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Women in Local Government

The City of Edmonton, AB



The City of Edmonton's council and its administration have made it a priority to increase women's participation in municipal decision making. Councillor Bev Esslinger and Mayor Don Iveson are champions for women across diverse communities through the Women's Initiative, the Multicultural Relations Initiative and the Aboriginal Relations Office.

Edmonton is Canada's fifth largest municipality. Its population of 877,000 has increased in diversity over the last few decades with 72 per cent of European descent, 5.3 per cent Aboriginal peoples, and 23 per cent visible minorities.

Councillor Esslinger notes: "In 2014, women made up half of Edmonton's population. But that's not the case when it comes to the city's community leaders. There simply aren't enough women, especially from Aboriginal and racialized backgrounds, sitting at Edmonton's public decision-making tables. Changing that simply makes sense because it means all Edmontonians will get better value from and more opportunities to participate in city services and civic life. Ensuring the participation of women from diverse backgrounds will also make Edmonton a more socially inclusive city, where newcomers and other citizens are able to be involved in all aspects of the economic, social, political, and cultural dimensions of civic life."

Municipal Profile

Type: Urban Population: 812,201
  • Indigenous Peoples: 6.2%
  • Racialized/visible minority: 29%
  • Neither Indigenous nor racialized/ visible minority: 65%
  • Recent immigrants: 5.6%
City Council City Administration
  • Female city councillors:
    1 out of 12
  • Racialized councillors:
    1 out of 12
  • Indigenous councillors: 0
  • Female Senior Managers: 68 out of 191
  • Female Middle Managers: 156 out of 419
  • Racialized Managers: Statistics not available
  • Indigenous Managers: Statistics not available

Community Partner

Women's Advocacy Voice of Edmonton Committee (WAVE) was created in December 2013 and is made up of 15 members from all walks of life. The committee is supported by Councillor Bev Esslinger and Mayor Don Iveson. WAVE is committed to advocating for gender based related issue resolutions in relation to the City of Edmonton's policies, priorities and decisions; promoting leadership development to engage women in civic life; and research and provide information about women's gender based issues to Edmontonians.

Page Updated: 16/08/2016