Gender equality requires a global effort  one that takes the force of everyone who wants to make a change. 

The University of Waterloo is proud to be one of the leading institutions in achieving gender equity. As a partner of the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10, Waterloo closely monitors and improves the framework that encourages gender equality and the empowerment of women across campus and beyond. To honour this commitment, every March, Waterloo runs the HeForShe writing contest ahead of International Women’s Day. Students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to share stories about their hope for social change. 

“These talented writers and poets inside this year’s anthology have already added so much to our community,” says Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor. “Their voices have broadened our perspectives and I congratulate each of the winners and all of our newly published writers on their wonderful pieces.”

This year’s theme was LEGACY. Authors were encouraged to consider how the idea of legacy brings us to the present and how our choices today will impact generations to come.

“The diverse stories and experiences within this year’s Anthology highlight how far we have come, but also remind us of the work required to ensure an equitable future for all,” says Diana Parry, associate vice-president Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion. “This writing contest is a catalyst to begin and continue important conversations and action around gender equity, and I am deeply thankful for all who have contributed to this and past editions. Our campus is indebted to you for sharing your experiences.”

Judges from the University of Waterloo selected four winners, each of whom were awarded with a $500 prize. Winners are recognized at Waterloo’s International Women’s Day Dinner held annually at Federation Hall. This year’s event will take place on Friday, March 6.

Category winners include: 



Additional submissions have been published and can be found in the printed anthology outside the W Store and the Writing and Communication Centre. To read the anthology online, please visit the HeforShe homepage

About the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative 

HeForShe is a global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their potential, and together positively reshaping society. The United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women created the initiative and hosted an official launch in September 2014 with UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson. 

As part of this initiative, the framework involves 10 heads of state, 10 CEOs and 10 university presidents to advance gender equity. Waterloo is currently the only Canadian organization involved in the IMPACT 10x10x10 framework.