Elanie Steyn, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
Traditionally and across cultures, the tendency has been (and in many cases, continues to be) to “think leader, think man.” Women are late to the leadership and management tables in many industries. In some countries, women have no “formal leadership” role to play and many girls grow up having no idea of their dreams, capacities or contributions to the societies they live in. Yet, in many of these societies, women “hold up half the sky,” to paraphrase the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong. Not in formalized ways. And often not in glamorous ways either. But in ways that contribute to the strength of their people’s cultural, political, and economic fiber.
This Presidential Dream Course will focus on women in appointed leadership and management positions as well as the “silent” or “behind-the-scenes” women leaders. This class will “tell the stories” of “Being a Woman in the 21st Century” by collaborating with departments across campus and inviting women from different sectors of society as experts and guests. We will focus on media, business, education, STEM, entertainment, health, sport, politics, tourism, public service, religion, the non-profit sector, the military, fashion, and the LGBTQ+ sectors, to name a few.
We will invite women experts to share with students and faculty from across campus and with the community their stories of being a woman in these sectors. Students across the five focus areas of Gaylord College will utilize their storytelling skills to produce products that display these stories: whether through a photo exhibition; a multimedia storytelling platform; journalism pieces in various written, electronic and online formats; social and digital media campaigns; podcasts; and more. Through this class, women in leadership across various sectors and from all walks of life will share their stories with the campus audience and students, while students will use their storytelling skills to share these stories with a national and international audience.