A new Wave of QWIL
A Message From the Co-Chairs:
QWIL 2020 was certainly not the year we were expecting but was definitely the year we needed to centre our vision and truly find what we, as an organization, stood for. We were able to make strides in creating opportunities for women in the finance and entrepreneurial space, forming partnerships with other ground-breaking equity-focused clubs at Queen's, and building a team that fully embodies our mission. With that, we are so excited to begin QWIL's 25th year with fresh ideas to take the organization to new heights.
We feel it is important first to cover that there will not be a conference this year. This was not necessarily a decision made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but rather one that we believe aligns with Queen's Women in Leadership's true mission. QWIL is a club designed to create space and opportunities for women that otherwise would be unavailable to them. Our conference was a fantastic three-day experience for 100 women; however, we believe that the conference setting did not create a space that was as accessible as possible for the maximum number of people. This year, we are highly motivated by the possibility of introducing many more people to QWIL, while also providing opportunities to students across Queen's and Canada. We are no longer confined to one weekend in November, and to our team and us, that is incredibly exciting.
This year, with a more project-based organization structure, we look forward to undertaking varying projects that truly encapsulate gender equity and productive action. A few things we have in the works are:
Men's Roundtable - In the coming weeks, we will be restarting our Men's Roundtable project, something introduced to QWIL in 2019 that remains imperative for having meaningful conversations and propelling the QWIL mission further. We believe that men must be part of the discussion relating to gender equity, and therefore are incredibly excited to see the future of this initiative. This project will consist of bi-weekly meetings with a focus group of men at Queen's to hear their take on gender parity and incorporate it throughout the rest of our initiatives this year.
WILpower In Print - Coming in Fall 2021, QWIL will be producing a physical print magazine for the first time ever. We believe that exciting new ideas like this truly set QWIL apart and contribute something unique to the Queen's and Commerce community. We are so excited to be able to put our vision as well as student voice into something tangible for everyone to enjoy.
A Wider Outreach - With more time and energy, we have been able to spread our wings further than ever. Currently, we are consulting a highschool in Vancouver, BC, on running an equity summit of their own, and we hope to continue to collaborate with other high schools in the future. In addition, we will be attending and hosting a workshop at the McGill Women in Leadership (MWIL) Trailblazers Conference at the end of March. We will continue to nurture our newfound relationship with MWIL in years to come.
More Accessibility Than Ever - The three-day in-person conference consisted of many barriers to entry: physical, financial, etc. We are thrilled to announce that our events will be free of charge all year long, and we are committing a large portion of our annual budget to ensure that financial barriers are lessened or removed. Additionally, the online environment will allow us to post recordings of our events, add closed captions, and post summary recaps for our whole community to enjoy.
These are only some of the projects underway, all of which would only be possible with the hard work of our exceptional executive team. We are incredibly honoured to work with such ground-breaking individuals to create meaningful change this upcoming year. Big things are ahead.
See you soon,
Clea Pariseau and Emily Prpic