Maureen Kilgour’s quest for equality isn’t just a passion – it’s a lifelong adventure.
“I was born a feminist, so women’s equality, gender equality ha(ve) always been super important to me,” she says. This foundational belief has guided her path as a dedicated advocate.
Kilgour’s commitment to justice stems from her deep-seated values. “I have a social justice orientation, so it’s crucial to use my voice to create a better world,” she says.
Before becoming a full-time academic, Kilgour pursued a career that blended her love for justice and advocacy. She worked as a labour-relations negotiator, settling union contracts and supporting individuals facing workplace discrimination.
Her career took a momentous turn when she became a member of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group, a role she actively embraced from 2011 to 2018.
This initiative was dedicated to encouraging international and business communities to join the battle against gender inequality. Kilgour’s role as an academic brought an invaluable perspective to the board’s discussions and decisions, furthering the cause of equality and justice.
Kilgour’s creativity fuels her work as a professor. She views teaching as a dynamic and ever-evolving process.
“My classes are never the same, and I’m always looking for ways to be more creative, engage students, involve them in discussions about social justice issues,” she says. “I love the ability to hopefully make a difference and transform lives, even though it could be very small.”
Beyond the classroom, Kilgour thrives on her vivid imagination. “I love to use my imagination. I’m one of those people who are probably extroverted but still find happiness in the inner world of thoughts and creativity,” she says.
She loves to write, imagine film projects, come up with new ideas and try fancy cake decorations. Kilgour finds joy and creative wonder in harnessing the power of her imagination during her spare time.
Looking ahead, Kilgour envisions a future where her work has made a difference. “I think I will be celebrating things, whether it’s my children’s graduations or something I’ve produced, a book I’ve written. I think I’m ready for celebrating something,” she says.
What was your worst grade in university?
“It was a C in first-year French. I didn’t understand the system or know that I had to go to the language lab. In the first year, no one tells you anything, so I ended up not doing well there.”
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
“Get rid of hate! We just need to get rid of the hate.”
What was your favorite toy as a child?
“Lego, but just the pieces, because we didn’t have the kits. It was like a big bin full of Lego, and there (were) no sort of instructions to follow.”
What would you tell your younger self?
“Believe in yourself, and follow your own dream. Don’t listen to the critics. Follow your heart.”
Published in Volume 78, Number 06 of The Uniter (October 19, 2023)