Using big data analytics for social good and broader perspectives

Gender Gap Tracker makes big data public to motivate media to achieve gender parity among experts

Using big data analytics for social good and broader perspectivesAn Iranian big data engineer, a Spanish computational linguist and a Canadian social activist walk into a research lab. They don’t miss the drinks they could order if they’d gone to the bar, because they’re on a mission to change the world. We hear a lot about how artificial intelligence is taking away jobs and…

Quoting more female sources can help engage audiences

New online tool gives fitness tracker-style incentive for media to achieve gender parity in their sources

Quoting more female sources can help engage audiencesCould the incentivizing power of a fitness tracker be adapted to help achieve gender equality in the media, enhancing Canadian democracy in the process? After a year of collaboration with a team of big data scientists, we’re about to find out.  Despite the increasing attention paid to the importance of women’s voices, in news media…

A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishable

Gillette has stepped boldly into the socio-political minefields of #MeToo, bullying, spousal abuse and male self-absorption

A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishableIt’s tempting to take the recent’s ‘controversy’ over the Gillette shaving company’s new advertising campaign at something less than face value. For starters, controversy itself is no longer the conversational cutting edge it once was. In this era of fake-versus-false news, universal short attention spans and ludicrous overstatement as the entry price for even being…

Legislation to ensure pay equity for work of equal value falls flat

Only a free market will balance out pay inequities. If a company fails to compensate fairly, employees will simply move on

Legislation to ensure pay equity for work of equal value falls flatFrom conception to implementation, pay equity is a sham. It’s obscured in double speak, packaged in seemingly laudable goals and promises great results. However, it can’t deliver them because it’s based on false premises. Any good that comes of it is far outweighed by the harm. That’s why Canadians should be wary of any legislation…

Helping women find their path to success

Stephania Varalli talks about her own journey and how Women of Influence works to help others find their path to success

Helping women find their path to successStephania Varalli is co-CEO and head at media of Women of Influence. What’s Women of Influence and what does it do? Varalli: Our organization aims to help achieve workplace gender equality by inspiring and empowering individuals. We know that the system is biased against women, and it will take time and multiple, parallel efforts to…

Emotions and politics: the lessons of the Kavanaugh hearings

How are emotions mobilized in politics, for whom and by whom? And what normalizes the expression of these emotions?

Emotions and politics: the lessons of the Kavanaugh hearingsThe fallout from the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, riveted people on both sides of the border and provides ample evidence that feelings can become weaponized in politics to uphold white male privilege. In his blistering, scripted opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh performed the role of…

Left-wing social justice warriors rewriting history

It is important that we understand history as it was, and not how some of us wish it would be

Left-wing social justice warriors rewriting historyThe philosopher George Santayana famously wrote in The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  This statement makes sense, especially in light of our society’s recent trials of history – and the accuracy of history being placed on trial. The first example involves Scott…

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing career

B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is a watchdog that barks public interest but whose bite is about self-interest

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing careerThe Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) was created to provide independent civilian oversight over municipal police forces in British Columbia. But a string of recent cases shows the OPCC is more about overreach than oversight. I know. I was one of the cases. This summer, after 40 years of unblemished service with the…

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?

Special interest groups demanding a say in casting choices flies in the face of diversity and freedom of expression

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?Visiting the Globe Theatre in London, England, is an unforgettable experience. When viewing the modest grounds and realizing that the ‘groundlings’ – the people in the cheap seats – were sometimes privileged to see original Shakespeare plays, it brings home the long and important history of the performing arts. On our tour of the theatre,…

The right of women to choose their own futures

Saudi Arabia’s anti-women laws require a swift dose of economic freedom, and they’re not alone

The right of women to choose their own futuresThe Canada-Saudi Arabia diplomatic dispute appears to have calmed – for now – but the issue at the heart of the dispute remains. The dispute peaked in August after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her support for women’s rights activist Samar Badawi. That prompted Saudi Arabia to pull its students from Canadian colleges and universities…

Serena Williams: The epitome of poor sportsmanship

There isn’t any sport – played by men or women – in which Williams’ behaviour at the U.S. Open would or should be tolerated

Serena Williams: The epitome of poor sportsmanshipSerena Williams wanted an apology from Carlos Ramos. It should’ve been the other way around. Ramos was the chair umpire in the U.S. Open women’s tennis final last Saturday. The match pitted Williams against a young upstart from Japan named Naomi Osaka. Ramos is widely recognized as one of pro tennis’s best umpires, one of…

The double standard behind #MeToo allegations

Patrick Brown lost his job. Justin Trudeau appears to have emerged unscathed. It's all a question of political support

The double standard behind #MeToo allegationsAs a result of the #MeToo movement, past sexual transgressions are haunting high-profile men. How many is anyone’s guess but the list is probably long. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the latest casualty. I’m quite sure Trudeau will survive the allegation, but perhaps it’s worthwhile to ask why some politicians who are confronted with allegations…

Has feminism rejected fairness, truth and justice?

The feminist war against men isn't only against bad men. It’s a war is against all men

Has feminism rejected fairness, truth and justice?It’s become a regular experience in Canada and the United States for a man to be accused of sexual misconduct and for an almost immediate pile-on of haters adding every accusation the mind can imagine. Contemporary feminists have done a brilliant job in their war against men. Unsubstantiated accusations are treated as proven guilt. Due…

Empowering, advancing female leaders in the energy industry

Katie Smith of Young Women in Energy aims to increase and provide female voice, presence, development and leadership in the industry

Empowering, advancing female leaders in the energy industryKatie Smith is executive director at Young Women in Energy. Calgary’s Business: What is Young Women in Energy and can you give us some background on why and when it was formed? Smith: Young Women in Energy (YWE) is a non-profit organization established in 2013 with the vision of changing the face of energy. Now…

The death of forgiveness in an age of self-righteousness

Modern society doesn’t forgive. There’s no sense that a person’s life is always a mixture of light and darkness

The death of forgiveness in an age of self-righteousnessIn 1961, British War Minister John Profumo, a married man, had a brief, tawdry affair with teenage party girl Christine Keeler. Among Keeler’s other lovers was Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet military attaché and intelligence agent. When this potential threat to national security was raised in the House of Commons, Profumo did a foolish thing: he…
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