I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University, and Director the Canadian Opinion Research Archive (CORA). I’m also a past Director of the Queen’s Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. My research focuses on elections; political behaviour; and women’s representation, with a particular interest in the institutions and structures that shape women’s access to political office and move up the political ladder. I am the author of Gendered News: Media Coverage and Electoral Politics in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013), which won the 2016 Pierre Savard Award from the International Council for Canadian Studies and was shortlisted for the Canadian Political Science Association’s 2014 Donald Smiley Prize. I am also a co-editor of Federalism and the Welfare State in a Multicultural World, as well as Canada at 150: Federalism and Democratic Renewal. I was the programme co-Chair for the 2018 annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, and I am a member of the McGill-Queen’s University Press Publications Review Committee. I have also been a director on several boards of women-serving organizations in Kingston, Ontario, including Kingston Interval House and the Ban Righ Foundation.
I am currently working on a book project about politicians’ career paths from first election to political exit that asks how women’s career trajectories differ from that of men, and whether these differences help account for the shortage of women leaders and executives in Canadian Politics. In other words, is the political career pipeline gendered, in what ways, and with what effect on the emergence of women at the top? The project is focused on both the federal and provincial levels, and looks at the concepts of glass and concrete ceilings, glass and concrete cliffs, leaky pipeline to leadership, and so on. I am in the data collection and analysis stage of this project.
I am engaged in several interesting projects at the moment. I have an ongoing SSHRC-funded research project on the measurement of sex and gender in survey research (with Amanda Bittner, Memorial University). We have collected some survey data and also focus group data, both designed to help us innovate better measurements of sex and gender in survey research. For a critique of past approaches to measurement, and of survey practices generally, see: “Sex isn’t Gender: Reforming Concepts and Measurements in the Study of Public Opinion”. (with Amanda Bittner, Memorial University).
For an analysis of the importance of taking gender salience into account in analyses of gender and public opinion, see: “Digging Deeper into the Gender Gap: Gender Salience as a Moderating Factor in Political Attitudes.” (with Amanda Bittner, Memorial University). Indeed, it is important to bear in mind that gender isn’t of uniform importance to sense of self across the entire population. For some people, other facets of identity are more constitutive of who they are and how they see themselves in the political world. This paper assessed the conditional effect of gender identity salience on political attitudes.
In addition to these ongoing projects, I also have a strong interest in gender and political behaviour, and am working on a couple of different papers on how gender attitudes structure opportunities and constraints for the emergence of women candidates (with Amanda Bittner, Jillian Terry, and Susan Piercey). This paper is also part of a general interest in political representation, particularly of marginalized groups, and I have several past publications looking specifically at different aspects of representational politics, from an article on race and gender in candidate selection (with Erin Tolley), an article on attitudes toward representational models (with Cameron Anderson), an edited collection on institutions that structure representation and policy making (with Kyle Hanniman), and an award-winning monograph on gendered news and its impact on electoral politics in Canada.