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August 24, 2022
With Capital Pride celebrations in full swing, we’re taking time to recognize the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Aromantic+ (2SLGBTQQIA+) City employees and their allies who are fostering an inclusive workplace.
As a gay man with multiple disabilities, Nathan Hauch (He/Him) is a true believer in communities of support.
“To bring our best selves to work, we need to be free to bring our whole selves,” says Nathan, a Program and Project Management Officer with the City’s Finance Services Department and facilitator of the Rainbow Employees Network affinity group. “While our communities have made significant gains in recent years, there’s still more to do to ensure everyone is celebrated and included.”
Employee-driven initiatives help create environments where everyone is treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity, and the City has committed to supporting employees wanting to create and participate in affinity groups. This commitment is part of the City’s Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Plan.
Affinity groups are employee-led networks based on social identity, such as gender, race and/or disability. They focus on the concerns and interests of employees from that community, including sharing common experiences, success strategies and contributing to a sense of belonging and connection.
When Nathan first heard about affinity groups in 2021, he jumped at the opportunity build the Rainbow Employees Network affinity group with other 2SLGBTQQIA+ colleagues. In addition to its online chat, the Rainbow Employees Network’s more than 80 members offer awareness and education opportunities to City staff and organize virtual hangouts and events throughout the year.
“Together, we’ve taught each other about inclusive language, which is always evolving. We’ve explored strategies for better supporting Trans colleagues in the workplace, and recently shared with colleagues what Pride means to us on an individual level,” explains Nathan.
In total, City employees have created nine affinity groups with hundreds of participants. These affinity groups reflect the diversity of our city and include groups such as the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Affinity Group, Employees with Disabilities Affinity Group and Affinity Group for Francophone Staff.
“Through its support of affinity groups, the City is making it clear: each of us belongs here,” says Nathan.
If you’re heading to the Capital Pride Parade keep an eye out for the various City departments who are participating!
For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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