By Nathan Fung
Gender representation in Alberta mayoral races this year stayed the same in most communities, or saw a slight increase, compared to 2017, a former mayor and political consultant said.
Lisa Holmes, former Morinville mayor and founding partner of Diplomat Consulting looked at the number of women running in mayoral and council races in 16 mid-sized Alberta cities. She shared some of her findings in a Twitter thread on Oct. 4.
Holmes looked at the numbers because she's always been passionate about getting more women to run for office. It was something she pursued while president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) from 2015 to 2017, and she's also involved with the Searching for Izena project, which looks at female representation in Edmonton municipal politics.
"Something that's really at the forefront of what I do is trying to get more leadership options for women," Holmes told Taproot. "And getting them on the ballot is just as important as getting them elected.
"So I thought it was important to just give us a bit of a report card to see where we were in 2021."
Holmes said the four larger cities in the Edmonton region — St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, and Leduc — have relatively good numbers for women running in mayoral races, while the percentages are a little lower for female candidates running for councillor positions.