Positive Space Training: fostering an inclusive work environment

Positive Space

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The Defence Team is offering Positive Space Training to volunteers who want to become ambassadors in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community members within the Defence Team.

The Positive Space initiative fosters the creation of an inclusive work environment for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The Positive Space program is a volunteer and peer-based support group for LGBT and non-LGBT Defence Team members, allowing them to create networks and seek information and assistance from Positive Space ambassadors on LGBT questions.

The Positive Space initiative supports our commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion and a respectful environment, as outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy Strong, Secure, Engaged.

The potential benefits of a national network for LGBT Defence Team members were first identified in the Canadian Armed Forces Diversity Strategy and Action Plan published in January 2017. Mrs. Tracy Mitchell from CFB Halifax suggested the initiative after successfully leading a course in November 2016. Since then, the Director of Human Rights and Diversity (DHRD) and the Directorate of Workforce Programs and Services (DWPS) have developed a joint military-civilian national training program, and started piloting it in December 2017.

The two-day training has been designed to reflect the reality of the Defence Team as a whole, including personnel in uniform, civilian employees, and contractors. Participants who complete the training are awarded a national qualification.

More than 60 Ambassadors from the National Capital Region, Kingston, Borden, Gagetown, Cornwall and Greenwood have taken the training. With the official announcement of nationwide Positive Space Ambassador training, sessions will continue throughout the year.

Trained ambassadors will train others, and provide information briefs on the program to their unit, which will help promote and enhance the network. Leadership is encouraged to spread the word and support their staff to attend the course.

To plan a session, or for more information on training in your area, contact your local Employment Equity Officer and/or your base/wing/formation diversity champions.

For more information, see the Related Links section or contact DHRD at P-OTG.DHRDOttawa@intern.mil.ca.

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