“I found the program to be truly special in cultivating a sense of community, sharing experiences, and learning important tools for future endeavours…. it has been one of the highlights of my fourth year.”

“I was delighted to have been part of the Women in Leadership Initiative Program. Even in the first meeting, I was excited to be surrounded by such accomplished and inspiring fellow women leaders. Having attended all the modules, I was impressed by all the guest speakers and the knowledge they had shared.”

“I have learned quite a lot from Georgette and other presenters, as well as the mentees. As a recent grad who was highly engaged on campus, I can confidently say that this is one of the most empowering spaces I have witnessed at UTSC, I hope our cohort of WiLi mentees will have more chances to come together after the final session.”

“WiLi has really opened my eyes to various opportunities and helped me to gain the perspective and mindset of being able to conquer anything we, as women, put our minds to.”

“Prior to WiLi, I wasn’t much of a public speaker and was often seen as outgoing, but would frequently stutter greatly in large crowds. As WiLi comes to an end, I am confident to say that I have gained greater confidence along with the ability to negotiate and communicate freely without as much hesitation as prior. In order to pass on my knowledge obtained from this initiative, I am willing to be an ambassador for WiLi and also am not afraid to speak for groups/clubs across campus to help empower women.”

“One of biggest lessons I learned through WiLi is the importance of identifying and using teachable moments. As a young female leader from a marginalized visible minority community, I have been in organizational spaces that are very challenging to navigate. When dismissed due to one or all of my intersectional identities, I found myself either staying away from the space(s) or speaking up assertively. Now, I understand that when questioned about credentials or ability, it is best to use it as an opportunity to showcase my expertise as opposed to being defensive, particularly when defensive behaviour causes the people on the opposite side to further embrace their ignorance. I understand the importance of not getting discouraged by negative forces, being confident in what I have to offer and staying focused.”

“Prior to the program, I had several leadership experiences both on and off campus and my perspective on leadership ability has been that you either have it or you don’t. However, having gone through this program, I realized that leaders are made. Through this program, I was able to reflect and fine tune my skills, work on my weaknesses and ultimately, be more intentional with my leadership ability.”

“Being around a group of women this strong and talented this year has inspired me. I took this realization, into my own involvements. For example, I co-chaired the International Development Conference, and focused our programming based on partnerships, where we asked different clubs or organizations to facilitate portions of our conference where their expertise was, as opposed to us doing it ourselves. This was far more effective, and broadened our networks, and this emphasis on partnerships was founded from my experience in WiLi.”