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It’s not radical to expect political parties to field as many women candidates as men

(Originally published in The Hill Times 15 February 2021) When Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet in January, he retained the gender balance that earned him headlines back in 2015. No one commented, because six years on, it’s become the default for the federal Liberals. That’s good news for the roughly 50 percent of the population […]

Reframing Imposter Syndrome

and Sweta Rajan SHARI: Sweta, when we spoke for the first time recently about how we might collaborate, you vented a bit about the whole notion of “imposter syndrome”. This is something that comes up in our workshops all the time — the extent to which many educated, experienced and competent women feel like they’re […]

Should journalists quote women as often as men?

Do you think journalists should be compelled to quote women as often as they quote men? The proposition sounded a bit radical, even to me, back in 2014 when Edelman CEO Lisa Kimmel invited me to defend it in a public debate.  Seven years on, it’s no longer a radical idea. Journalists and newsrooms across […]

6 tips for editing your own work — and why you should solicit feedback from others

Be honest: if you sent me a piece of your writing, and I sent it back marked up like the page at the right, would you feel insulted? I know it’s sobering to see words you’ve carefully committed to paper marked up in red ink by a critic who deems your prose something short of […]

So you have reservations about declaring yourself an expert…

I often joke that I became president of MediaWatch (Informed Opinions’ predecessor) by going to the bathroom at the wrong time, and returning to discover I’d been elected president.  The line reliably nets me a laugh and a lot of “been there” nods from audiences of women (because a lot of us have been volunteered […]

How to reduce your dependency on speaking notes

A woman once told me about having attended her thesis supervisor’s presentation at an academic conference. It took him almost 20 minutes to read his research paper aloud. When he looked up at the end, she was the only one remaining.  Everyone else had bailed from sheer boredom — and he hadn’t even noticed. (She […]

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 […]

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