Greg's thoughts on International Women's Day
Posted on March 09, 2015 by Greg Clark
When I sat down to write my thoughts on International Women's Day I planned to talk about the fantastic women we have running for the Alberta Party in the upcoming election, and I was also going to talk about our good gender balance on our board of directors and mention that both our party President and Vice President are women. I am fiercely proud of the great contribution women make to the Alberta Party and to our province, and we certainly have a strong team in the Alberta Party.
But we are not doing enough to attract women into politics. I'm not just talking about the Alberta Party, I believe every party needs to do a better job and we also need to ask the difficult questions about why fewer women choose to go into politics.
There is a misconception that women don’t seek elected office because of family commitments. According to recent research from the Brookings Institution, that's simply not true. Family responsibilities are no more a consideration for women than they are for men.
So why do more women not go into politics? No one asks them. The people who recruit political candidates tend to do so from their own networks and those people tend to be men.
So it is up to all of us, in all parties, to consciously choose to seek out women to stand for elected office. I will offer credit where it's due; Jim Prentice has recognized the shocking lack of women in senior leadership roles in Alberta's public service and committed to do something about it. It's a good start, but we need to do more.
If you know a woman who is a leader in her community, or you are a woman who is a leader in her community, get in touch with me. We need as many women as possible to stand as Alberta Party candidates and to contribute in key roles on our campaigns. And in our campaign we will be talking about policies that address gender equity.
I want my daughters to grow up in a world where their abilities are the only criteria anyone considers in their professional and personal lives. I want them to be safe and I want their relationships to be rooted in respect.
We will take a big step towards this if our government reflects the diversity of our society. I will do my part to make the Alberta Party a welcoming place for women and everyone else. I hope other party leaders do the same.
Happy International Women's Day.