The President’s Dream Colloquium is a signature event of Simon Fraser University (SFU). Past speakers include Edward Snowden, Pat Hanrahan (Tableau), Sara Seager (Astrophysicist), Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Indigenous rights), and Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist). The Colloquium will bring the world’s leading thinkers to Simon Fraser University to facilitate a forum for intensive interdisciplinary exchange amongst SFU’s faculty and students as well as the general public, in the form of a lecture series and a graduate course.

Hosted by WWEST, the Fall 2017 Colloquium theme was “Women in Technology: Attracting, Retaining and Promoting Diverse Talent.” We recognized that women and underrepresented groups bring unique perspectives and insight to the fields of Engineering, Science and Technology, however increasing their participation is a societal problem and involves changing our culture and how we see gender roles. The colloquium aimed to educate and engage participants on the challenges and solutions that have been identified to improve diversity in hiring, retention and promotion to leadership roles.

The speaker series featured speakers from diverse backgrounds and will cover topics such as Women in Media & Advertising, Gender in Research & Product Design, Gendered Language, and more.

We explored strategies for advancing diversity in the technology sector, critically analyze the culture that has supported a foundation of inequality therein, and engage in multidisciplinary dialogue about the value of creating more space for women and other under-represented groups in technology.

Recording of the talks are available at the Colloquium website.