Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to the Federal Public Service!
We will be stronger than ever since we’ve got you now.
We welcome people for who they are, and for what they bring. And we try hard to foster a culture of diversity that nurtures creativity and drives productivity. That means you can be your authentic self, from day one, within an inclusive work environment.
Whether it’s your first day, first week or first month, you probably have several questions as you get to know your new job and your new colleagues. Or maybe you’re just new to the Public Service Pride Network! Regardless, we are here to help!
As a new employee, you may have several questions or expectations related to your onboarding process. The following questions and answers have a specific focus on Pride-related information. We’re also including some key contacts within the Public Service Pride Network (PSPN) with whom you can confidentially connect with at any time.
If your question is not answered below, and if you feel comfortable to do so, you can speak to your manager or HR representative in your department/agency. You can always reach out to PSPN-RFFP@csps-efpc.gc.ca, and visit the PSPN website to learn more about the Network and available resources.
1. What is the PSPN?
The PSPN is a national employee led network dedicated to fostering inclusion and supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ employees and allies in the Federal Public Service. The network aims to create a safe space for you to be your authentic and true self at work and contribute your talents effectively.
Through its initiatives, the PSPN plays a vital role in support of broader diversity and inclusion objectives in the Government of Canada.
2. How do I get involved in the PSPN?
The PSPN always welcomes new members who want to get involved in our year-round discussions, events and commemorative dates related to the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. You can contact the PSPN to join the distribution list. This way you’ll stay informed by receiving updates on the Network’s current activities and initiatives.
3. What can the PSPN do for me?
The PSPN is committed to supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ employees and allies in the public service.
It serves as a platform for networking, advocacy, and resource-sharing among employees and allies across various government departments and agencies. The network organizes events, brave space discussions, and training sessions to raise awareness, educate, and promote diversity and acceptance within the public service.
The network can assist you in navigating your relationship with managers, particularly in situations where they may be challenges or conflicts. For example, you can seek assistance from us when preparing for your performance management meetings.
The network also organizes events and initiatives to celebrate 2SLGBTQIA+ milestones, such as Public Service Pride Week and International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. It also celebrates annually individuals, teams and organizations that have demonstrated leadership in promoting and strengthening 2SLGBTQIA+ diversity, inclusion, and pride across the federal public service with the Public Service Pride Awards.
4. How do I know if my department/agency has a Pride-related key contact person? How do I find out who that person is in my organization?
5. Where can I read more about 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion within the Government of Canada?
The PSPN has created and curated a wide variety of documents and resources available to help you. This includes our PSPN website, where you will easily find information on events, awards and action committees, among other things. You can also go to PSPN on GCconnex (the latter being only available inside the GC).
Other resources from a number of sources include:
6. What happens if I feel unsafe in my new workplace? What should I do? Who can I talk to?
The PSPN works collaboratively with members at all levels across the federal public service to help ensure that everyone feels safe, dignified and respected in their workplace. If you feel unsafe you have many options. For example, you could:
- Speak with your manager or a colleague (such as a Positive Space Ambassador) about the situation.
- Contact your department or agency’s Employee Assistance Program and/or access some of the other supportive resources listed below.
- Reach out to your organization’s Occupational Health and Safety representative.
Other options include:
- 24/7 support line for anyone who requires emotional support related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: 1-844-413-6649
- Hope for Wellness Help Line (for Indigenous people): 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat
- Interligne (support for anyone concerned with issues of sexual diversity and gender diversity): call or text 1-888-505-1010, or connect to the online chat
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
- LGBT Youth Line: 1-800-268-9688, text 647-694-4275 or connect to the online chat
- Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645
- Trans Lifeline (support for transgender people by transgender people): 1-877-330-6366
- Wellness Together Canada: text WELLNESS to 741741
7. Are there gender inclusive washrooms I can use in my office?
The PSPN strongly advocates for gender inclusive washroom in all GC workplaces, and there has been some progress.
If a gender inclusive washroom was not identified in your facility tour when you joined and if you feel safe to do so, talk with your manager or a colleague (such as a Positive Space Ambassador) to see if there are some in your workplace.
8. Can I change my name and/or gender within the federal public service?
The PSPN works closely with senior management to develop a consistent and straightforward approach across the GC to ensuring that employees can change their name and/or gender in a way that is affirming and timely. At the moment, the processes to change one’s name and/or gender vary from one GC organization to another.
In many departments and agencies, employees have flexibility to add their pronouns to their email display name in systems such as MS Teams or Outlook, with more coming on board over time. To change your digital display name and/or to add your pronouns to your digital display name, please contact your organization’s IT department. Changing one’s name and/or gender in HR, Security and Pay systems, however, will most likely require proof of a legal name change.
Contact your human resource representative if you encounter problems changing your name and/or gender. You can also consult with your organization’s Pride Network and/or your organization’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Network. They should know about how the process works within your organization, and can sometimes help to facilitate the process.
9. Are there any mentoring opportunities for 2SLGBTQIA+ members including executives?
PSPN created a Pride Mentorship Pilot for 2SLGBTQIA+ public servants in 2023.
This unique program within the federal public service gives mentees the opportunity to acquire on-the-job experience shadowing their mentors, and gain insights into career progression as members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Mentorship participants discuss a number of issues, including: coming out/being out at work; dealing with challenging colleagues and work environments; career planning and advancement; and professional development.
Feedback on the success of the Pilot has been phenomenal from both mentors and mentees! With this, the Pilot will now become a permanent program offered by the PSPN based on its incredible success.
The announcement for the call out for applications for mentees (Cohort 2) of the Pride Mentoring Program will be made in September.