About Equal Voice
Dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada
Equal Voice acknowledges that our offices are located on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. Their traditions and protocols continue to nurture this Territory. Equal Voice acknowledges the ongoing oppression of lands, cultures and the original Peoples in what we now know as Canada, and commits to the healing and decolonizing journey we all share together. in Canada’s colonial political institutions and that by encouraging Indigenous women and gender diverse people to seek political office we hope to contribute to the Indigenizing of those systems. We are committed to decolonization through the process of reconciliation and support realizing the nation-to-nation relationships.
We advocate for and support women and gender diverse candidates at all levels of government. From all political parties. From all parts of the country. Together, we are Equal Voice, a national, bilingual, member-based, multi-partisan organization that — since 2001 — has been advocating for the equal representation of women in Canada’s Parliament, in provincial and territorial legislatures, and on municipal and band councils.
Strategic Directions 2020 – 2024
Through this strategic plan, which charts our course to 2024, Equal Voice is committed to creating a pathway for women, in all of their diversity, to run for elected office. This means not only equipping women who are running with the tools and support they need to succeed, but also creating a political environment conducive to effectively recruiting and retaining women in politics. We will accomplish this together through continued advocacy at all levels of government, focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion, and accessibility throughout the organization, and building our organizational capacity so we can always deliver high quality programs and tools to our members and the public.
Board of Directors
Elected annually by Equal Voice members.
Physician, feminist and community leader Kim Kelly has advocated for wellness programs in schools, better treatment for citizens who suffer from addiction, and the need to incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into organizations’ strategic plans. After being inspired by the #metoo movement, she shared her story of harassment as a medical student and has advocated for gender equity in leadership, addressing the gender pay gap, and eliminating harassment and discrimination from work environments
Political activist, former school board and provincial candidate, social activist, wife, and new mother, Janny Gaspard Laguerre wears several hats. In addition to her work in the Quebec public service, she wants to be a reasonable voice for influence and change for women through entrepreneurial initiatives and leadership.
I am Ghanaian-Canadian and have lived, worked and served the Nanaimo community since immigrating here 16 years ago, being involved with Equal Voice for six years. A graduate of Vancouver Island University, where I gained separate degrees in Criminology, Global Studies, and Education, I am currently a K-12 substitute teacher.
Esmahan is a Principal at Champion Communications & PR. Her political experience spans all orders of government, including running for municipal council in 2017. She has worked as a political staffer for the Government of Alberta, and most recently as a public affairs consultant in British Columbia. For her outstanding work in politics, Esmahan was named one of the top 50 Arab women in North America by the Arab Women of Excellence Awards in 2019.
Francyne committed to empowering Indigenous people through her work and philanthropic efforts.
She works with the National Association of Friendship Centres.
Kelsey worked in the Premier’s office for just over a year in her early twenties. It was her first job in politics, but not the first time she had been involved.
She became Recreation Programmer for the Village of Teslin a unique position where she worked both for the municipal government and the first nations government, Teslin Tlingit Council.
She moved to Whitehorse to work for BGC Yukon. She now works at the Recreation and Parks Association of Yukon where she gets to help people start up and access recreation programs that lead to healthier and happier lifestyles.
She ran for council in Whitehorse learning about how to run a campaign, what it means and what it takes to run in an election.
Eleanor Fast, Executive Director
Maggie Patterson, Director of Programs
Brittney Senger, Development Officer
Esther Medina Diabagaté, Marketing and Communications Manager
Zita Taylor, Operations Manager
Zita’s role has grown from being outwardly focused to focusing on developing and managing the internal operations of Equal Voice.
This development has allowed Zita’s organizational, advocacy and relationship building strengths to support the Equal Voice team as they focus on EV’s mandate, to get as many women as possible elected to positions of leadership in public office.
Development and Outreach coordinator
Camille de Camprieu, Communications Officer
Camille de Camprieu joined Equal Voice in the summer of 2021 as Communications Assistant. She has since completed her B.A in International Relations from the University of Calgary.
As a student and member of her community, she has developed a unique skillset for social media content creation intended for political activism through various volunteer and executive positions.
Eager to make a lasting impact on a variety of social issues, Camille hopes to continue creating meaningful content intended to educating Canadians.
Maryam Rahimi Shahmirzadi, Researcher and policy Analyst
Maryam joined Equal Voice in March 2022. She has a BA in International Relations from the University of Toronto and a MA in History with a Development Studies Option from McGill University. Having previously done a lot of volunteer work for both the federal and provincial members of parliament and having attended the G7 Finance Minister’s Summit in 2018, she has always shown a keen interest in politics and international affairs. Maryam anxiously awaits and hopes for a day when more women than ever are represented in legislatures, both within Canada and abroad.
Program and Policy Advisor
Alessia joined the Equal Voice team in the Summer of 2022 as Program and Policy Advisor. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and Governance from Toronto Metropolitan University and a Master’s degree in Social Justice and Community Engagement from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has experience holding different non-partisan positions in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario where she worked directly with two Toronto-based MPPs, contributing to their successful re-elections. She has also worked with the City of Toronto for several years to help deliver cost-free recreational programs to families and children across disadvantaged areas in Toronto’s west end.