This week’s episode comes to you live from the Broadbent Institute’s Progress Summit in Edmonton, where leaders from across the country gathered to discuss the future of Alberta politics. The Broadcast hosted a panel with four amazing female politicians about the barriers they’ve faced in their careers. Listen to hear their stories, their insights, and their advice to women wanting to enter politics.
Estefania Cortes-Varga is an NDP MLA for Strathcona-Sherwood Park. She’s the youngest government whip in Alberta, and the first openly female LGTBQ+ MLA elected in Alberta. She talks about her connection to her Spanish roots, and her experiences being gender-queer in the Alberta Legislature.
Liz John-West is a social justice activist and community organizer. She’s run conferences on domestic violence, and is a strong advocate for ending homelessness in Edmonton. She ran in the most recent municipal election for Ward 7. Listen to her talk about her experiences while door-knocking, and how she sees every opportunity as one for collaboration.
Janis Irwin works in the Premier’s office in Alberta as the Director of Stakeholder Relations. She is a vocal advocate for LGTBQ+ issues in the province, as well as having more women involved in politics. In 2015 she ran federally for the NDP. She talks about how women are perceived in politics, and how necessary it is to break down that barrier to access.
Katherine Swampy serves as a band councillor with the Samson Cree Nation. In 2015 she ran federally for the NDP, and prior to that, she ran provincially. She talks about her experiences as an Indigenous woman in politics, and how she turns to her faith in hard times.
We hope their stories inspire you as much as they did us.
*Disclaimer* We’d like to apologize for some of the rough sounding audio in this episode! Recording these panels can be difficult work, and we’d like to thank our intern, Danielle, for editing this as well as she did.