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Women & Hi Tech Encourages Women in STEM to Embrace Their Diversity

2018-02-01 6:00 PM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

Own who you are and use your voice.  This was the consistent messaging delivered by a panel of diverse female professional leaders, who spoke in front of a packed audience at a Women & Hi Tech (W&HT) “Special Edition” of its Executive Women’s Forum on February 1, 2018.  The program was organized by Angela B. Freeman, W&HT Director of Networking Events, to highlight the organization’s new mission statement that emphasizes equality and inclusivity amongst women in STEM.

The event entitled, “A Double Whammy or Triple Threat: The Disparity of Diversity Amongst Women in STEM” was held to provide practical tips and tools on how to advance diverse female talent in the workplace.  The panel shared their personal experiences and offered suggestions on how to promote self-worth.

“You’re in the room for a reason; say what you have to say and say it loud and clear,” said Nicole M.B. Mitchell, the Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana. “Be confident in the voice you have and use your unique position.”

Retired Eli Lilly Director of Medical Communications Elcira Villarreal imparted her mother’s wisdom, “You are not better than anyone, but no one is better than you.” She added, “Keep your humility, but respect yourself, respect others, and expect others to respect you.”

The audience was challenged to utilize their privilege as professionals in STEM to help and champion other women, especially young girls.

As a middle school student shared at the 2017 Ignite Your SuperPower (IYS)™event, “Today I learned girls can do anything!”, stated Audrey Taylor, President of Women & Hi Tech and founder and CEO of netlogx, an information risk management company. “We need to encourage and promote each other,” said Taylor.

This dynamic panel also included Tuhina Chakrabarti, Vice President of Engineering, FLIR Systems; Ting Gootee, Chief Investment Officer, and Founding Member of Elevate Ventures; Rafia Khader, Program Manager, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI, along with the panel moderator, Dawn Rosemond, Partner and Director of Diversity, Professional Development, and Inclusion at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.

In addition to participating in a “privilege” activity, all attendees left the program with practical takeaways and action items as follows:

  1. Promote Diversity of Thought
  2. Use Your Unique Position to Learn and Lead
  3. Exemplify Your Best Self
  4. Each One, Teach/Reach One
  5. Be Aware of Your Privilege and the Gradations of Privilege
  6. Ignite Your SuperPower (IYS)™
  7. Own and Leverage Your Power and Privilege through Sponsorship
  8. Advocate in a Nuanced Manner
  9. Make the Business Case for Diversity
  10. Time is Now!
Attendees socialized at a networking reception to conclude Women & Hi Tech’s 2018 kickoff event. 

Pictures from the event can be found here on our website.

 

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