Helping journalists, producers and conference planners find the female guests, speakers and expert sources they need.

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4 incentives to liberate you from reading your speaking notes

“I’m trying to sound smart.”  These words broke my heart when I heard them from a workshop participant last week.  The young woman who uttered them is so accomplished that she earned a coveted academic research grant usually awarded to PhD students even though she’d just completed a bachelor’s degree. She also speaks three languages.  […]

4 tips for moving past mere ranting to effective persuasion

Twitter and Facebook have a lot to answer for: rampant misinformation, spiralling conspiracy theories, plummeting productivity. (And that’s just in my family!) But I fear social media echo chambers are also undermining our persuasive capacity. It’s so easy to share the stuff we agree with, and condemn the stuff that’s so obviously WRONG, without going […]

Why is it so crucial that we hear from Indigenous women?

and Amy Ede. In the context of our collaboration to engage and support more Indigenous women in being heard through the media, the two recently sat down (virtually) to discuss related ideas. SHARI: I’m embarrassed to admit that when we started Informed Opinions  in 2010, I seriously under-estimated the obstacles to bridging the gender gap […]

When it is (and isn’t) useful to focus on your feelings

I cry easily, whoop at the end of dance performances and am passionate about my work. My partner would tell you it’s not possible to have a conversation with me that does not involve me sharing my feelings.  And I think the world would be a much better place if we raised men and boys […]

The value of candid criticism from reliable sources

“Find another profession.” That was the blunt assessment of one high school student who sat through a presentation I gave in Saskatoon 15 years ago. The youth-targeted media literacy book that had earned me the speaking invitation, In Your Face – The Culture of Beauty and You, was an award-winning Canadian best-seller. But my ability […]

Four Lessons from the Life and Advocacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

One of the wonderful things about truly inspiring people is that their influence outlasts them. The power of their actions and words can continue to change minds and motivate choices well beyond their time among us. It requires no prescience to predict that this will be true of the just-passed Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  Yes, the […]

Replace negative phrasing with positive imagery for more effective media interviews

Can you spot the strategic communications error in this Calgary park signage? (And do you know why it’s relevant for your next media interview?) I’m not talking about the graffiti’d objection to the ownership of wild bunnies and birds signalled by the possessive “our” — although I agree with the correction.  No, I’m referring to […]

10 Lessons from listening to Chrystia Freeland, a seriously “good talker”

The prospect of being interviewed on live radio or television makes many participants in our workshops nervous. But none of them have had to negotiate the kind of high-wire crossing in real time performed by our newly appointed Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland. And she has, time and again, demonstrated her qualifications as — in radio […]

Redefining success and failure in academia

This article was originally published by University Affairs I’ve failed more often than I’ve succeeded, but you wouldn’t know that from reading my CV. Last year, I failed to get a postdoctoral grant from the Social Science Humanities and Research Council. Two years in a row, I failed to get a postdoctoral fellowship from the […]

My first op ed… on the Miss Canada beauty pageant

Don’t stop me, even if you have heard this one before: It’s 1992. I’ve just joined the board of MediaWatch, Informed Opinions’ predecessor. A TV reporter calls to say the Miss Canada pageant has just been cancelled and he needs someone who is not a beauty contestant to come on TV to talk about it. […]