Women & Hi Tech exists to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.
 

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  • 06/22/2022 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    On May 5, we were so excited to feature HR Guru Kristen Lampkin as the presenter in a Virtual Executive Women’s Forum. Let’s recap some of the tips we walked away with to Unleash the Power of LinkedIn!

    Tip 1: Post From Your Core Values.

    Identify your core values to make sure you are developing a personal brand that aligns with who you actually are. It's very jarring to meeting a person in real-life who is nothing like their presence online!


    Tip 2: Cover Your Basics

    Make sure your “About Me” section on LinkedIn is written in the first person. In your work history, add connections between your work experience and what you have actually done in those roles. The same goes for skills—these are a great way to expand your network and build your brand, plus show up in searches.

    Tip 3: Introduce Yourself!

    It is okay to use LinkedIn to connect with people you have never met before in real-life. In fact, LinkedIn will even recommend people you should connect with. You can also attend LinkedIn Events to network with people who share your interests, passions, and skills. This is like attending a free conference via LinkedIn.

    These are just a small portion of the amazing insights Kristen shared. If you have ever been curious about some of LinkedIn’s features, wondered how to use this platform to grow your career, or are curious to know if your profile is making use of all the best practices, watch the full video of this session on our YouTube channel!

  • 06/22/2022 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    In honor of Pride Month in June, we wanted to share the stories of some female LGBTQ+ innovators who made and are making history in STEM fields.

    Science

    ️‍ Sally Ride

    Sally Ride was an American astronaut and physicist, the first American woman in space and the third woman in space overall. She was also the earliest space traveler to be recognized as LGBTQ+. After retiring as an astronaut she became an educator at the University of California to inspire more women to enter science and math fields. As part of this initiative, she and her partner founded MoonKam, which allowed middle school students to take photos from the International Space Station. Ride also wrote several children’s books to nurture young people’s interest in science. Learn more about Sally Ride.

    ️‍ Polly Arnold

    Polly Arnold is a Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and the Chemical Sciences Division Director at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her work focuses on the reactions of rare earths and actinides, to both help exploit these elements for quantum mechanics and guide better stewardship of nuclear waste. In 2012, Arnold was awarded the Rosalind Franklin Prize for her achievements as a female scientist. She used the prize money to produce a documentary film, “A Chemical Imbalance,” about the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields and particularly the sciences. Learn more about Polly Arnold.

    Technology

    ️‍ Mary Gray

    Mary L. Gray is Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and maintains a faculty position at IU Luddy School of Informatics in addition to serving as a Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Dr. Gray is an anthropologist by training with a PhD in Communication, focusing her work on how everyday use of technology transforms our labor, rights, and identities. Her books “In Your Face” and “Out In The Country” focus on how queer youth in rural Appalachia use media and technology to define identity and community. Learn more about Mary L. Gray.

    ️‍ Ann Mei Chang

    Ann Mei Chang is a technology expert, global development advocate, author, and public speaker. Today, she is the CEO of Candid, a non-profit that provides data about the movement of money in the social sector. She spent 20 years working as an executive and leader at tech startups and companies including Apple, Intuit, and Google. From there she migrated to the public sector, serving as the Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Mercy Corps, and Pete for America, as well as the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab. She has dedicated her career to helping tech companies innovate toward more inclusion and social good. Learn more about Ann Mei Chang.

    Engineering

    ️‍ Lynn Conway

    Lynn Conway is a famed computer engineer. For many decades, Conway’s achievements went uncelebrated as she faced stigmatization and pressure to conduct her career in “stealth mode” as a transgender woman. She was fired by IBM in 1968 for affirming her gender identity, though the company did not stop leveraging her innovations. Conway started her career over again as a programmer and within a decade was again pioneering the next wave of innovation in VSLI microchip design. She has used her prestige and courage to advance transgender inclusion and break down stigmas. Learn more about Lynn Conway.

    ️‍ Elena Rodriguez-Falcon

    Elena Rodriguez-Falcon is a mechanical engineer with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and industrial management. To complete her master’s, she moved from her native Mexico to the United Kingdom where she later became a professor and Director of Women in Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Today she is President and CEO of the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, as well as principal fellow at the Higher Education Academy and fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. She is an influential voice of advocacy in the LGBTQ+ community, especially challenging the heteronormativity which is prevalent in engineering. Learn more about Elena Rodriguez-Falcon.

    Mathematics

    ️‍ Emily Riehl

    Emily Riehl is an associate professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University. She has done deep and foundational work in category theory and homotopy theory, both studies in the way different mathematical or geometric objects relate to one another. In 2022 she was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, among other honors and awards throughout her career. Riehl is a host of the n-Category Café blog on subjects related to category theory in mathematics, physics, and philosophy. She is also a founding board member of the LGBTQ+ mathematical association Spectra. Learn more about Emily Riehl.

    ️‍ Antonia J. Jones

    Antonia J. Jones lost the use of her legs to polio at age 10 but overcame that barrier to achieve groundbreaking innovation in mathematics and computer science. Dr. Jones started her career as an expert in number theory, gradually becoming more interested in computer science during the 1970s. During her life she published more than 70 papers and books on topics including game theory, neural learning, and artificial intelligence. Her most renowned innovation was the creation of the Gamma Test (aka Near Neighbor Test), which is still used today to simplify and streamline the construction of data models and neural networks. Learn more about Antonia J. Jones.

    This list represents just a small number of the LGBTQ individuals who have transformed STEM fields. Icons such as Alan Turing, Tim Cook, Jack Andraka, Adam Frew, and Adam Hart are just some of the male allies you should consider looking up!

    Who do you think we should feature for LGBTQ+ STEM day on November 18? If you would be interested in sharing your own story, let us know!

  • 06/22/2022 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    Join a committee and help Women & Hi Tech advance our mission!

    The following committees are seeking members for a minimum one-year term:

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
    • Membership Engagement Committee
    • Corporate Sponsorship Committee
    • Community Outreach Committee

    Whatever strengths and talents you bring to the table, joining a committee to support Women & Hi Tech will benefit your professional development by growing your marketable skillset, expanding your professional network, and gaining you experience contributing to a well-established Indiana nonprofit.

    See below for information about each of these opportunities and next steps to apply for a role! We are so grateful for your interest and can't wait to hear from you.

    Please note all candidates must be members in good standing and must remain in good standing throughout their time on the committee.

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

    • Seeking 1 additional volunteer to assist with developing and implementing Women & Hi Tech’s DEI goals including finalizing key objectives and action steps, metrics tracking, reporting, and communicating DEI strategy to others.
    • Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per month for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, must be available on Monday evenings once a month to attend committee meetings. Also, should be available to attend other Women & Hi Tech events.
    • Qualifications: Candidates should have the ability to positively influence others. Ideal candidates have background or experience in diversity, equity and inclusion. Background in marketing and/or experience developing and executing strategic plans is beneficial. Candidates must have flexibility in their schedule to attend monthly virtual calls and occasional face to face strategy meetings.
    • Contact: Tiffany Trusty, edi@womenandhitech.org

    Membership Engagement Committee

    Event Planner Lead

    • Seeking 1 volunteer to help lead the planning and implementation of 1 or 2 Women & Hi Tech events.
    • Time Commitment: 3-5 hours per month to attend a virtual monthly meeting and independently execute on planning tasks plus provide day-of event assistance for at least the events you plan.
    • Qualifications: Candidates should be creative, willing to share ideas, and be comfortable working in a team environment. Planning experience is a plus!
    • Contact: Sahara Williams, networking@womenandhitech.org

    Volunteer Coordinator

    • Seeking 1 volunteer to serve as our Volunteer Coordinator who manages our volunteer signup platform
    • Time Commitment: 2-4 hours per month to attend a virtual monthly meeting and independently respond to volunteer requests and post volunteer opportunities
    • Qualifications: Candidates are needed with a friendly, welcoming and patient demeanor
    • Contact: Sahara Williams, networking@womenandhitech.org

    STEM Circle Leads

    • Seeking volunteers interested in helping Women & Hi Tech develop programing targeted to the specific area of STEM in which you work – You would work with your industry trade association or other Women & Hi Tech members who are in your field of practice to develop programing important to your industry
    • Time Commitment: 3-5 hours per month to attend a virtual monthly meeting and independently execute on 1-3 small group activities
    • Qualifications: Ideal candidates are already engaged in their field of practice, perhaps with a trade association and can serve as a liaison between the two organizations to further joint interests. Candidates should be creative, willing to share ideas, and be comfortable working in a team environment. Planning experience is a plus!
    • Contact: Sahara Williams, networking@womenandhitech.org

    Corporate Champions

    • Seeking 1 or 2 volunteers from each of Women & Hi Tech’s corporate/organizational members interested in helping Women & Hi Tech increase awareness and participation from among your coworkers
    • Time Commitment: 2-4 hours per month to attend a virtual monthly meeting, share ideas and feedback from your coworkers, and independently promote Women & Hi Tech programs to the appropriate persons within your corporation/organization
    • Qualifications: Ideal candidates are creative, willing to share ideas, and interested in increasing their leadership role within their company and within Women & Hi Tech.
    • Contact: Sahara Williams,networking@womenandhitech.org

    Corporate Sponsorship Committee

    • Seeking up to 3 volunteers to help identify and support corporate sponsor activities including identifying new annual corporate sponsors, signature event sponsors including Leading Light Awards and Networking events, as well as engaging with existing sponsors to ensure quality engagement.
    • Time Commitment: 4-6 hours monthly for the 2022-2023 fiscal year
    • Qualifications: Committee members will be requested to attend corporate sponsorship committee meetings, assist in outreach to new and renewing corporate sponsors, and participate in Women & Hi Tech events.
    • Contact: Hannah Stork, corpsponsor@womenandhitech.org

    Community Outreach Committee

    • Seeking up to 6 volunteers to help identify and support events that align with Women & Hi Tech’s mission that are outside the scope of the K-12 and Collegiate Outreach committees
    • Time Commitment: 4-6 hours monthly for the 2022-2023 fiscal year
    • Qualifications: Committee members will be requested to participate at events as volunteers, Women & Hi Tech representatives, and STEM industry professionals. This may include coordinating activities with host organization, planning and facilitating events (set up and tear down), staffing the booth during in person or virtual events, networking and recruiting new members during events.
    • Contact: Rebecca Leon, outreach@womenandhitech.org
  • 06/10/2022 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    Women & Hi Tech members are invited to the Women & Hi Tech Annual Meeting of the Members on June 14, 2022 from 3:30-4:00 pm, followed by the Executive Women’s Forum – Mental Health. During this meeting, we’ll review what we’ve accomplished together over the past year, some plans for the coming year, and provide the opportunity for you to vote to elect the 2022-2023 slate of the Board of Directors of Women & Hi Tech. 

    If you plan to attend the Annual Meeting of the Members in person and have yet to register, please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON.

    Recognizing how busy everyone is, we are pleased to share that you may also vote electronically (by proxy).CLICK HERE TO VOTE BY PROXY for the 2022-2023 board slate if you do not plan to attend the Annual Meeting of the Members. You will be asked to log in to your Women & Hi Tech account before voting.

    Voting will end at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 14. Votes received in-person or by proxy after 5:00 pm on June 14, 2022 will not be counted in the official tally for election of the 2019-2020 slate of the Board of Directors.

    Thank you for being one of over 1,800 valued members of Women & Hi Tech, and for participating in the 2022-2023 Annual Meeting of the Members. If you have any questions, please contact us at WHTinfo@womenandhitech.org


  • 04/24/2022 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    Founded in 1999 in Indianapolis by a female scientist from Eli Lilly & Co. and a female academician from Indiana University, Women & Hi Tech exists to change the landscape of women represented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to be equally inclusive to all. To achieve our goal, we work to mentor, advance, recognize, and connect female STEM students and professionals with each other and our community in Indiana. Our members and sponsors represent a wide array of STEM fields, including life sciences, accounting, engineering, psychology, statistics, and information technology.

    Women & Hi Tech is run by an all-volunteer, working Board of Directors and are looking for candidates who are actively engaged with the organization, and will bring wisdom, experience, effectiveness, candor, and creative thinking. We are passionate about our organization and the meaningful work we do and are looking for like-minded individuals. We do not take the term “working board” lightly. At any given time, a Director is leading her/his own area of responsibility while also contributing to other areas of the organization, including serving on committees, participating in Women & Hi Tech events, and representing Women & Hi Tech in the community.

    The call for nominations closes May 25, 2022. Multiple nominations from a single candidate are permitted. All nominations will be reviewed by the Nomination Committee. Nominees must be Women & Hi Tech members in good standing at the time of initial voting and must remain in good standing throughout their tenure.

    New board members take office on July 1, 2022.Board Orientation for new Directors will be conducted in-person the afternoon/evening of June 20th (4:30-8:30 pm in Fishers). Please save this date when you submit your application.

    To apply or nominate an individual, please review the job descriptions and policies linked below and complete the online form by May 25, 2022. Thank you for your interest!

  • 04/18/2022 9:26 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you again to everyone who attended our February Special Edition Virtual Executive Women’s Forum with Dr. Vivian Cintron. Many attendees submitted questions we were not able to cover in the allotted time. Dr. Cintron was kind enough to provide written responses!

    Fig 1

    1.    What is the viability of dual (RNA-based and Immuno) assays for viral viability screening (not definitive/diagnostics) of large (>100) groups of people?

    The rapid and accurate detection of COVID-19 is the first step for managing and controlling the spread. This is achieved by detection of SARS-CoV-2 by real- time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction

    The first step in managing COVID-19 is the rapid and accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2 enabled by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR)1.

    RT–PCR detects SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids present in nasopharyngeal fluids 2. This testing is used to prevent infectious spread between persons and communities that include asymptomatic infected persons, whose viral shedding can inadvertently spread the infection to the elderly and those with disease comorbidities 3. This specific test offers high sensitivity however it takes 4-5 to obtain the results at a laboratory setting. Other type of testing is the serological testing which can indicate a past infection based on the antibodies detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using a qualitative detection of IgG or IgM antibodies 4. Such tests determine an immune response against the viral spike (S) protein and may be helpful to assess protection against subsequent viral exposure and/or for contact tracing purposes 5. Thus, the importance of such tests cannot be overstated, however this testing setting is prone to low specificity due to the collection of samples, exposure time or incubation during the first infection phase and variations in the testing platforms. Improving this test for sensitivity and specificity are urgent matters.1

    Although RT–qPCR is the current standard for detection of nucleic acids, new methods, such as pulse-controlled amplification, are being evaluated. Pulse-controlled amplification does not require RNA extraction and can be carried out in 10 min with a small device 6. In the future, S- and N-based immunodiagnostic platforms will work alongside nucleic acid amplification tests to increase detection sensitivity of COVID-19 at minimal cost 7. The aim of these dual platforms will produce results in a short time and less expensive for mass production 8

    2.    In your opinion, when do you anticipate organizations being safely able to host in-person events?

    As the COVID-19 hospitalizations are decreasing, more events will be hosted in person leaving the best practices of prevention (mask or face coverings) to the public discretion.

    3.    Do you think we'll require annual Covid vaccinations, like the flu shot?

    This is a topic of great discussion now that more events are face to face. As the scientist are still elucidating more data, the recommendations of a second booster will be towards the vulnerable population that has been affected during the pandemic, this will be those members of the community at age of 70 above or immunocompromised patients. Currently, several Pharmaceuticals are exploring the development of an annual dual vaccine: flu and coronavirus.

    4.    What precautions/advice do you have for someone with a newborn?

    Children represent about 19% of all reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. since the pandemic began. About 7.6 million child cases have been reported since early September 2021.9

    While children are as likely to get COVID-19 as adults, kids are less likely to become severely ill. Up to 50% of children and adolescents might have COVID-19 with no symptoms. However, some children with COVID-19 need to be hospitalized, treated in the intensive care unit, or placed on a ventilator to help them breathe.9

    Babies under age 1 might be at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19 than older children. Newborns can get COVID-19 during childbirth or by exposure to sick caregivers after delivery.

    It is recommended If you have COVID-19 or are waiting for test results due to symptoms during your stay in the hospital after childbirth, wear a well-fitting face mask and have clean hands when caring for your newborn. Keeping your newborn's crib by your bed while you are in the hospital is fine, however it is recommended to maintain a reasonable distance from your baby when possible. When these steps are taken, the risk of a newborn getting COVID-19 is low.

    If you are severely ill with COVID-19, you might need to be temporarily separated from your newborn. It is also recommended that the baby's caregivers wear face masks and wash their hands to protect themselves. Frequent follow-up with the baby's doctor is needed by phone, virtual visits, or in-office visits for 14 days. Infants who test negative for COVID-19 can be sent home from the hospital.9

    5.    For in-person gatherings (bridal shower, team potluck, etc.) how do you recommend the food to be served?  Individually wrapped portions or is a self serve buffet ok?

    For in person events, food should be serve taking all potential precautions avoiding handling the food without sanitation measures. If there is an event with few participants having a small unit desk with hand sanitizer prior to the line up for food banquets might be a favorable practice.

    6.    How safe is it to travel abroad?

    Traveling measures will soon start changing regarding mask or face coverings at the onboarding stage of the airplane. Be alert for those announcements.

    Traveling abroad is fine, however knowing the cases of COVID-19 infections prior to the country visit is recommended in addition to be cognizant of mass gatherings that could be a place of spreading in case of an infection. Utilization of appropriate reasonable face covering could be a good practice.

    7.    What is the Stealth variant?

    BA.2, or known as the “stealth omicron,” is one of three known sublineages of Omicron. BA.2 differs from the omicron in mutations in the spike protein and other areas according to the World Health Organization. While this mutation makes it more difficult to identify as Omicron on some tests, it does not make the virus more difficult to detect.

    BA.2 is more transmissible than the original Omicron variant (BA.1), though exactly how much more is still unknown. In February 2022, early studies from the UK and Denmark found BA.2 was 30% more transmissible.10 The risk of hospitalization is the same in BA.1 and BA.2 based on reviews from Denmark, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom.11 Vaccinated people are still less likely to get infected by either variant compared to non-vaccinated people.

    As of March 2022, BA.2 has become the dominant variant globally, according to the World Health Organization.12

    In the United States, BA.2 accounted for over a third of new cases, according to the CDC. While a new surge is not expected, health officials have warned that overall COVID-19 infections could rise across the US, parallel to trends in the UK and Europe.12

    Fig 2

    References

    1. Liu, R. et al. Positive rate of RT–PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 4880 cases from one hospital in Wuhan, China, from Jan to Feb 2020. Clin. Chim. Acta 505, 172–175 (2020).

    2. Research Use Only 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-time RT-PCR Primers and Probes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020); https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/rt-pcr-panel-primer-probes.html

    3. Wang, B., Li, R., Lu, Z. & Huang, Y. Does comorbidity increase the risk of patients with COVID-19: evidence from meta-analysis. Aging 12, 6049–6057 (2020).

    4. Pan, Y. et al. Serological immunochromatographic approach in diagnosis with SARS-CoV-2 infected COVID-19 patients. J. Infect. 81, e28–e32 (2020).

    5. Lin, D. et al. Evaluations of the serological test in the diagnosis of 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections during the COVID-19 outbreak. Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 39, 2271–2277 (2020).

    6. Zwirglmaier, K. et al. Rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 by pulse-controlled amplification (PCA). Preprint at medRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.29.20154104 (2020).

    7. Infantino, M. et al. Serological assays for SARS-CoV-2 infectious disease: benefits, limitations, and perspectives. Isr. Med. Assoc. J. 22, 203–210 (2020).

    8. Wang, D. et al. Clinical characteristics of 138 hospitalized patients with 2019 novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia in Wuhan, China. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 323, 1061–1069 (2020).

    9. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-in-babies-and-children/art-20484405

    10. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/23/health/covid-ba2-omicron-studies-explainer/index.html

    11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARS-CoV-2_Omicron_variant#Severity_and_immunity

    12. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/ba2-covid-subvariant-now-dominant-worldwide/ar-AAVjtOU

    13. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions

    Fig 1Ref: Dreamtime.com

    Fig 2 https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions


  • 12/18/2021 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    Joy Neely is the Vice President of Sales at CareMetx, a healthcare technology company that provides patient services to pharmaceutical manufacturers and diagnostics companies. She has also been a board member for Women & Hi Tech for three years, and currently holds our newly-created board position of Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion Director (EDI).

    Throughout her professional career, Joy has been actively engaged in business resource groups and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leadership opportunities in the organizations where she has worked and volunteered. Still, she wanted to be more connected within her community. She was introduced to Women & Hi Tech at her previous employer, Roche Diagnostics Corporation, while serving as the Co-Lead for the Women’s Leadership Initiative—one of the Roche Diagnostics Business Resource Groups. She quickly found that Women & Hi Tech was an excellent fit for her to plug into, and the organization has a mission that aligns with her values.

    In 2019, she became the Corporate Engagement Director and was in that role for two years. Throughout her professional career, she held several sales and business development roles and this was a great way to leverage her strengths, identifying new sponsors for Women & Hi Tech to partner with. In 2020 the board saw an opportunity to make a step change improvement in our diversity strategy by creating a new board position—and the Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion Director role was born. Joy quickly jumped at the chance to fill this role and establish a strong foundation.

    The Women & Hi Tech Board has been on a journey to continually improve the organization’s diversity and to formalize its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy. Joy was able to join the board during a pivotal time when Angela B. Freeman was the President of Women & Hi Tech. Under Angela’s leadership, the board attended the 2-day training course, Interrupting Racism for our Children, that focused on increasing the diversity of the board.

    This commitment to diverse board leadership has continued with Rebecca Bormann and Linda Hicks' presidencies. A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement was also created and added to the Women & Hi Tech website.

    This new role formalizes the path forward for the future.

    In the fall of 2021, Joy launched an Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion Committee of Women & Hi Tech members that represent local Indianapolis organizations, including Infosys, Eli Lilly & Company, Roche Diagnostics, Optum, Allison Transmission, Bell Techlogix, Six Feet Up, and Optimist Business Solutions. This power-house team is composed of Key Opinion Leaders in the DEI space that will help create the blueprint of the Goals, Objectives, Tactics, and Measures to enable Women & Hi Tech to be better aligned with members, sponsors, and community organizations.

    Joy is excited and grateful to this committee of thought-partners and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion experts for allowing Women & Hi Tech to understand any gaps in the current strategy and assist the organization with building a plan to level up.

    Stay tuned for updates to the Women & Hi Tech Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy, Goals, and Objectives in 2022.

  • 12/18/2021 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    Cynthia Bennett, Women & Hi Tech’s new K-12 Outreach Director, serves as a Senior Health Equity Analyst for the I-HOPE program at Purdue University. I-HOPE (Indiana Healthy Opportunities for Everyone) is a statewide initiative that aims to reduce health disparities for better health outcomes. Her team supports communities with innovative tools for building collaboration, hearing the voice of the community, and guiding participants to action. Cynthia sees significant overlap between the work she does at Purdue and her role with Women & Hi Tech. “My role at Purdue gives me a lens for needs in equity and education which will enable me to help Women & Hi Tech set goals and serve youth in meaningful ways.”

    As an Arsenal Technical High School alumna, Cynthia’s perspective is also personal. “I speak from experience as a young person who knew there were resources and professionals helping other students guide and grow their careers—and having those feelings, wondering if anyone would ever show up for us someday. I always said when I could be the voice for those who are forgotten or unseen, I would gather a group and share the message that the marginalized, too, can be anything they want to be.”

    Cynthia assumes the role of K-12 Outreach Director after serving as the Committee Co-Chair since 2020. She is excited to share some wins that have already been achieved. “We met our reach-goal with Girl Scouts by doing virtual STEM programming to girls across the state. The leaders were so happy we could do that. It gave us a chance to use the T in STEM and be forward-facing.” Cynthia also spoke on a career panel for The Girls STEM Institute at IUPUI. “It was such an honor to share my story with girls in high school who intend to pursue STEM careers. They asked great questions about how I got where I am in my career.”

    Looking ahead to 2022, she shared some insight into her goals. “I have a major goal to reach out to schools in underserved communities. I want to expose the students to smart women who can speak to them, encourage them to pursue careers in STEM, and help them be good students.” She is also excited about the potential for advancing impactful partnering opportunities with youth serving organizations, such as Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis and their Eureka STEM program and continuing to grow the relationship with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.

    “We need to be encouraging students we don’t interact with on a continual basis. That’s the inclusion element that makes the pipeline more diverse and allows people access to STEM opportunities who don’t even know they can have a seat at the table. We will continue to align our thinking and our actions to reach students who really need us.”

  • 12/18/2021 11:15 AM | Anonymous

    Sahara Williams is an Associate Attorney with Barnes & Thornburg, where she practices law in the areas of intellectual property and data privacy and security. Before her recent career change into law, she was an engineer for many years.

    Becoming the networking director for Women & Hi Tech felt like a natural progression for Sahara. She’s been deeply involved with volunteering for most of her professional life, including with Eastern Star Church, the National Society for Black Engineers, and Alpha Kappa Alpha—just to name a few. In her role with Women & Hi Tech, she’s excited to deliver events that promote the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    According to Sahara, networking starts with developing meaningful connections. And that’s the same for equity and inclusion. She went on to say, “Both networking and equity start with talking, communicating, and building relationships that facilitate support, friendship, and collaboration toward greater goals. It’s so important to have an environment where people can come together and feel welcome for exactly who they are, without feeling any pressure to change anything about themselves or where they are in their own personal life and journey.”

    Over the next year, Sahara has set a goal to diversify member engagement. “We started a committee to lead the networking events planning efforts for Women & Hi Tech. And not just to do the planning ourselves, but to engage our members in the process. We want to know what their ideas are, what they’re experiencing, what they’re feeling, how they’ve been impacted by events, and what’s working well (and what’s not).” While we won’t share too many details just yet, Sahara and her committee have some exciting events planned for 2022 to help members connect with one another in more meaningful and intentional ways!

    A few final notes from Sahara: “A member survey about the holiday eventis now live. Please fill it out honestly and openly so we can ensure we’re being responsive to the needs of our organization. And, if you’re interested in sharing any thoughts or ideas about events, please email me so we can explore how to incorporate them into the planning process.” Sahara can be reached at networking@womenandhitech.org.

  • 11/24/2021 4:32 PM | Anonymous


    Personal branding is a topic many of our members have expressed interest in learning more about. We were so excited to host a discussion about best practices on November 17th! Women & Hi Tech President Linda Hicks and Past President Rebecca Bormann led the conversation. Here are some of the main ideas and tips we took away from the discussion.

    • Personal branding encompasses not just what people say about you, but also what they think about you and expect from your presence. Therefore, social media is an important element of personal branding, but only when the persona you present is backed up and confirmed by your behaviors.

    •  Your personal brand also lets people know what you stand for, your values, and your boundaries. Sharing articles and observations, as well as anecdotes and moments of vulnerability, helps reinforce your truth by showing others, not telling them.

    • Authenticity is essential to personal branding. Many attendees agreed that it is off-putting when someone presents one way on social media or at work, then behaves totally differently in other areas of their life. In fact, this inspires some professionals to stay off social media altogether, to avoid misalignment between their personal brand and professional brand.

    To better-define your personal brand, start with two or three words that describe how you want to be perceived. Then, ask others in your life for “360 feedback.” This is a list of questions sent to a wide variety of the people you interact with, including friends, peers, supervisors, vendors, and more. 

    Collecting anonymous responses lets you learn how you are perceived across the broad spectrum of your life. Do you come across in the way you aspire? What experiences does your network have with you that confirms or contradicts your desired personal brand?

    Another proven step to build your brand is consistency. Find your cadence and desired tone and be consistent in how and where you share those messages.

    If developing and deepening your personal brand and executive presence are some of your goals in 2022, we would love for you to join us for a new Women & Hi Tech Professional Development Series on Executive Presence and Personal Branding launching in January! Through pre-recorded training and small group exercises, we can’t wait to help our members grow their personal presence, capacity to achieve buy-in, and negotiation skills. Learn more and register to join us for one, two, or all three sessions!

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