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Women of impact

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre will host an announcement by Canada’s Minister of Status of Women on Tuesday.

[Women of Impact]
The federal government is honouring a number of "Women of Impact in Canada", and seeking nominations of additional women to honour. (Supplied Photo)

Editor's note: This event was originally scheduled for Monday, Oct. 1 and has been moved to Tuesday, Oct. 2.

A number of Canadian women of impact will visit Queen’s next week, in a sense.

To launch Women’s History Month in Canada, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of Status of Women, will make an announcement at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on Tuesday.

She will launch a Government of Canada initiative called the “Women of Impact in Canada” Gallery – an online museum exhibit where Canadians can learn about and celebrate the accomplishments of women in fields ranging from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); arts; politics; human rights; and women who were trailblazers in new fields. Some prominent Queen’s women appear in the group, including Suzanne Fortier – the university’s former Vice-Principal (Academic) and Vice-Principal (Research) who is now the Principal of McGill University.

Minister Monsef will be hosted by the Queen’s Female Leadership in Politics (QFLIP) student group. Co-chair Meredith Wilson-Smith and Frannie Sobcov were contacted by the Minister’s office earlier this week about the announcement.

“We’re thrilled and proud to have the opportunity to work with Status of Women Canada to amplify the representation of these Canadian women and leaders whose successes often go under-recognized,” says Ms. Wilson-Smith. “The Women of Impact initiative shows every Canadian that women have always had the ability to make trailblazing strides in the face of sociocultural barriers.”

[Queen's University Agnes Etherington Art Centre QFLIP]
Frannie Sobcov and Meredith Wilson-Smith. (University Communications)

“Meaningful relationships between organizations such as these provide an incredible chance for discourse on our shared passion of women’s political leadership,” adds Ms. Sobcov. “It’s an honour to launch Women’s History Month with a woman like Minister Monsef—a living example that age, nationality, and gender are not impediments to a political career in Canada, but rather assets and opportunities.”

The Women of Impact gallery is a living initiative, meaning that Canadians can also nominate a woman of impact in their communities by completing a form on the government’s website.

Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, faculty supervisor for QFLIP, says she was “very excited and honoured” that the Minister will be launching the gallery and Women’s History Month at Queen’s, and believes the gallery is an important initiative.

“Most immediately, it is important because it serves a role modelling function for younger women and girls who will see people like them in all types of roles and fields, particularly in roles as innovators and leaders,” she says. “Also, research is clear that women are less comfortable talking about and promoting their own achievements – so it’s important to have initiatives that ensure women’s achievements receive due recognition.”

The unveiling of the online gallery will take place Tuesday. Oct. 2 at 10 am at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the event is open to the public.

Visit the Women of Impact in Canada website for a full listing of honorees.