Our Actions and Goals

SDG 5: Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
5. Gender Equality
Sustainable Development Goals by the numbers:
[Percentage wheel 60%]
In the 2022 academic year, 60% of students starting a degree at Queen's were women.
[Percentage wheel 35%]
Additionally, 35% of our senior academic staff are women.

Our goals in action

[Percentage wheel 53%]
53% of STEM graduates are women.
[Percentage wheel 77%]
77% of Medicine graduates are women.
[Percentage wheel 60%]
60% of Arts & Humanities/Social Sciences graduates are women.

Research and innovation

Promoting women in STEM

Queen’s University’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) is a student-run organization that promotes female involvement in STEM disciplines through networking and mentorship opportunities for women in the Queen’s and Kingston communities.

[Photo of WiSE membership]

Women in Science Queen’s (WiSQ) is an employee resource group for women looking to explore and build upon their careers at Queen’s while at the same time helping foster equity within science. Their goals include promoting discussions about gender bias in science; incentivizing the active participation and leadership of women; and establishing a visible, equitable, diverse, and inclusive community promoting the development and retention of women across all scientific disciplines.

Teaching and student life

[Line drawing of Grant Hall]

Queen's University recognizes that the values of equity and diversity are vital to and in harmony with its educational mission and standards of excellence.

Educational equity at Queen's

The Senate Educational Equity Committee (SEEC) supports our institutional goal of achieving educational equity at Queen’s. Additionally, the Senate’s Educational Equity Policy outlines our commitment to and understanding of educational equity, as well as our implementation and accountability processes.

[A group of students converse at a table in Mitchell Hall.]

Policies of non-discrimination against women and transgender people

Queen’s has several policies that prohibit discrimination, including our Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Response Policy and our Policy on Sexual Violence Involving Queen’s University Students. Both programs outline our anti-discrimination measures as well as the processes for addressing harassment and/or discrimination on our campus.

Positive Space

The Positive Space program offers visibility and support to 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Program participants help to create positive spaces at Queen’s by avoiding making assumptions about anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity and by signaling that all are welcome. Positive Space stickers posted at the entrance to work, living, or study areas, and on personal belongings encourage the Queen’s community to celebrate the gender and sexual diversity that exists on campus and to work to overcome subtle and overt forms of discrimination and harassment.

Women’s mentorship opportunities and educational supports

The Queen’s Women’s Network (QWN) Mentorship Program offers 10-month mentorship programs for women-identifying employees looking for mentorship from senior academic staff. The Smith School of Business provides MBA mentorship and coaching opportunities for female-identifying groups, which aim to enable more women to ascend to the senior ranks of management.

[Queen's Art of Research photo: Women in Mathematics by Stefanie Knebel]

Queen's Art of Research Submission: Women in Mathematics by Stefanie Knebel, PhD Student (Mathematics and Statistics), Queen's University

Queen’s is a family-friendly university

As a child-friendly campus, we have implemented initiatives through our Queen’s University Child Friendly Campus Initiative that help parents and caregivers on campus to nurture their families while pursuing their scholarly and work responsibilities.

The Office of Support Services and Community Engagement offers supports to students with children by providing comprehensive information on resources available at Queen's and off-campus from education programs to private breastfeeding friendly spaces and change table locations.

The Queen’s Daycare Centre provides affordable on-campus childcare. The Queen’s Daycare financial assistance program provides subsidized childcare and other financial assistance for students with dependents and/or families, while the Childcare Support Plan provides reimbursement for eligible expenses to faculty and staff.

Community impact

Empowering women in politics

The Queen’s Female Leadership in Politics Conference is Canada’s premier undergraduate conference which seeks to empower women in politics. The two-day event brings together more than 150 students from across the country and provides participants with the necessary skills and connections they need to succeed.

Supporting entrepreneurs

Over the past three years, more than 1,300 women have been supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Can (WE-CAN) project led by Queen's Partnerships and Innovation in achieving their entrepreneurial goals. Supported by a $3.2 million grant from FedDev Ontario, WE-CAN empowers women in the Kingston region with the tools, resources, expert mentors, networks, and community building needed to take their businesses to the next level.

Administration and operations

Maintaining high ethical standards

In 2022, Queen's Board of Trustees approved the Improper Acts Reporting Policy to promote a culture of honesty, transparency, and accountability to maintain high ethical standards in all the university's activities. The policy enables all members of the university community to report what they believe to be an Improper Act, such as the contravention of university policies or regulations and relevant laws, and creating a danger to the life, health, or safety of persons or to the environment, for review and possible investigation, without concerns of reprisal.

Tracking enrolment and representation

To better understand our progress in ensuring equitable enrolment at Queen’s, we compile an annual Division of Student Affairs Enrolment Report, which provides information about incoming first-year undergraduate and graduate students, including enrolment information for international, self-identified Indigenous, and first-generation students, as well as retention and graduation rates.

Queen’s also regularly tracks our efforts to increase the representation and engagement of students, faculty, and staff from equity-deserving groups through Inclusive Queen’s. Through outreach programs and targeted recruitment, we also encourage applications by women in subjects where they are underrepresented. Additionally, we track women’s likelihood of graduating compared to men’s, and develop plans to close any gap. Through these measurements, we are proactively building a campus that welcomes and reflects diverse identities, cultures, and perspectives.

[A Queen’s University pennant attached to a light post in front of Ontario Hall. ]