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  • Writer's pictureQWIL

A New School Year, A New QWIL

Updated: Jan 30


Welcome back to school, WILs! Let us introduce ourselves: we’re Ashley and Galiya, and we’re beyond grateful and excited to be the 2023/2024 Co-Chairs of Queen’s Women in Leadership. With an unreal and talented group leading this year's initiatives, we can't wait to make an even greater mark on the Queen’s campus and beyond this year.


Our Vision & Goals for QWIL


Heading into QWIL’s 27th year of operations, we have built a vision around three key pillars: impact, education, and empowerment.


To impact our communities, we are passionate about supporting the student body, community outreach within and beyond the Queen’s campus, and connecting internally just as much as externally. We hope to be a place on campus that is inviting and high performing, that students can rely on for resources and support, as well as a place students can learn and explore.


Within education, we are working to execute all our plans strongly committed to equity, diversity, inclusivity, and indigeneity. Through all of our work, we know that understanding and educating others within the realm of EDII will enable us to have the highest impact and move the needle with gender equity in our communities the most. What comes with educating is going beyond just providing resources but encouraging and informing students on how to go beyond our learnings, take our educational experiences, and make them into actionable processes.


In terms of empowerment, we are particularly motivated to better equip our audience with the tools they need to be successful through increased career advancement, skill-building opportunities, and resource sharing. This is such a special community of women-led talent, and it is of utmost importance that we support one another and women beyond campus in developmental endeavours.


Initiatives to Look Forward to


These three pillars will guide our vision and execution of numerous upcoming initiatives through six powerhouse portfolios: Print, Internal Initiatives, Brand, Events, External Initiatives, and our Operations team working hard behind the scenes.


Print


We are so excited to be working on our third edition of WILPower in Print, where we showcase women of many diverse backgrounds, fields, and experiences representing the communities of Queen’s, Kingston, and beyond in magazine form. The launch will be happening in early November, so be sure to keep your eye out around Campus for the giveaways and grab your free copy!


Internal Initiatives


Our Internal Initiatives team is busy preparing our third year of the First-year Membership Community, a program to connect, engage with, and support first year students looking for stronger relationships at Queen’s and a space to discuss gender equity and other social justice issues. We are also excited to announce another research initiative, likely in the form of a research paper highlighting subtopics related to gender equity and women’s success professionally.


Brand


We are actively gathering contributors for the WILPower Blog and WILPower Out Loud Podcast and running social media campaigns throughout the year that showcase female-identifying businesses and success stories of women who have overcome barriers with gender and their positionality. Be sure to keep up with @queenswil on Instagram for updates on new blog posts, podcast episodes, and giveaways!


Events


The Events portfolio is working incredibly hard to plan our Equity Summit in November. The Equity Summit will be open to approximately 75 delegates. It will primarily provide the opportunity for students to hear authentic stories from women of diverse backgrounds and gain knowledge from skill-building workshops.


We will also be hosting our Inaugural Corporate Networking Event in January, with the goal of allowing female-identifying Queen's students to network with and learn more about successful leaders within various industries.


Throughout the school year, we are excited to host club crossover events focusing on skill-building. Our mission is to equip QWIL’s audience with the tools to succeed professionally and in other facets of life where gender equity is required. For example, we are specifically looking forward to hosting our fourth-ever Stock Pitch Fundamentals event, exclusively open to female-identifying students wanting to learn how to stock pitch in a safe and supportive environment.


External Initiatives


With our Alumni Liaisons and Student Engagement & Outreach coordinators, our External Initiatives team is dedicated to external outreach in the Queen’s campus and beyond. We are excited to be engaging with our very inspirational alumni network through a mentorship program and newsletter.


On the Student Engagement side, we are excited to be bringing back exam care packages for the third year in a row to support students’ mental health during exams and small Kingston businesses. Care packages will be sold on ComSoc Shop around early December, so you don’t want to miss out, as they have a track record of selling out quickly! Equally, our student engagement & outreach coordinators will strive to engage our “U-WIL network,” a community of gender equity-seeking clubs at the top 10 universities across Canada.


Operations


Our Finance, and People & Culture Directors will work all year round to consistently create a fun, inclusive, and responsible club culture on QWIL, continuously innovating and ensuring that we are executing against our guiding pillars.


How To Get Involved


The beauty of QWIL is that we have tons of initiatives on the go, meaning there are endless opportunities to get involved and work with us. We recommend the following:


Students:

  • Attend our events (they will be posted on ComSoc Shop and our Instagram @queenswil)

  • Grab a copy of our Print in November

  • Read our Blog and listen to our Podcast

  • Participate in our Instagram giveaways and interact with us online

  • Join the First-year Membership Program (sign-up will be posted on our Instagram)

  • Purchase an Exam Care Package in December

Partners:

  • Contribute to our Blog or Podcast

  • Speak at our events

  • Sponsor our corporate networking event and gain access to Queen’s talent

  • Sell your products to us for our Exam Care Packages


We look forward to engaging with you on and off campus this year! If you have any questions or comments throughout the year on QWIL’s involvement, or if you are interested in partnering with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out to galiya.vendrov@queensu.ca and/or ashley.smith@queensu.ca.


All the best!


Ashley Smith & Galiya Vendrov

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