Working as Womxn in Canadian Public Policy
Despite progress in gender equality over the past several decades, womxn in public policy spaces continue to face obstacles and discrimination in their work and are consistently under-represented in leadership positions.
The McGill Alumni Public Policy Society (MAPPS), with support from the Womxn in Policy (WiP) network, invites alumnae and students to a panel discussion and networking reception featuring womxn policy practitioners.
In honour of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, the panel will shed light on the experiences of womxn working in politics, policy and civil society and the challenge of reaching gender parity in decision-making spheres.
The WiP network is a close-knit community of McGill alumnae who work or intend to work in policy. The network's mission is to foster a supportive community and create opportunities for womxn in the policy field.
About the Panelists:
Hon. Eleni Bakopanos, BA'76 (former Member of Parliament): is the first
Greek-born woman to be elected and served as the MP for Saint-Denis (Papineau) and Ahuntsic. Eleni has served in executive and advisory roles both at the provincial and federal levels of government, as well as executive positions of many non-governmental women's organizations. She believes that women continue to face serious obstacles in political participation. Eleni is an alumnae of McGill, where she studied Political Science and History, as well as law.
Ms. Nirushaa Senthilnathan, BA'15, MPP'20 (policy specialist): has worked at the intersection of housing, human rights, and policy at the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation since 2020, including establishing Canada's first ever National Housing Council. Previously, she worked on international human rights and advocacy campaigns worldwide under the Hon. Irwin Cotler (former Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General). In 2016, she was recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and she holds a Master of Public Policy from McGill.
Dr. Olivia Smith (policy consultant & researcher): is currently a McConnell Visiting Scholar for the McGill's Max Bell School of Public Policy. She is a consultant on labour migration and human trafficking. Currently, she serves as Executive Director of the Caribbean Anti-Human Trafficking Foundation. She is also a Gender Rights Specialized Team member of Amnesty International in Canada.
About the Moderator:
Ankitha Cheerakathil, MA(GA)'00 (policy analyst): is currently studying at McGill's Max Bell School of Public Policy. As a policy analyst, she led the Czech thinktank Institute H21's initiatives on deliberative policy formulation in India and was also a Research Consultant at the Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania, with expertise on municipal administration. She is an alumna of the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po and St. Stephen's College, Delhi University.