Shari’s Bio

Hands in action at the recent AGM of the Business and Professional Women's Club. Members present generously bought every book I had with me.

As a child, Shari Graydon wasn’t permitted to watch TV on weeknights. Nor did her parents ever buy her brand name clothing. Despite these debilitating setbacks, she made the cheerleading squad, was elected to student council and had friends.

Shari first honed her communications skills flogging stories about fast food chains and drug companies to the news media while employed by what was then the world’s largest PR agency. All she can say now is she’s sorry, and she’s been putting the insights she gained to much better use ever since.

She’s parlayed her enhanced persuasive powers into column-writing, commentary performing and flak-deflecting jobs for a daily newspaper, national broadcaster and BC premier. In between times, she has taught public speaking to business executives (and recalcitrant college students), strategic communications to non-profits (and recalcitrant college students), and media literacy to teachers, librarians, parents and enthusiastic students of all ages.

Throughout the 1990s, Shari served as the President of MediaWatch — now renamed Media Action — a national non-profit women’s organization advocating for improvements to the portrayal and representation of women in the media. She delivered hundreds of guest lectures, sharpening her sense of humour and challenging stereotypes. Since then, she has written two best-selling, award-winning books for youth about media (Made You Look – How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know and In Your Face – The Culture of Beauty and You) and applied her writing and editing talents to speeches and op eds for a range of health, education and human rights organizations and clients.

In 2007, Shari was thrilled to receive a Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for her advocacy work on behalf of women. She sees Informed Opinions, the project she currently leads to bridge the gender gap in public discourse, and her latest book project, I Feel Great About My Hands, as extensions of that work.

Married to author and historian, David Mitchell, the President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum, she currently lives in Ottawa.