University of Calgary

Join The Club

Submitted by alumni on Wed, 05/20/2015 - 10:00.

Join The Club

Some 17,000 students currently participate in UCalgary’s “club scene.” From Quidditch teams to origami groups, discover what’s driving this boom.
by Mike Fisher | Photography by Jim Wells

Club lets women take charge — Women in Leadership

How to join WILVisit

Running from a parking lot into UCalgary’s downtown campus, Kiara Brown was arriving a bit late for the big event, Women In Leadership (WIL) club’s biannual networking gala. She checked her coat, grabbed her nametag and a free white wine, took a breath and started mingling.

It’s the kind of first step many soon-to-be WIL members make towards joining a club with a mission that aims to inspire women, encourage them to pursue leadership positions and to develop personally and professionally.

Brown (a third-year social and cultural anthropology student) is a case in point for WIL’s success, soon rising from her first tentative meeting last March to leading the club as its president the next year. She was inspired when one of the event speakers spoke about how important it is to be true to what you believe in.

“I thought then that the core values of WIL really fit,” says Brown, who, during the past summer, volunteered at the Ar-razi University Psychiatric Hospital in Rabat, Morocco, helping develop music therapy programs. “There is a lack of women in leadership positions in the world today. We believe in providing more resources for the hundreds of talented and intelligent women at the university, so they can develop themselves.”

Interest in the club is growing swiftly. There have been more than 1,000 club members since it launched in 2011, including more than 300 who have signed up in the past year. Club VP External Communications Jessie Lally, BA’15, says the timing is perfect.

“Eyes High is UCalgary’s strategic direction and it, too, began in 2011,” says Lally. “Its target date of 2016 is fast approaching and marks a time to reflect on our cumulative progress as a community. WIL has also worked tirelessly towards its ambitious goals, and we believe the club fulfills a vital need in the UCalgary community.”

Naween Mohammed, BComm’14, a supply analyst with Enbridge Pipelines, Inc., says, “WIL taught me so much about teamwork and professionalism — both of which have contributed tremendously in my transition from university to the working world.”

Club members donate their time and energy to various charities in Calgary. “Volunteering is a cornerstone of our organization and we offer several opportunities,” says Brown. Members volunteer monthly with the Women In Need Society and have in the past volunteered with the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Made by Momma and the Red Cross.

“We are dedicated to creating a forum for discussion, innovation and collaboration between women of various backgrounds, values and career paths,” adds Brown.