It's pretty simple: We need more women on Calgary City Council.

Ask Her is committed to increasing the number of women running for Calgary City Council in the 2017 election by asking 20 women to run. Ask Her is committed to supporting female candidates and volunteers with funding and capacity building.

Quick Statistics

Number of female City of Calgary councillors

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Percentage of female City of Calgary councillors

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Number of women we are asking to run in 2017

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Percentage of council seats we want for women

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Watch the Ask Her video.

Ask Her Team Members

Sarah Elder-Chamanara

Sarah Elder-Chamanara

Vice President

Sarah is the founder of Tall Poppies PR and creator of the lifestyle blog She Stole My Style. Her most recent project was the launch of the popular website Calgary Election Candidates which made it really easy for Calgarians to find out who was running for Calgary City Council across the city. Sarah plans on relaunching the site for next years provincial and federal elections. Sarah worked as a political aide in the British Columbia Legislature for nearly six years where she honed her political instincts.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice Studies from Royal Roads University. Sarah is committed to seeing great people get elected. Originally from British Columbia, she now calls Calgary home with her mining engineer husband, Ali, son, William and dog, Lola.

Sandy Gill Ask Her Board Member

Sandy Gill

Board Member

Sandy is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, a corporate lawyer by profession. Sandy believes in the value of strong communities and is an active volunteer in her neighbourhood. Sandy also serves on the Boards of the Alberta Women Lawyers Association and the In-house Counsel Network. Sandy is originally from British Columbia, although Calgary is now home. Sandy is a mother of two young daughters and they frequently discuss local and international politics at a toddler level.  Sandy will attend any book club that she is invited to.

Gillian Hynes Ask Her Board Member

Gillian Hynes


Gillian is an experienced Human Resources Manager and Talent Strategy expert, within multi-national organizations. An avid student, Gillian holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary and a Master's in Business Administration from Queens. These places introduced her to amazing and diverse people, broad ideas, global concepts and was where she developed a passion to empower women in achieving their goals. Gillian is a self-appointed foodie, avid world traveller and a wannabe adventurer. She lives in Calgary with her firefighter husband, Eric, and her son, Maurice.

Ask Her

Marcie Hawranik

Board Member

Marcie is the Director of Community Capacity and Outreach for Alberta Status of Women. Her background includes political campaigns in Manitoba, Alberta and New York; community and stakeholder relations; government relations; international human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council; and, a specialized expertise in gender and diversity issues. Marcie has a Political Studies degree and a Master's in international relations focused on negotiation/conflict resolution from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

Shifrah Gadamsetti Ask Her Board

Shifrah Gadamsetti

Board Secretary

Shifrah is a registered nurse who engages in both acute and community oriented care. She is currently completing an additional Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies at Mount Royal University. Most recently, Shifrah completed a two-year tenure as President of the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University, and was elected Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations for 2017/2018. Additionally, she currently sits on the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Executive Advisory Committee for Post-Secondary Education. These diverse experiences have led her to develop expertise in varying sectors, including intersectional issues of identity, post-secondary education, gender-based barriers and violence against women, public health policy, and democratic engagement

Karen Sorensen Ask Her Board

Karen Sorensen

Board Member

Karen Sorensen has served on Banff Town Council since October 2004. She was acclaimed in her first term as Mayor in October 2010 and was re-elected in October 2013 and again in October 2017. Karen was born and raised in Orangeville, Ont. and graduated from the University of Guelph. She worked for over 30 years in the tourism industry in public relations and sales. She also owned her own company, Catalyst Enterprises Consulting, providing customer service and sales training within the hospitality industry. Karen believes she can add value to the Ask Her Board based on her current experience and her extensive board work. She has served as a school board trustee for Canadian Rockies Public Schools, and on the Banff Lake Louise Tourism Board, Bow Valley Regional Transit, Bow Valley Regional Housing, Municipal Planning Commission and the Development Appeal Boards. Karen is very proud to call Banff home. She and Carsten have been married for 30 years and have raised their two sons, Eric and Connor, in Banff. Their older son, Bjerre, is married and lives in California with his wife and three children.

Najwan Al-Guneid

Nagwan Al-Guneid


Pronounced Najwan, Nagwan is a professional with a Master’s of Science in Sustainable Energy Development and more than ten years of Canadian and international experience in stakeholder relations, strategic communications and community investment within multinational organizations. Her research focuses on addressing climate change through collaboration between the public and private Sectors. Najwan has volunteered in different places including the Calgary Catholic Immigration Centre, where she worked with refugees and victims of war and torture. She is currently a public member on the City of Calgary BiodiverCity Advisory Committee, which provides Calgary council with strategic advice on matters affecting urban biodiversity in the City of Calgary.

Erin Waite Ask Her Board

Erin Waite

Board Member

Erin’s first career was in corporate communications, working with CEOs and CFOs, and seeing inside many of Calgary’s best companies. A career change came from a desire to add purpose and learning through Social Venture Partners Calgary. Erin took her management and communications skills to Connections Counselling and Consulting Foundation, tripling the number of families supported by the non profit. The role includes advocacy and policy work within the disability sector. Erin is on the Board of Decidedly Jazz and volunteers with the Calgary International Film Festival.

Helen Cashman Ask Her Board

Helen Cashman

Girls 20 Board Member

Helen is a Business Analyst at McKinsey and Company who learned the importance of broadening political representation serving as Head Page at the Alberta Legislature and working as the Executive Director of SUNIA, an international affairs summer camp for high school students. She currently leads a national project to support young adult members of Girl Guides of Canada stay involved with the organization. Helen graduated from the Alberta School of Business in Operations Management and earned certificates in Leadership and Sustainability. She is an outdoor enthusiast and loves getting out to the mountains to go camping, hiking, and kayaking. Helen is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board of AskHer through an initiative of the G(irls)20 program.