University of Calgary

The top 7 reasons smart women should speak up

UToday HomeDecember 12, 2012

Early in 2013, Shari Graydon, award-winning author and activist will be on campus for a workshop and public lecture.

Graydon founded Informed Opinions to challenge this gender gap in media commentary. According to Statistics Canada, women constitute 61 per cent of university graduates, yet according to Graydon, they account for less than 20 per cent of the commentaries appearing in Canada's largest daily newspapers and on public affairs talk shows. Graydon has conducted workshops at many Canadian universities to teach women how to highlight their research expertise through media relations and the writing of opinion editorials.

Adrienne Kertzer, advisor to the president on women's issues, regards Graydon's work as supportive of and necessary to the University of Calgary's Academic and Research Plans.

"If women are reluctant ― for whatever reason ― to participate in public discourse, then the university's ability to highlight its research expertise is diminished," says Kertzer.

With the support of the Office of President, and the assistance of the Vice President (Research) and the Dean of Graduate Studies, Kertzer invited Graydon to bring her expertise to the University of Calgary.

On January 7, Graydon will conduct a day-long workshop for 20 women faculty members and graduate students who were nominated by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The workshop is now full, but those interested in putting their names on a waitlist should contact Kertzer at

On January 7 at 5 p.m., Graydon will give a public lecture: The Top 7 Reasons Smart Women Should Speak Up. The lecture will explore the causes and consequences of the current gender gap, propose that the absence of women diminishes women's ability to influence Canada's policies and priorities, and make the broader case why all scholars should consider sharing their expertise beyond academic publications.

Admission to the public lecture is free. However, space is limited, so online registration is required.