QWN - Queen's Women's Network

Anonymous QWN Testimonials

Please note that as of October 2018 QWN changed its name and was formerly known as YWQ - Young Women at Queen's. Many of these testimonials refer to QWN using the old name. Official name change of YWQ to QWN

Community Building
These are general testimonials speaking to QWN community building aspects

YWQ was a beacon of light that helped me feel connected to the Queen’s community again...the structure at Queen’s is very siloed, making meeting people outside of your department very difficult.  I am a person who processes through talking, so being able to talk to someone outside of my department who still understood the structure of Queen’s was very important to me, and YWQ provided this outlet.  YWQ made Queen’s feel like home again, a different home from when I was a student, but one that is just as comfortable. 

I had been working at Queen’s for one year when the inaugural YWQ meeting took place and it would be an understatement to say that this Employee Resource Group has enriched my time at Queen’s exponentially. I work in a wonderful department led by talented people, however, it is difficult to ignore the fact that the leaders are mostly (if not all) men. This was my initial inspiration for joining YWQ – an effort to lift up women, to celebrate our voices...I have met dozens of brilliant women who I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. I have forged professional connections with women around campus in a way that has allowed me to thrive in my own role. I have organized and taken part in important conversations about diversity and feminism.

...it wasn't until I joined YWQ about 3 years ago that I felt like I had a place at work where I could express my ideas openlyYWQ allows me to feel ownership over new projects and initiatives, because we work together in a non-hierarchical way that allows members to take on as much or as little as they want. After having an independent and somewhat isolating job for several years I began to feel depressed in my work environment. Becoming a part of this ERG really helped pull me out of the metaphorical hole I was in.  

New to Kingston
These testimonials are from members who found QWN to be helpful as newcomers to Kingston

As a newcomer to Kingston and Queen’s, I was feeling a little isolated when I came across YWQ. The group sounded like me and made meeting other professional self-identifying women accessible. This is an ambitious group that looks to break down barriers for women in the workplace through mentorship, speaker series’, and in learning from each other. While I haven’t been part of the group for long, I’m already excited to see what we come up with!

...I needed a space where I could process my experiences as a young women professional working at a massive organization. Part of my goal was also to network with other university colleagues and learn about other departments in the University as my role requires me to connect directly with different faculties, department offices and units. The YWQ members have been a great source of resources and knowledge for me as a newcomer to Kingston and Queen’s. The Mentorship has given me an opportunity to meet some incredible women leaders at Queen’s who have all taken the time to affirm me, encourage me and give me their hard-won wisdom on how to thrive as a woman in my professional and personal lives. YWQ has given me an opportunity to experience a sense of community at Queen’s.

YWQ is a wonderful way to welcome newcomers to Queen’s; meet people from various areas of the university with different roles, backgrounds, and career paths; and enhance my skill set by participating in different projects and working groups.

I have really enjoyed being part of the YWQ group over the last year. Their mentorship program is a wonderful resource and my experience as a mentee has been great. Hearing from other women at Queen’s, either in the group or during the speaker series has been both inspiring and interesting.

Past Members
Testimonials and impact statements from past members on QWN

I remained a member of YWQ from its initiation in the winter of 2015 until I left Queen’s...I hold fond memories of my time in YWQ, and can state without exaggeration that this ERG greatly increased my engagement as an employee at Queen’s, and it helped me to launch my career as a professional women in the public service. I strongly advocate for the development and support of more university ERGs because I have seen firsthand the immense career and personal benefits they provide, particularly to groups that have been traditionally disadvantaged in the workplace. I cannot emphasize enough the positive experience I had at Queen’s because of my membership in YWQ; I would not be where I am today professionally if it were not for this ERG. I hope with the support of the university that YWQ and new ERGs will flourish on campus so that current Queen's University employees can experience the same benefits and opportunities that I was lucky to have.

Shortly after starting at Queen’s, I experienced a challenge that many employees face at universities – difficulty establishing a network of colleagues across the university.  Having a strong network not only enhances a university staff member’s ability to do top-notch work and improves employee engagement, but it also provides a supportive group to draw on for professional development advice, and promotes well-being in the workplace by providing a sense of community...YWQ offered me a place to: develop my leadership, project management, and organizational skills; get to know the functions of, and services offered by university departments outside of my own; grow my professional network; discuss and resolve workplace challenges I experienced; share my knowledge and experiences as a young professional woman with others; take charge of my own professional and career development by helping to organize formal and informal career advice sessions for YWQ members; and give back to the Queen’s and broader Kingston community.