Women in Politics: A Classroom Visit from Mayor Diane Therrien and Councillor Kim Zippel

Ms. Brown’s Gender Studies class was delighted to welcome the Mayor of Peterborough, Diane Therrien and Otonabee Ward 1 Councillor, Kim Zippel into their class to talk about their experiences as women involved in municipal politics.

Mayor Therrien and Councillor Zippel talked about the challenges they face as women in political office, what they have learned through their service to their communities, and the hopes that they have for women leaders of the future. 

During their visit, our students eagerly engaged in the conversation, asking their guests a range of questions, varying from how they entered politics to their recommendations for those considering a career in politics. 

Mayor Therrien said, “Politics is everything. Everything is political.” And when offering advice for students considering entering the political realm, she and Councillor Zippel reminded the class that running for office isn’t the only way to be involved. There are numerous ways young people can take action, including canvassing, helping write policies, putting up signs for candidates they believe in, and more. Mayor Therrien encouraged our students to consider their passions, their skills, and their goals to determine how they can make a difference in their community and beyond. 

One way our students determined they could advocate for change was by writing emails to our local councillors, which they told Mayor Therrien was an important step for them to take following their discussion.

Thank you, Mayor Therrien and Councillor Zippel for creating space and time for such an honest and open conversation with our students.
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