April 5, 2021 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

By Kellie McCarney, Communications Intern

As part of the Women in Civic Leadership course at King’s, Zoe Masseo, a third-year student in Social Justice & Peace Studies, partnered with the Pillar Nonprofit Network in London. Her assignment was to create a blog post regarding how women who are parents and working in the non-profit sector are affected by COVID-19, specifically regarding government and workplace policies.

This year, the Women in Civic Leadership course at King’s is focused on female community leaders in London and how they have responded to the pandemic. This teaches students about how gender is intrinsic to crises and crisis response, as well as how gender-balanced and intersectional approaches can guide future decisions about policy and response.

“I decided with my mentor, Michelle Baldwin, to focus on this topic because it is an issue that I had read about and was really interested in,” says Masseo. The project was also inspired by a previous guest post on the Pillar website by Louise Pitre and AnnaLise Trudell.

“Being a young woman during COVID-19, I have recognized how privileged I am to be a student who qualified for CERB, and that I didn't have to worry about taking care of children or a family in such a difficult time,” reflects Masseo. “There are so many intersections of how the pandemic has affected people, and I wanted to bring light to the policies that work well for women with children during the pandemic, as well as policies that do not necessarily work the greatest.”

Pillar is a nonprofit network that supports nonprofits, social enterprises and social innovators by sharing resources, exchanging knowledge and creating meaningful connections. Their goal is to build an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community. Masseo says that her placement with the organization has been an incredible learning experience.

“When first starting the placement, I was quite nervous as I had never brought what I had learned in classes to a real-life work experience,” says Masseo about her time working with Pillar. “Being able to connect what I learn in class to a placement where I can make a change in the community has been an eye-opening and helpful experience.”

Masseo is currently completing her Honors Specialization in Social Justice and Peace Studies at King’s and believes that this school year has been one of personal and professional growth. She is extremely grateful to the King's community for fostering a welcoming learning environment.

“I am very privileged and lucky to be in this course as it has given me an opportunity to make connections with a local non-profit organization and gain experience in a field in which I enjoy. Michelle Baldwin is a remarkable woman and has taught me so much. I am incredibly grateful to be involved in this course as it pushed me outside of my comfort zone and enriched my learning experience at King's,” she says.

Read her full blog post for Pillar Nonprofit Network at https://pillarnonprofit.ca/news/student-guest-post-workplace-and-government-policies-needed-help-women-cope-during-covid-19