The Podcast

No Second Chances

This podcast series follows the political journeys of Canada’s 12 female first ministers. Starting in childhood and finishing with retirement, we’ll explore their most challenging and rewarding career moments and how gender played an important role in both the highs and the lows. Our findings reveal more than just personal anecdote, they provide a glimpse into larger societal trends about how women are treated in Canadian politics.

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Episode 1“The Problem”

In this episode, host Kate Graham looks at the experiences of women in politics – then and now. To set the scene, she speaks with: veteran journalists Robert Fife and Susan Delacourt, former federal Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose, current Green Party leader Elizabeth May, and University of Toronto Professor Dr. Sylvia Bashevkin.

Episode 2Raising Leaders

We start where all good stories do: the beginning. In this episode, host Kate Graham speaks with Canada’s 12 female first ministers about their childhoods, whether politics was a lifelong dream, and who shaped them along the way.

Episode 3Making A Run for It

A journey of a thousand miles (well, kilometers in Canada) begins with a single step. That’s true for the 12 women who would become Canada’s sole female first ministers. Find out what led them to take that first big step and run for public office.

Episode 4And So It Begins

Election night came and went, and the twelve women have all been elected for the first time. Find out more about the experiences they faced as rookie politicians: what hurdles did they confront, who supported them, and what surprised them about those early days?

Episode 5Last Woman Standing: an Alberta Election Special

In this episode, we take a break from our series on Canada’s female first ministers for a special discussion focused on the 2019 Alberta general election. Premier Rachel Notley is quite literally the last woman standing when it comes to Canada’s female First Ministers, and the election outcome will be historic, one way or another.


Episode 6Stepping Into The Ring

Running in a leadership race isn’t for the faint of heart. There are upsides, like working to make a difference in the lives of constituents, and there are downsides, like opening yourself up to fierce criticism. What compelled these twelve women to take the leap? What was the experience like?

Episode 7The Peak

Only twelve women have ever led Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments. For almost all, it was the first time a woman took the post. What did they bring to the table, how did their styles differ from the men that came before them, and what was the reaction?

Episode 8Things Fall Apart

Female first ministers in Canada tend to last about half as long as men. They reach the top only to fall back down, often because they enter into their roles when chances of failure are highest. In this episode, we explore what happened when things took a turn for the worse.