Meet the Girls Behind Guelph Women in Leadership: Co-presidents Emillie and Clara

Name: Emillie

Major: Marketing 

Year: Fourth year

Name: Clara

Major: Marketing

Year: Fifth year co-op

What is GWIL?:

It’s a club that is affiliated with the College of Business and Economics Association. Our goal is to promote female business leaders through networking. We allow them to meet other women in the industry and we aim to give advice and guidance to young women looking to get into the business world.  Our slogan and theme for this year is ‘think beyond convention’.


What is your position at GWIL?:

Emilie and Clara are Co-president’s, they lead a team of 17 girls. They are in charge of making sure that all of the other executive team members stay on track, create long term goals and strategies as well as work with the rest of the team to make sure these are executed!


How long has GWIL been at Guelph?:

This is GWIL’s fourth year on campus!  


How long have you ladies been in GWIL?:

Emillie: two years

Clara: three years


How and why did you two get involved in GWIL?: 

Emillie: I didn’t know about it until the end of second year, it was more of a question of why I wasn’t apart of it already. My mom has been a huge inspiration in my life, she has always been such a strong person so I felt like it would be a good fit for me. At the time they were hiring director of marketing and I felt like it was a perfect fit so I applied, got accepted and it was the best decision I’ve made through my four years at Guelph.

Clara: I got in as director of finance, dealing with all of the money coming in and going out. I expressed my interest in doing more in the club so I was made co- president. I started joining other clubs, and had a marketing position in other clubs, but they just weren’t as meaningful as I wanted them to be. When I heard about GWIL, I felt like this was where I needed to be. After joining the work force through co-op I’ve realized there was a huge gap in the workforce that I wanted to work towards fixing, and the more you learn about women in the workforce, the more passionate you become.


What is the best part about being in GWIL?:

Emillie: The team! We pick the girls on the team for a reason and the team is so awesome and accountable that it makes our job fun!

Clara: The team as well, I like being around a group of girls who have the same vision and who are working towards the same thing I am.

How has it shaped you two as individuals?:

Emillie: I was always very involved, but I think that this has made me a better leader and it has defined what I’m really passionate about. Instead of only being passionate about a few things, GWIL has made me more vocal about what I believe in and I’m not afraid to say that I am a feminist. It has made me more confident in what I believe in and what I will and won’t accept in a job.

Clara: I think it’s very similar to Emillie. It brought out my leadership skills. I wasn’t really involved in first year and GWIL gave me a place that I felt welcome and wanted to stay involved. And it really helped me to find what I really believe in and it changed my whole perspective on how business works. I am proud to say that I am a feminist and I wouldn’t want to settle for a company that wouldn’t support gender equality in terms of benefits.


Do you have any up coming events?:

International Women’s day March 8! It’s a dinner event that we hold where businesswomen come to speak on a panel. They talk about their career journey and a defining moment in their career and/or thinking outside of the box to differentiate themselves within the business world. We also have reps from companies coming to discuss their business with potential job opportunities as well! It’s really a great networking event for women looking to get into the business world.  


What is one piece of advice you would give to other students looking to get involved?:

Emillie: Its not too late to get involved! Don’t be afraid to apply for a position no matter what year you’re in because most of the time there will be a spot for you and if you’re passionate about it, they will see that and want you to join!

Clara: Do what you love! I know it sounds cheesy and everyone says it, but find something you’re passionate about because you will end up working towards something really great. And don’t be afraid to try!


What are your career goals past UOG and how will GWIL help you achieve them?:

Emillie: I have worked a lot in marketing and agencies through internships and in really female dominated environments and I loved it. I would like to continue in the agency side and I want to continue working in a female dominated industry. GWIL has helped me to work with such strong women who have such strong ideas and viewpoints. As the co-president, I have been able to take everyone’s ideas and make it into something that can hopefully please everyone.

Clara: I have worked in the cooperate side of things through co-op placements and internships but in terms of career goals I don’t necessarily know what I want to do. But I do know that I want to work with people who support and empower each other. The thing with marketing is it has such a power of connecting people and it connects them on an emotional level. Even just making changes through gender equality through advertisements. I want to be able to participate in making a difference. GWIL allows me to communicate well with all different personalities and making sure that each person is heard and coming up with one solution to fit everyone. It has helped me a lot in who I am as a person.


Connect with the girls of GWIL here:


Photographer: Cami Brenchley