Operating Structure

Staff and Paid Positions

Our staff and paid positions support the day-to-day operation of the GEM space and services. This includes our Coordinator, work study positions, and the Gender Empowerment Centre Representative to the UVSS Board.


We couldn’t do what we do without our team of volunteers! Our volunteers are members of our collective who dedicate additional time to help coordinate events, projects, and support our service operations.


The GEM Collective includes UVSS members who self-identify as women, trans, gender-nonconforming, and gender-diverse. The collective meets regularly to give direction to staff and volunteers on key initiatives, and approve decisions necessary for the functioning of the GEM.

Consensus-Based Decision Making

The GEM uses as consensus-based system to make decisions. Consensus decision making is a creative and dynamic way of reaching agreement between all members of a group. Instead of simply voting for an item and having the majority of the group getting their way, a group using consensus is committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports, or at least can live with. This ensures that all opinions, ideas and concerns are taken into account. Through listening closely to each other, the group aims to come up with proposals that work for everyone.

By definition, in consensus no decision is made against the will of an individual or a minority. If significant concerns remain unresolved, a proposal can be blocked and prevented from going ahead. This means that the whole group has to work hard at finding solutions that address everyone’s concerns rather than ignoring or overruling minority opinions.

Making decisions in this way sometimes requires more discussion and can take more time, but it ensures that all folks involved are granted the opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns, and provide valuable input.

Governing Documents