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Five perspectives, one purpose: why CIRA isn’t your average tech company

By Julia Hickey
Human Resources

Does your organization have a purpose beyond profit? Not all organizations can say that they do. A purpose-driven organization is one that goes beyond just offering a product or service for profit and instead, works to make a positive social or environmental impact with what they do. Those that are part of purpose-driven organizations are part of something that positively impacts people’s lives.

As a self-funded not-for-profit, at CIRA our mission and purpose is to build a trusted internet for Canadians and everything we do is to advance that. From managing the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians, to keeping the internet safe with cybersecurity services—to giving back through our Community Investment Program. Our mission and purpose is what drives everyone at CIRA. In fact, people do their best work when they work with a purpose.

We know finding an opportunity that aligns with your values isn’t easy. Maybe you’ve spent time on our “About” page and are wondering what the employee experience at CIRA is like, and/or if our purpose is something that you could picture yourself being a part of.

If you’ve wondered what it’s like to work at CIRA and what makes us different, we want to give you some insight from five of our employees.

Delphine, Communications Specialist – Delphine works with our Brand team to tell CIRA’s story.

What led you to CIRA?

Delphine: The unique opportunity to work in philanthropy while being on the cutting edge of tech. We believe that the internet is a force for good and I’ve realized CIRA has played a role in that for decades. When I first came to Canada, I saw how central the internet was in our lives, yet so many communities across the country still don’t have access to internet. Finding out about how we give back through community-led initiatives and keep Canadians safe in the cyber world really drew me to CIRA. 

Adam, General Manager, Registry Services – Adam works alongside the team who runs the system to power .CA and other growing communities of forward-thinking extensions.

What drives you every day?

Adam: I love the subject matter of domains—I’ve been in the domain business for 17 years and while I’ve always been drawn to the industry, CIRA is different. At CIRA, we have the unique opportunity to improve the state of the internet and the larger community. The voices around the table at CIRA are diverse—the teams are high performing, operate with high energy and are deeply invested in what we do. This shows in their work and the energy is infectious.

I like to be surrounded by leaders and thinkers who raise the bar. This contributes to my leadership philosophy—a good leader never assumes they are the smartest person in the room. You will not know everything, be curious, admit that you can’t know everything, you can learn. The more you can empower your team the better.

Ryo, Territory Account Manager – Ryo started at CIRA as our business development representative and quickly was promoted to a Territory Account Manager selling our products and services.

What does CIRA mean to you?

Ryo: CIRA is a breath of fresh air. It’s different. It’s an inclusive community that really builds on connection and makes you feel like you are working towards the same goal. Company culture plays a big factor in building bridges across different departments. We take the time to connect with each other weekly for a coffee chat through our “Small Talk Big Connections” sessions. At our all-staff meetings, our President and CEO Byron Holland hosts an AMA (Ask Me Anything), dedicating time to answer questions from all employees. This creates an open dialogue with everyone and gives us the chance to speak publicly or discreetly.

Erin, Product Marketing Manager – Erin works on the Cybersecurity Services team delivering cyber security solutions to Canadian businesses.

What have you learned from working at CIRA?

Erin: The opportunities I’ve had at CIRA have elevated my career in the tech industry and in the marketing space. I have had three different roles within CIRA since I started six years ago.  We are a small organization and I’ve been grateful to have experience working with different products and teams, gaining more industry knowledge along the way. CIRA’s focus on the professional development of employees is something that I think makes it stand out from other employers. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at industry events, some examples being holding a workshop for marketing professionals from other domain registries in Sweden and attending the Internet Governance Forum in Mexico.   I continue to level up and I’m excited about what’s ahead.

Amanda, Director of Engineering – Amanda joined CIRA 11 years ago and every day she is helping build teams of empowered engineers.

What advice would you give somebody starting their career in this industry?

Amanda: My advice to anyone joining the tech space is to be curious, not to be afraid of breaking things and to ask questions.  When you understand how things work and come from a place of understanding, you can build great things—no matter how complex.

Look for opportunities that diversify your skill set, your thinking, and your exposure. One of my favourite pieces of advice came from my peer at CIRA, Tongfeng. She once said that in development we have a policy where the developers who write the code and the developers who test the code are different people because they’ll both be approaching the code differently. We utilize diversity to find problems, look at issues in a different way and come up with better solutions. This leads to a better product in the end.  I would advise anyone starting their career in this industry to use diversity to build better solutions and not be afraid to bring your perspectives to the table.

No matter your level, team or background, at CIRA, our employees are the ones who shape our culture, partnerships and future aspirations. They are the ones who invest in our shared success. They are the ones who are connected to our purpose of bettering the lives of Canadians online.

Are you looking to be a part of a team and organization that does more? Do your values align with our purpose driven mission? If so, apply here at

If you get an interview with us, be curious! Here are some questions our hiring teams would love to answer.

  • How will the overall mission manifest itself in my work?
  • What technology will I work with?
  • Are there opportunities for personal development?
  • What’s your leadership philosophy?
  • How is the company building connections between employees?

About the author
Julia Hickey

Julia Hickey works on the Human Resources team at CIRA. She has experience in the technology world, with a background in cybersecurity and policy compliance. Her interests include strengthening company culture and strategic planning.