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Talk takes on gendered communication norms

As part of its ongoing commitment to empower young women at Queen’s through professional development and mentorship, Young Women at Queen’s (YWQ) is hosting its first public event on Thursday.

[YWQ]
Young Women at Queen’s (YWQ) is part of the larger Employee Resource Group initiative aimed at promoting the career development of equity seeking groups on campus. (University Communications)

The interactive talk, entitled “Breaking the Sound Barrier: Moving Beyond Gendered Communication Norms in Higher Education” and hosted by organizational learning and change consultant Kit Malo, will take a closer look at the current state of gendered communication norms in the higher education workplace, with a focus on how women can move beyond coping strategies into transforming change.

YWQ was created earlier this year as part of the larger Employee Resource Group initiative to promote the career development of equity seeking groups on campus.

The event is the first installment of a speaker series aimed at creating a safe space to facilitate dialogue on campus about issues that affect young women in the workplace and throughout their career development.

“By coming together to recognize and discuss this issue, it is our desire that this talk will motivate the audience to engage in strategies to support young women in their careers,” says Joelle Thorpe, a Clinical Research Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative medicine, as well as one of the event’s organizers. “By creating spaces for this type of facilitated dialogue on campus, we hope that people find a safe and healthy way to have this sort of conversation.”

Dr. Thorpe adds that Ms. Malo brings a “fresh and balanced perspective” regarding communication in the workplace and is particularly interested in equity, learning, and democratizing the workplace, which aligns well with YWQ’s mandate.

“We invited Kit to speak to us about gendered communication in higher education because she has expertise speaking to small and large groups of employees about workplace group dynamics, and how to interact effectively with others,” Dr. Thorpe says. “We believe that since clear and effective communication is a skill vital for success in any career, Thursday’s event will be of interest to many in the Queen’s community.”

Active since February this year, YWQ is comprised of self-identifying women in more junior roles at Queen’s. To date a number of lunchtime meetings have been held as well as a pair of clothing drives to donate work clothes to women in need.

Thursday’s talk will run from 6-7:30 pm in Dunning Hall 12. For more information about this event, contact Linda Chan: Ext. 79331, linda.chan@queensu.ca. For more information about YWQ, contact Emma Sobel: Ext. 79002, emma.sobel@queensu.ca.