The Black Executives Network / Le Réseau des exécutifs noirs (BEN/REN)
Welcome to the Black Executives Network Wiki Page
Visitez la page en français : Le Réseau des exécutifs noirs
The Black Executives Network / Le Réseau des exécutifs noirs (BEN/REN), was established in July 2020 to support Black executives in the federal public service, while working with the Government of Canada to address issues of systemic and anti-Black racism with a view to making the Canadian public service an institution that is representative at all levels, recognizes talent and leverages it to better serve all Canadians.
The network exists to ensure that the voices of Black executives and employees in the public service are heard and to be an active partner and agent of change in addressing issues of anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination in the FPS. BEN/REN provides a credible voice on the identification and response to issues ensuring that Black perspectives are taken into account in government processes and decision-making.
The recent and recorded instances of police brutality against Black people in North America and the subsequent global outcry for racial equality and justice, juxtaposed against the UN Declaration for People of African Descent (UNDAPD) adopted by Canada, and the decades of work and sacrifice, have brought the issue of anti-Black and systemic racism to the forefront. These events have highlighted the need to accelerate progress in these areas.
The roots of anti-Black and systemic racism and discrimination in Canada run deep. As Black employees in the federal public service this is a foundational aspect of both our professional and personal lived experiences, impacting everything from career progression and representation, to our mental health. The experiences of anti-Black racism, as well as its impacts are varied. For example, Black women, Black LGBTQ2+ persons and Black persons with disabilities face further marginalization due to other forms of discrimination intersecting with racial discrimination.
The Black Executive's mission is to:
- Build and sustain a strong, inclusive and influential network of Black executives who are committed to public service excellence, sound stewardship and positive outcomes for all Canadians.
- Promote talent management by supporting, mentoring and sponsoring Black executives and aspiring executives.
- Exemplify the changes we want to effect in the FPS.
- Support the mental health and well-being of Black executives in the FPS.
The following priorities represent the areas of work the network will be focusing on and collaborating with senior management and key allies to advance and support the BEN/REN Mission.
- Talent Management
- Network Communications & Engagement
- Partnership & Stakeholder Engagement
- Data & Research
- Mental Health
Steering Committee Members
The BEN/REN is led by a steering committee of five executives involved and engaged in leading the networks initiatives.
- Kentia Dazulma, Executive Director, Employment and Social Development Canada
- Paula Folkes-Dallaire, Director General, Defence Procurement, Public Services and Procurement Canada
- Tahanee McKnight, Director General, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Kevin Petit-Frère, Executive Director, Privy Council Office
- Hantz Prosper, Director General, Corporations Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- Trudy Samuel, Director General, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- Albert Tshimanga, A/Senior Director, Shared Services Canada
The Black Executives Network Secretariat
- Christopher Scipio, Deputy Director
- Victoria Simba, Project Manager
- Chuks Onwuachi, Senior Strategy Advisor
- Sandrine Chebekoue, Policy Analyst
- DM Champion: Caroline Xavier, Chief, Communications Security Establishment
- DM Champion: Shalene Curtis-Micallef, Deputy Minister, Justice Canada
- Dr. Rachel Zellars, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Justice and Community Studies, St. Mary's University
DM Ally Champions
- Bill Matthews, Deputy Minister of National Defence and DM ally for the UNDPAD
- Jody Thomas, National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister
Working Groups (WG) are formed from the membership and focus on priority areas as required. The Working Groups report to the steering committee and are supported by the secretariat in the development of work plans and the delivery of activities based on input from BEN/REN members.
Since July 2020, BEN/REN has developed a mandate and mission statement, recommendations to address anti-Black and systemic racism, and an engagement strategy. In addition, the Interim Steering Committee has undertaken a number of initiatives including:
- Deputy Minister Panel discussion on the topic of equity, diversity and inclusion in support of the Clerk’s Call to Action which included Deputy Jody Thomas, Deputy Arianne Reza and Chief Statistician of Canada Anil Arora
- Provision of responses to numerous requests for consultation including for the Clerk’s “Call to Action Call to action on anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in the Federal Public Service
- Launched the 3rd iteration of the Black Executive Professional Profiles in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) to support more equitable representation of Black leaders at senior levels of the executive ranks;
- Launched the Future Black Leaders e-Binder for aspiring Black executives in an effort to support and build the EX pipeline and to spotlight promotion-ready Black employees;
- Developed a Black-centric Executive Coaching Circle program for Black executives through a partnership with the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) and the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) in an effort to address the mental health concerns of Black Executives;
- Co-led the development and implementation of a Black Executive Talent Management framework with the Office of Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO);
- Broad engagement with senior officials including the Clerk of Privy Council on issues related to anti-Black racism and Black executive representation;
- Supported the co-development of the ministerial mandate letter and the Budget 2022 commitments to develop a mental health plan and career advancement strategy for Black public servants.
- Coordination of several meetings of the Black Executives Network, two of which included participation of federal Cabinet Ministers, at their requests
Professional Profiles of Black Executives - Talent Management e-Binder
The professional profiles of Black Executives is a professional profile template created by the Black Executives Network/le réseau des exécutifs noirs (BEN/REN) to highlight the existing talent of its members. This initiative, launched in 2020, is a joint effort between the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) and the Black Executives Network (BEN).
The professional profiles of Black Executives are a one-pager summary of professional information about Black Executives. It highlights their qualifications, accomplishments, leadership results and provides the reader with an understanding of their career ambitions.
The professional profiles are voluntarily completed by Black executives at the EX-01 through EX-03 levels, which are compiled together and included in an e-binder to demonstrate the depth and breadth of Black executive leadership talent and to help inform succession planning, support talent mobility, and increase the representation of Black executives in the federal workforce.
The profiles are shared with deputy Heads and Heads of Human Resources in participating federal public service organizations to support the identification of diverse internal talent and to ensure that highly qualified, inclusive, and agile leaders are well placed to serve Canadians.
If you wish to voluntarily share your professional profile with OCHRO and other federal public service organizations for talent management purposes, please complete the template and sign the consent form and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future Black Leaders - Talent Management e-Binder
To support the Clerk’s Call to Action to eliminate anti-Black racism and the government’s commitment to sponsor Black employees and support career mobility, BEN/REN is leading the creation of a government-wide talent management tool for Black employees. The profiles are compiled and included in an e-Binder to demonstrate the depth and breadth of Black employees who are ready for advancement and promotion and to help inform succession planning, support talent mobility, and increase the representation of Black individuals in the federal workforce. It aims to remove barriers stemming from the racial stereotypes and correct misperceptions around a shortage of Black talent or that Black talent is difficult to find. Further, it would also help Black employees who lack managerial experience or are experiencing the career impacts of systemic barriers by introducing their profile to other managers looking to hire talent.
These profiles are meant to provide senior management and human resources officials with a line of sight on individuals that can be talent managed to the next level in order to support the recruitment of new directors (EX-01) and the EX-01 feeder groups through profiling the qualifications, accomplishments, leadership results and career ambitions of each individual.
How-to submit a profile
Your information, such as your group and level, department, skills, experience, key accomplishments and results and more is collected through a form that you must fill out on Google Forms (a Gmail account is required*).
Submit your profile here: https://forms.gle/GzoYCyQwNwPbMbKE6
*Currently the only platform enabling us to fully automate hundreds of submissions is the Google Suite. If you require accessibility support, please send us an email – email@example.com so a work around can be suggested.
Once you submit the form and agree to a privacy clause which states that your profile will be shared with hiring managers for talent management purposes, you will receive an email with a copy of your one-pager profile as a PDF file. We will also keep a copy to add to the Professional Profiles for Black Talent in Feeder Groups electronic binder.
You are welcome to submit a profile at any time during the year and send updated versions whenever information is no longer current and needs updating. The first binder will be made accessible in January, an important recruitment period. Therefore we encourage you to submit your profile by this deadline if you wish to be included. More information can be found in the submission guidelines
If you would like a copy of the 2023 Future Black Leaders e-Binder, please complete the form here: Access to the Black Executives Network Future Black Leaders e-Binder
On behalf of the Black Executive Network, we thank you for helping support BEN/REN’s efforts to ensure a more representative and inclusive public service, and through delivering on the Clerk’s Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service to address career stagnation and ensuring no talent is left behind.
Leadership Development Inventory: Leadership Programs for both executives and future executives
A list was compiled with information from Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Human Resources and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on the leadership programs available to executives and aspiring executives. This includes conferences, certificates, workshops and more. Have a look here.
If you know of any more and would like to share with BEN/REN, please send us an email!
How to be involved
Membership in BEN/REN is open to people of African descent who are Federal Public Servant executives (at the EX 01 level and above, or are acting for one year or more in an EX position). If you fit that description, please consider becoming a member. BEN/REN currently has over 120 members Canada-wide. Being a member will give you the opportunity to stay connected and explore opportunities for further engagement. You will have access to our upcoming events and will have opportunities to contribute to BEN/REN's mandate.
To join, please subscribe to our mailing list by sending us your name, title and department/agency to firstname.lastname@example.org
We encourage all Black employees to self-identify in surveys and employment processes to give BEN/REN and the government an accurate picture of Black representation and experiences in the public service
GC Collab: The Black Executives Network / Le Réseau des exécutif noirs (BEN/REN)
GC Connex: The Black Executives Network / Le Réseau des exécutif noirs (BEN/REN)