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Professional Affinity Groups in North America

Community is needed now more than ever. As an employer, your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives do not need to end with your workplace walls. Sometimes employees can benefit from affinity-based support beyond internal Employee Resource Groups or Working Groups. 

Professional Affinity Groups are groups of professionals organizing around a common identity. This might be a racial, gender, cultural, religious or lifestyle identity. Professional Affinity Groups are quite similar to ERGs, except their efforts focus on all professional spaces and are not specific to one company. Your company can engage with Professional Affinity Groups by creating a complementary ERG for it internally, referring your employees to their membership, and supporting their efforts through donations. 

As an employer, there are numerous benefits to engaging with Professional Affinity Groups. They are extensions of your DEI initiatives that can support employees beyond your reach and they can be opportunities to expand your learning and areas to recruit new team members. We put a list together of Professional Affinity Groups across North America that you can engage with today. 

International

Ada’s List | Ada’s list is a membership driven community of womxn in technology around the world connecting on the topics of  community, advocacy and learning. 

North America

Racial and cultural diversity

Muslim Urban Professionals | Since 2006, Muslim Urban Professionals’ (Muppies) members have have strived to empower and advance Muslim professionals in their careers and communities.Theyachieve this mission by offering professional development opportunities, networking opportunities, and in-person and online support. 

National Association of Asian American Professionals | The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) is a non-profit organization that cultivates and empowers Asian & Pacific Islander leaders through leadership development, professional networking, and community service.

LGBTQ2+ and gender diversity 

myGWork | Business community for LGBT+ professionals, graduates, inclusive employers and anyone who believes in workplace equality.

Lean In | Lean In Circles are vibrant networks of women in almost every country. Since 2013, women have been connecting in Lean In Circles over shared experiences, building each other up, and cheering each other on. 

United States

Racial and cultural diversity

Blacks in Technology |  Blacks In Technology (BIT) is a global platform for Black people in technology. BIT serves members through community, media and mentorship. They provide resources and guidance in addition to challenging members to establish new standards of innovation.

Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA) | A professional network of over 95,000 Latinx professionals, providing leadership development, networks, internships and corporate partnerships.

LGBTQ2+ and gender diversity 

She Geeks Out | She Geeks Out is on a mission to empower womxn in the workplace and educate, promote, and support diverse and inclusive companies and organizations.

StartOut | StartOut’s mission is to increase the number, diversity, and impact of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and amplify their stories to drive the economic empowerment of the community.

Disability

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) | Works to increase the political and economic power of people with disabilities. AAPD offers people with disabilities internships, mentorship, fellowships and events to build community. 

American Association of the DeafBlind | A membership-based community of people with dual vision and hearing loss, their family members and interested supporters. Deaf-blind Americans can connect through their email list to other deaf-blind people. 

Learning Disabilities Associations of America (LDA) | LDA provides guides, support and community to professionals and individuals with learning disabilities. People with learning disabilities can join a local chapter for unique services and support.  

Canada

Racial and cultural diversity 

Canadian Tamil Professional Association | A non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on developing career opportunities for emerging and established Tamil Professionals. 

CPAC | CPAC Training offers career counselling, employment assistance, knowledge and skills through training, mentorship, seminars and workshops, job fairs, and more for internationally educated professionals. 

Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) | Bridges the talent gap in the tech industry by providing Black technical and business professionals with access to senior executive sponsorship, skills development and a strong peer network to support their career growth.

The Indigenous Professional Association of Canada Dedicated to advancing Indigenous leadership in the private, public and social sectors.Through its mission, IPAC offers First Nations, Metis and Inuit professionals the opportunity to connect, learn and prosper as a community.

Disability 

Canadian Council of the Blind | Provides mentorship, community, advocacy and local events to people living with vision loss. 

Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAC) | LDAC works to build awareness about learning disabilities across Canada. People with learning disabilities can engage in advocacy and community through their local chapters. 

This list is growing! Have a Professional Affinity Group to add? Let us know and we would love to include them!

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