• QWIL

Three Stories, One Purpose

Updated: Feb 17, 2019


We recently joined Q.WIL as Frosh Representatives. These are our stories of why we became inspired to join the Q.WIL team:

Nicole Rodger’s story…

I was fourteen when I read my first Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. At the time, gender equality wasn’t even on my radar. I instantly fell in love with the morally-complex character of Elizabeth Bennett, and I was captivated by her strength and fortitude. I became drawn to Austen’s themes of openness and equality and soon began to collect and read her other masterpieces.

Jane Austen’s life story and novels inspired me in so many ways. She taught me that women can be strong and assertive. She also taught me that women should not settle for mediocrity. In Austen’s time, marriage defined success for a young woman, particularly if the suitor was wealthy, and this was a common theme in her novels. Yet Austen herself turned down a marriage proposal from a wealthy suitor. This was a difficult decision for Austen as well as a brave one as it was unconventional for women to say “no” to money, power, and economic stability. Austen could have chosen the comfortable life that was expected of her; instead, she chose success of a different kind – becoming a novelist even though women authors at the time were not recognized or respected. In following her heart, Austen changed the world of literature and demonstrated that women could be intelligent, assertive, and funny. Jane Austen is one of the greatest English literature novelists of all time. She has empowered me to take risks, think outside the box, and go beyond what is predictable. She has inspired me to believe in the power I can exert over my own life.

Two hundred years later, Jane Austen’s life story and books inspire women and girls around the world with her timeless and inspirational messages. Q.WIL provides a wonderful forum to meet inspirational leaders and work alongside my peers to promote these inspirational messages and encourage women to be the best that they can be.

We recently joined Q.WIL as Frosh Representatives. These are our stories of why we became inspired to join the Q.WIL team:



Nicole Rodger’s story…

I was fourteen when I read my first Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. At the time, gender equality wasn’t even on my radar. I instantly fell in love with the morally-complex character of Elizabeth Bennett, and I was captivated by her strength and fortitude. I became drawn to Austen’s themes of openness and equality and soon began to collect and read her other masterpieces.

Jane Austen’s life story and novels inspired me in so many ways. She taught me that women can be strong and assertive. She also taught me that women should not settle for mediocrity. In Austen’s time, marriage defined success for a young woman, particularly if the suitor was wealthy, and this was a common theme in her novels. Yet Austen herself turned down a marriage proposal from a wealthy suitor. This was a difficult decision for Austen as well as a brave one as it was unconventional for women to say “no” to money, power, and economic stability. Austen could have chosen the comfortable life that was expected of her; instead, she chose success of a different kind – becoming a novelist even though women authors at the time were not recognized or respected. In following her heart, Austen changed the world of literature and demonstrated that women could be intelligent, assertive, and funny. Jane Austen is one of the greatest English literature novelists of all time. She has empowered me to take risks, think outside the box, and go beyond what is predictable. She has inspired me to believe in the power I can exert over my own life.

Two hundred years later, Jane Austen’s life story and books inspire women and girls around the world with her timeless and inspirational messages. Q.WIL provides a wonderful forum to meet inspirational leaders and work alongside my peers to promote these inspirational messages and encourage women to be the best that they can be.




Jackson Wright’s story…. 

Growing up as a boy, I felt as if I could conquer the world.

Perhaps it was my strong upbringing or my wide-eyed fascination with the world, but there was never a time that I felt a barrier between me and what I wanted out of my life. In fact, I never fully grasped that a person could feel this way until well into my late teens. 

There were a number of instances that caused me to realize the barriers that women face each and every day, but none was quite so clear as when my sister told me she wouldn’t be considered for a job as management only wanted a male to fill the posted position. 

At the time, I was both confused and outraged. I realized that my privilege had blinded me to the many hurdles that women face each day. This heightened awareness caused me to examine the world around me from a new perspective and instilled within me a passion for women’s equality. 

I decided to join Q.WIL in order to advocate for woman in each aspect of their lives and to encourage men to join the conversation surrounding equality. At the end of the day, we won’t be able to move forward as a society until everyone feels empowered to bring their whole selves to every aspect of their lives.




Jennifer Italiano’s story…

I grew up playing competitive hockey, and this was a privilege for which I will always be grateful. It has allowed me to build life-long friendships and gain true team experience. Most importantly, hockey inspired me to be a WIL and is why I was determined to get involved with Q.WIL.

Women are a minority in the world of sport. Female skill and talent in sport continue to be associated with stereotypes. Throughout my twelve years playing hockey, there have been many instances where I was subjected to these stereotypes. Telling a boy that I played hockey and then convincing him that I was good was not easy.

This conversation quickly got boring, but it sparked my passion. I developed the desire to challenge this bias and advocate for women who are subjected to the stereotypes of sport. Q.WIL was the perfect opportunity to do just that. I became involved with Q.WIL to be a voice for all women who are tired of having the same conversation.

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