Q: What is WiDS’ mandate?
A:  Women in Defence and Security (WiDS) was established to promote and support the advancement of women in careers related to Canadian defence and security industries.

WiDS was founded on three pillars:

  1. To provide financial assistance to women pursuing higher education towards careers in defence and national security in the form of a memorial scholarship;
  2. To provide professional development learning opportunities for our members; and
  3. To organize and foster networking opportunities.

Membership and Events

Q:  Is WiDS only open to women?
A:  WiDS welcomes men and women as members to help promote and support the advancement of Canadian women in careers related to defence and security.

Q:  How much is an annual WiDS membership?
A:  Membership in WiDS is priceless! (ie. Absolutely free)

Q;  What does a WiDS membership provide?
A:  Membership in WiDS gives you access to a great network of more than 10,000 professionals from public and private sectors, the military, academia and others in Canada’s defence and security industries. It also gives you learning opportunities with our partners, including the Telfer School of Management, and the chance to come out and unwind with some great speakers at our monthly 5 à 7 meetings. Finally, a WiDS membership gives you preferred registration rates at WiDS events.

We take our members’ privacy very seriously, so the WiDS membership includes a monthly e-mail newsletter with information on events that may interest you, but it does not include spam e-mails or solicitations from partners or other groups.

Best of all, membership in WiDS is absolutely free!

Q:  Where are the WiDS chapters located?
A:  WiDS is primarily located in the National Capital Region. We have an active representative in Western Canada (Calgary). It takes a significant amount of effort to get a regional group going. If you are serious about leading a chapter - let us know. Alternatively, there may be an opportunity to host or collaborate on an event in your area to test the waters. Either way, we're happy to hear your ideas and see how we can make it work. Please contact us.

Q:  Do I have to be Canadian to join WiDS or to attend WiDS events?
A:  No. WiDS welcomes our international colleagues. Having said this, the WiDS Memorial Scholarship is only open to Canadian women.

Q:  Can I attend events without being a WiDS member?
A:  Yes, almost all of our events are open to the general public so you can attend without being a member. Members are welcome to invite guests. Membership is free. When you register as a member, you are indicating your support of the WiDS mandate. The membership form provides the opportunity to opt in or out of our communications. 

Q:  Do you conduct any activities or events in French?
A:  Not yet, but WiDS is expanding its network, so stay tuned!

Contribute to WiDS

Q:  How is WiDS funded?
A:  WiDS is a volunteer, not-for-profit organization that is largely funded through industry sponsorships. WiDS events and programs, are as low cost as possible to ensure breadth of participation, with each event designed to break-even. WiDS relies on the generosity of the defence and security community. The amount of the time, the executive committee, advisory, liaisons and many other individual volunteers contribute to make events so successful is incredible. While the time has not been measured, it is truly invaluable. Thank you to all corporate sponsors over the years. We strive for you to continue to benefit from our events and programs. To find out more about volunteering with WiDS - please contact wids@wids.ca. To find out more about becoming a sponsor, please contact Astrid Neuland at astrid.neuland@gmail.com

Q:  How can my company/organization sponsor an event?
A:  To find out more about becoming a sponsor, please contact wids@wids.ca.


Q:  What is WiDS’ relationship to CADSI?
A: Like many volunteer organizations, WiDS needs a home and some back office infrastructure to work professionally and meet objectives. For more than a decade now, WiDS has been lucky to have the support of CADSI, who provide a home for this website, a boardroom when needed and a financial system for registration to our events and invoicing etc. Technically, WiDS is a special operating committee of CADSI. Our relationship is at arms length - defined by an Memorandum of Understanding that allows WiDS to have a different membership and financial structure as well as maintain an arms length relationship to the association. 

Q:  Can I be a member of both WiDS and CADSI?
A:  Yes.

Q:  Can I join WiDS if I’m still a student / not yet working?
A:  Yes. WiDS welcomes members from government, military, the public and private sectors, academia and other industries at all levels of their careers. If you are a Canadian woman completing post-secondary studies toward a career in Canada’s defence or security industries, why not consider applying for the WiDS Annual Memorial Scholarship?

Q:  Does WiDS offer mentorship opportunities?
A:  Yes and No. WiDS is committed to enhancing mentoring opportunities and engaging positive role models to encourage the exchange of knowledge, information and opportunities among our members. This is currently achieved through an informal approach to mentoring. WiDS often revisits the need for a mentoring program. Please feel free to send us your thoughts, ideas and mentoring needs. Let us know if you are interested in being either a mentor or a mentee.