Dr. Melanee Thomas is one of the leading scholars of gender and Canadian politics and is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Dr. Thomas is interested in political participation, and women’s experience, careers, and treatment in politics in Canada.
Prior to our meeting, we read two of Dr. Thomas’ publications, including her articles "In Crisis or Decline? Selecting Women to Lead Provincial Parties in Government" and "Sacrificial lambs, women candidates, and district competitiveness in Canada". These readings gave us important context about some of the ways that gender can influence political behaviour and electoral trajectory.
We were happy to hear Dr. Thomas’ perspective on the role that internal party policies can play in ensuring that elected representatives reflect the diversity of Canada’s population. As a cohort of 9 women, it was enlightening to hear about some of the many obstacles that women still face in getting elected to public office. In addition, we had a serious discussion about violence against women in politics and the ways that social media can fuel this.
We’d like to thank Dr. Thomas for her time and her willingness to share insights into her past and current research!