President's Dream Colloquium On Women in Technology

Attracting, Retaining and Promoting Diverse Talent

Colloquium Course Syllabus

Fall 2017

Dr. Lesley Shannon,
Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Science; NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering

Course Description

This multidisciplinary course covers a broad range of topics within diversity in the technology sector. While the main focus is on women and their role in technology, the course highlights issues that affect other under‐represented groups as well. It is also not primarily targeting students in technology—the speaker series features experts from a range of fields (mathematics, media, psychology, and politics, just to name a few). The course itself is designed from the perspective of multiple disciplines, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), psychology, education, business, gender studies, and interactive art and technology.  

This course will establish a foundation for future managers, supervisors, sponsors, mentors, and others wanting to pursue leadership roles to work towards creating a level playing field in technology and other industries. As technology is a pervasive aspect of life in the 21st century, it is the theme of the course, but not the sole topic. Advertising, media, language and communication, phenomena such as “stereotype threat” and “imposter syndrome,” product design, and company/corporate culture will be covered in its six modules.

How to Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for the Fall 2017 colloquium.


  • Module 1: Diversity 101: The Case for Diversity in Technology
  • Module 2: Women in Media and Advertising
  • Module 3: Social Psychological Phenomena
  • Module 4: Gender in Research and Product Design
  • Module 5: Gendered Language
  • Module 6: Women as Leaders and Innovators  

Course Evaluation

In-Class Participation and Reading Homework 25%
White Paper Proposal 10%
Final Summary of Research 25%
White Paper 15%
Final Presentation 25%

Students will be required to participate in class discussions and exercises based on selected course readings. They will also be required to perform some homework activities to evaluate how these topics impact our daily lives and to identify how they can be ameliorated.

The final project for this course will be focused on best practices and policy recommendations for a particular issue that impacts gender diversity. Students will: 1) write a report summarizing the literature in the area, 2) create an infographic that explains the issue, relevant statistics and solutions to a general audience, and 3) give a final presentation to the class presenting the results of their investigations on this topic. 

Final Grading:
Undergraduate students: Pass/Fail
Graduate students: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory