Shannon Potter

PhD Student

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Canadian Labour Movement
  • Gender Earnings Gap


Shannon is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. After earning her MA in Economics at UBC’s Vancouver School of Economics, she gained hands-on experience in the labour movement both as an active rank-and-file member and in various leadership roles. This spurred her research interests in the internal structure of the Canadian labour movement, especially in the areas of internal democracy and the role of cross-union coalition building. Her dissertation research focuses on the role of inter-union competition and on the cross-union dynamics of strike activity. In a separate research agenda, Shannon is also interested in the tension women face between pursuing a career and having a family, which she explores via studies on the gender earnings gap and the drop in earnings women experience after the birth of a child (i.e. the “motherhood penalty”).


As an instructor at Western University, Shannon taught Labour Economics - Bargaining and Health Economics. Her teaching approach focused on active learning and student engagement through diverse means of participation. For example, she introduced a bargaining simulation into a traditional labour economics course which both challenged students to apply and refine their understanding of bargaining from a theoretical perspective, and provided a non-traditional way for students to demonstrate their knowledge, actively participate, and engage in the material alongside their peers. Outside of her experience as an instructor, she created a summer refresher course on macroeconomics for incoming Master of Financial Economics students. She has also worked as a Teaching Assistant in a variety of subjects including economics, statistics, research methods, labour law and personal leadership.


MA Economics, UBC
MSc Physics, University of Guelph
BSc Physics, University of Guelph

Administrative Service

Moderator, “Strategies for Organizing Undergraduate Student Workers and Building Cross-Rank Worker Solidarity”, LERA Annual Meeting (2021)
Organizer, Coalition of Student Employee Unions Annual Meetings (2017,2019-2021)
Organizing Committee Member, Graduate Student Consortium, ILERA Regional Congress for the Americas (2020)
Trustee, CUPE 3902 (2019-2022)
Member, Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions Coordinating Committee (2019-2020)
Chair, Strike Headquarters Maintenance & Supplies Sub-Committee of UWOFA Strike Action Committee (2018)
Member, Bargaining Team, PSAC 610 (2017-2018)
President, PSAC 610 (2017-2018)
Member, Thesis Completion Fund, Negotiations Research, and Finance Committees of PSAC 610 (2016-2017)
Department Steward, Economics Department, PSAC 610 (2016-2017)
Graduate Student Representative, Graduate Affairs Committee, Economics Department, University of Western Ontario (2014-2015, 2016-2017)
Graduate Student Representative, Committee on Academic Policy, Economics Department, University of Western Ontario (2015-2016)