
  • over 2,600 public servants through the Federal Speakers’ Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

The impact of Marie and Jonathan’s presentation was officially recognized at the 2021 Public Service Awards of Excellence. These are the highest awards available to recognize outstanding contributions made by public servants. Marie and Jonathan received the 2021 Joan Atkinson Award for Public Sector Values in the Workplace.

To learn more about this presentation, read our interview with Marie and Jonathan.

Three people standing next to each other and smiling. Two of them are holding awards

CSE recipients of the 2021 Joan Atkinson Award for Public Sector Values in the Workplace, Marie Calixte-McKenzie and Jonathan Gohidé, with Chief Caroline Xavier.


“The purpose of Being Black in Canada is to create awareness. And one of the best ways we could do this was by telling our story.”

Marie Calixte-McKenzie
CSE employee

“The organization has already evolved from when we first started giving this presentation. There seems to be a genuine desire to learn and speak up from our senior management now."

Jonathan Gohidé
CSE employee

Support to transgender and gender-diverse colleagues

Transgender flag inside EDB

In March 2022, we released a guide on Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse Persons at the Communications Security Establishment. It was written in collaboration with CSE’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community, transgender and non-binary employees and allies, CSE’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Secretariat, CSE’s Employment Equity and Human Resources teams, and external advocacy groups.


In December 2022, CSE launched our first ever Sponsorship Pilot Program. The program is intended to ensure that high potential candidates from Indigenous, Black or other racialized communities are given developmental opportunities to prepare them for leadership roles. Participants are matched with a senior leader (sponsor) at CSE whose role is to give protégés an acting appointment and then coach, champion and invest in them. Through this experience, sponsors ensure protégés are actively considered for career advancement – advancement that many may not have had the opportunity to benefit from due to chronic underrepresentation in the public service.




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