Here’s what you missed…

by Shari Graydon

Engaged attendees

Business people, bureaucrats and board members, researchers, equality advocates and journalists — that’s who showed up on February 4th at Ottawa’s Rideau Club for the launch of the Gender Gap Tracker.

Left to right: Shari Graydon, The Honourable Maryam Monsef and Joy Johnson

 They came to celebrate the application of big data analytics to achieving gender equality in public discourse. And they stayed to watch an Informed Conversation between Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef, and Joy Johnson, Vice President, Research at Simon Fraser University. The two leaders’ thoughtful exchange — which you can watch in its entirety here — included equality strategies and candid confessions about professional failures, and how they view those now.

You can read more about the Gender Gap Tracker (what it is, and why it’s necessary) here and here. But the short story is, for four months before launch, from October 1st to February 4th, women’s voices never edged above 26% of all those quoted or interviewed. Since then, we’ve seen brief spikes of 29 or 31%. Visit the site yourself, see how well the news media you rely on are doing, and then click on the media logos to let them know if you’re satisfied or disappointed.

In the meantime, here’s what a few of our board members in attendance had to say about the launch itself the following day:

Editor in Chief of the Conversation Canada, Scott White, offered a veteran journalist’s perspective on the stats

The event was superbly executed, had a strong turnout of folks committed to gender action in different domains, and featured a stellar and authentic conversation between Minister Monsef and SFU’s Joy Johnson…. It’s great to see the buzz on Twitter and the ease with which the tracker works. –Nobina Robinson

I’ve been blissed out since I got home last night.  The Gender Gap Tracker is helping us move the conversation in this country in a much-needed, positive direction! – Amanda Parriag

The event was terrific, the room was great, and you succeeded in elevating the work of Informed Opinions. It was an inspiring event. – Evelyne Guindon

The event was spectacular, it’s wonderful to see media and government engagement, and the spoken-word poetry summary at the end was brilliant! – Scott White

It took a diverse team of seriously brainy people to build the GGT

The event also gave us the opportunity to publicly recognize:

  • Kelly Nolan of Talent Strategy, who first proposed the idea of a big data analytics tool
  • John Simpson, University of Alberta physicist and digital humanities expert
  • Maite Taboada, Computational Linguistics professor at Simon Fraser University
  • Fatemah Torabi Asr, Software Engineer, Computational Linguist, Simon Fraser University
  • Mohammad Mazraeh, Big Data Engineer, Simon Fraser University
  • Alex Lopes, Big Data Analyst, Simon Fraser University
  • Simon Fraser University itself, for investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing the research
  • Roslyn Bern of Leacross Foundation, our most appreciated champion and supporter
  • Our valued corporate sponsors, who share our gender equality commitment:

Kelly Nolan, Joy Johnson and Maite Taboada all earned their front row seats

Informed Opinions core team and valued patron: from left: Zeba Tasci, Roslyn Bern, Shari Graydon, Samantha Luchuk

Some of Informed Opinions’ board members, from left to right: Jennifer Laidlaw, Nobina Robinson, Shari Graydon, Amanda Parriag and Evelyne Guindon

Sign up to receive workshop notifications, occasional blog posts and our quarterly newsletter

JOURNALISTS: Sign up to receive alerts for sources for breaking news stories