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  • 04/07/2023 8:26 AM | Anonymous

    Women & Hi Tech Announces Call for 2023 Board of Directors Nominations

    Founded in 1999 in Indianapolis by a female scientist from Eli Lilly & Company and a female academic 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. We are looking for candidates that 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 Monday, May 8, 2023. 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, 2023.Board Orientation for new Directors will be conducted in-person in late June, date to be announced soon.

    To apply or nominate an individual, please review the job descriptions and policies linked below and complete the online form by May 8, 2023. Thank you for your interest!

  • 03/24/2023 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Women & Hi Tech couldn’t resist the opportunity to catch up with Board Member Emeritus Rebecca Bormann and learn about her new consulting business. “For the past few years I’ve been asked by different women’s groups to come talk about business development, sales, and personal branding best practices,” Rebecca explained. “The time was right for me to put this message at the center of my life and my career, so I made the leap to start Rebecca Bormann Consulting, LLC.”

    Rebecca shared a story of how this move was affirmed right away through big and small connections. “I met someone at a power lunch who is a business development representative, but she said right away ‘I’m not in sales like that!’ This put in perspective for me how I want to help people change their mindset that being in sales is not a bad thing. It’s the service of finding your ‘yes.’ Which is the ideal client your product/service/solution serves and provides value to. Kind of like match making or connecting people and solutions that go together.” Rebecca’s mission is to help people be confident they are bringing worth and their authentic selves in their conversations and relationships, as well as empowering them with strategies and tools. “Advanced selling tactics won’t change the game for someone who doesn’t have foundational skills like confidence, the right mindset about money, and a strong sense of their personal why.”

    Rebecca recently announced a consulting partnership with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, one of the many local organizations she shares her time and talent with. Women & Hi Tech is also happy she has chosen to continue her involvement with our K-12 Outreach Committee. “I am so passionate about focusing on empowering and inspiring girls to be what they want to be,” she explained.

    Rebecca stepped in as our interim Leading Light Awards director to plan the 2022 Leading Light Awards, which was a historic evening for Women & Hi Tech. We gave away the most scholarship dollars in our history and also had one of the best-attended evenings ever. In part, this success was thanks to Rebecca’s “lessons learned” from leading our 2020 LLA’s as our President at the time. “It’s great we get to give shine to so many women with diverse backgrounds in STEM. Whether they’re a rising star or have been changing the landscape for three decades, a diverse group of women and men come together to support, cheer on, recognize, and pave the way for the future.”

    Rebecca repeated our shared amazement at the support we receive from businesses of all sizes, from big organizations to diverse-owned small businesses and even solopreneurs. “They all show up to support in sponsorships, and scholarships/grants and came out full force with their teams to support students,” Rebecca celebrated. “It’s an event which leaves me with a feeling of hope, and that while there’s work to do change is happening now.”

    Rebecca was gracious to share a few more of the organizations she has become involved with. She has joined the advisory board for Boss Babe Network, an organization focused on supporting, promoting, and empowering professional women. “It’s a great place to get tapped into and I’m so proud to be helping them with event planning and growth strategies.”

    She has also joined the advisory board for Shift Up Now, a foundation started by Indy Car driver Pippa Mann to help address the underfunding of women in motorsports worldwide.

    After being part of The Startup Ladies for many years as an investing member, Rebecca has become one of their program ambassadors. “This means helping them make connections so more women and diverse people can scale their businesses. The Startup Ladies provides founders with different resources, connections, and funding opportunities.”

    As Rebecca became concerned about women’s rights in Indiana she also joined the outreach committee for Women4Change, learning more about issues like pay equity, maternal mortality, and voter access.

    Keep up with Rebecca and her many activities through the Rebecca Bormann Consulting social media channels:



    If you’re interested in receiving information/resources on business development, relationship building best practices and sales trends Rebecca welcomes you to subscribe to RB Consulting emails at

  • 03/24/2023 2:21 PM | Anonymous

    Tori Harper Mercado started her career in sports and entertainment marketing. She studied areas like market research, rebranding, hospitality and merchandising at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. “I got great opportunities working for Indy Eleven and the Colts, and my first job out of college was working in social media doing coverage for USF200 within the IndyCar Series.” In this role, Tori got to travel and learn a lot about racing she didn’t know. But when she decided to get married, she wanted to stop the travel and make a career change. One of her business mentors recommended she make a shift into marketing for STEM industries. She spend a short time with an environmental and civil engineering firm. Then, tech found her via her current role in sales with Onebridge. “I love being in front of clients and connecting with individuals.”

    Tori adapted to the tech industry by leveraging skills she gained in college. “I learned very early the best way to be effective in any career is to get involved in areas where you are connecting with like-minded individuals. Because my experience and background were not in tech, getting caught up at Onebridge required me to network and meet people who share my values.” This discovery process led Tori to start attending events with Techpoint as well as Women & Hi Tech. “I knew Women & Hi Tech was serving a focused demographic and thought people with similar experiences and challenges would be easier to find in a group like this.”

    In 2023, Tori joined the Membership Engagement Committee as the Clickside Chat Coordinator. ClickSide Chats were started during the pandemic as a means for members to build connections and network in a virtual setting. But Tori has big visions for how this program can evolve in the post-pandemic landscape. “Now I would really like to see some chats happen in person. Once the hour is up, people don’t currently get the chance to connect with speakers or each other. Also, I would love if we could host these chats more frequently to address all the topics we have in mind. If we can get into the planning ahead and picking our speakers, that would be amazing.”

    Overall, Tori’s perspective on the Indiana tech and STEM community is a positive one. “There are a lot of women in the space that are excited and looking for other women, too. Indiana is a very small community where it’s easy for you to know people at all levels of industry. We are the crossroads of America and I think we are taking advantage of that.” She hopes to see Indiana’s STEM community become more nationally-renowned, especially as both individuals and businesses are willing to take risks. “Today we often forget that the best way to find if something is for us is just to try it. You are going to fail 100% of the time if 100% of the time you don’t try. My tip for anyone trying to make a career transition into STEM fields is to be open-minded and willing to try everything at least once.”

  • 03/22/2023 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    by Glenn Keller and Theron Wilson

    Women & Hi Tech's writing lead Glenn Keller had the chance to correspond with Theron Wilson, Per Scholas Indianapolis Managing Director, to learn more about a new tech skills training program launching in Indianapolis. 

    What should the Central Indiana area expect to see once you are running at full capacity?

    Per Scholas is so proud to have launched our proven technology skills training right here in Indianapolis – a growing tech hub in America’s heartland. Our inaugural cohort begins on March 13, where 20 local learners will train on the ins and outs of IT Support. In just 12 weeks, they’ll graduate and be ready to make a difference day one on the job at area businesses.

    Per Scholas Indianapolis will offer two additional IT Support training cohorts this year – in June and October. I’m thrilled that we’re on track to train 60 future technologists here in Indianapolis in 2023. Once we’re at full capacity and offering additional training opportunities, Central Indiana can expect to see a significant increase in the number of diverse individuals who are trained and connected to high-growth careers in technology. This will help to fill the growing demand for tech talent in the region, while also providing opportunities for individuals who might not otherwise have access to these jobs.

    How will you ensure that the message about this program gets to those who most need it?

    The intention around building our footprint of awareness of Per Scholas Indianapolis is to ensure we connect and build supportive partnerships with community organizations that are in need of pathways to employment with sustainable and thriving wages. Furthermore, speaking to developing this unique IT talent pool, we want to build relationships with workforce ecosystems, such as EmployIndy, also leaders in economic development such as Techpoint and Ascend Indiana with Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. It’s through a broad network that will enable Per Scholas Indianapolis to be exposed to the appropriate audience that will benefit the most from.

    You are serving notice that acceptance is highly competitive.  What are some of the criteria you look at?

    At Per Scholas Indianapolis, we’re looking to enroll individuals who are motivated, committed, and have a strong interest in technology. We also consider factors such as educational background, work experience, and personal circumstances when evaluating candidates. There are minimal eligibility requirements to apply to Per Scholas: an individual must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or GED, and be authorized to work in the United States. Click here to learn more!

    What sort of help do you need from the community?

    Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana has been an incredible partner, and we are thrilled to offer our training from their headquarters at 1635 W. Michigan Street. At the moment, we’re looking to our community for two things – first to spread the word about our tuition-free training and encourage potential learners to apply. The second is to consider hiring Per Scholas Indianapolis-trained talent for their IT Support needs later this summer and going forward.

    How can people get involved in the mission?

    People can get involved in the mission of Per Scholas by donating, volunteering, spreading the word about our training, and hiring our graduates! Those interested in learning more and getting involved can contact me at! I’m always looking to connect with members of our dynamic Indianapolis community.

    How do you ensure that you are recruiting from a diverse population?

    Achieving diversity in the tech workforce is part of our mission and embedded in our DNA here at Per Scholas. To ensure we are recruiting diverse candidates, I feel that there needs to be specific efforts to engage with partners who serve and have access to diverse populations. Partnerships that support the advancement of minority populations will allow exposure to talent development and employment opportunities they may not otherwise have access to. Furthermore, as we continue to grow our staff here in the Indianapolis market, we want to ensure our staff represents the community we want to serve. 

    At capacity, how many people do you expect to graduate each year?

    In 2023, Per Scholas Indianapolis aims to graduate at least 60 technologists in our IT Support curriculum. Next year, we aim to graduate 90 technologists within in-person and remote cohort opportunities. Overall, by the beginning of 2028, Per Scholas Indianapolis anticipates to have graduated 500 technologists, launching 500 careers in technology in our local economy.

    Welcome to Indianapolis, Per Scholas! To learn more about this training program visit

  • 03/19/2023 1:09 PM | Anonymous

    The Diversity & Innovation Institute seeks to promote research and development of new technologies among health, science, and engineering students, educators, and professionals as well as facilitating networking opportunities between students and professionals. They are currently accepting applications for their summer Young Innovators Quest program.

    Students who have at least completed 8th grade and are between 14 and 17 years are invited to apply. Participants should be interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and/or medicine. Financial Assistance to cover up to the full program tuition is available on a case by case basis and based on need.

    Participants formulate and develop innovation research projects of great interest to them in an immersive and engaging environment on the IUPUI campus. Throughout the program (June 5-24) participants enjoy a variety of STEM and skills development workshops, visit various industry partners, and meet with mentors who guide them through the process of solving a problem. After the program, they may continue to work with these mentors on their project. As alumni of the program, participants will also be invited to future DNOVA events!

    Learn more about the program and how to apply at

  • 03/06/2023 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    Women & Hi Tech is excited to announce two new programs, The Welcome Committee and The Member Match Program!

    Welcome Committee: Sometimes brand new Women & Hi Tech members feel awkward attending their first Women & Hi Tech event, especially if they do not know anyone. To make sure our new members feel welcome, we are inviting our current members to become part of the Welcoming Committee. Your job is simple. For events that you already plan on attending, you are simply paired with a new member who is attending the event too. You meet them and help them get to know other members during the event. It’s a great way for current members to get to know new members and vice versa! 

    Please reach out to if you are interested in being on the Welcome Committee. 

    Member Match Program: Our new Member Match Program is a great opportunity to connect one-on-one in a meaningful way and form strong bonds with another Women & Hi Tech member. In this program, newer members will be matched with more established members for a 6-month period to help our newer members become acclimated in Women & Hi Tech. There is no specific time requirement for this program. Member Matches can connect online or in person on a schedule that works for them and share their interest in or experiences in Women & Hi Tech. To make the most of the Match, meeting in person at least once per month is recommended. We encourage our Member Matches to attend Women & Hi Tech events together whenever possible.

    We are currently seeking established members to volunteer to be Matched with new members. If you are interested, please email with your contact information. Please include any Women & Hi Tech committees, volunteer roles, or events in which you’ve been involved. You may also include your professional/work position, interests, and contact information. Once we understand your needs, we will work to find the best match for you! Matches will primarily be based on Women & Hi Tech and professional areas of common interest. 

  • 03/04/2023 8:57 AM | Anonymous

    On November 15th, 2022, Women & Hi Tech hosted a virtual panel of Latina STEM professionals discussing their experiences and unique journeys. Here are some quotes from our panelists to highlight how insightful, powerful, and meaningful this event was.

    Our moderator Doneisha Posey kicked off the event by framing some perspective: Latinos are a diverse population tracing their roots to islands, Mexico, and more than 20 nations across Central and South America. Further, their viewpoints vary widely based on whether they were born in the US or emigrated here. But regardless, many barriers stand in the way of Latinas entering STEM, from societal and familial norms to counselors telling them they should major in something else….The numbers say it all: according to the National Science Foundation, only 2% of Latinas held science and engineering positions in 2021, and that number hasn’t really changed for seven years. 

    Paula Angarita Rivera: Living in Colombia, I knew I wanted to be an engineer. But expressing this to my academic advisor was my first obstacle in my career. They told me I couldn’t do this; it was a really hard field to study in the States, and I didn’t speak enough English. But applying to Marian University, I was able to remain in community with my faith…sharing the story with my academic advisor there, they were committed to helping me make it work. Five years later I was the first Latina woman to graduate with a dual degree from Marian in mathematics and IUPUI in biomedical engineering….My question today in this phase of my career is what am I doing now to lay the foundation for the next person coming behind me to start their career without all the same challenges?

    Amparo de la Peña: I’m very eager to mentor new people because one of the things that made a significant difference for me was being raised to believe there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. It wasn’t a matter of being a girl, a Latina, or from Uruguay, a third-world country: it didn’t matter. If you knew what you wanted to do and put in the work, you could do it. That mindset is part of what I want people to take away….It’s so important to be able to recognize those split-second opportunities that can be life changing if you are open to them, learn to spot them, and are brave enough to make the shift.

    Maria Alvim Gaston: STEM was always there for me as a child: I even knew a name for the drug I wanted to create. But since then, as a scientist I have had to reinvent myself many times. I’ve been told about my accent, I speak with my hands, and other feedback. Today I have come to think: If I make you dizzy, just don’t look at me while I am speaking. Yet, there used to be a time I would go into a meeting and sit on my hands just to make others comfortable. But you realize with time it takes too much energy trying to conform to be someone else. Take that energy and put it into educating people to accept you the way you accept them—and also put it into your job, your passions, your community.

    Jasmin Gonzalez: By definition, professionalism is competence and skills. It has nothing to do with your personality, your appearance, how your hair may look…none of that has anything to do with professionalism. I think instead a lot of these definitions have to do with white supremacy. So Latinas are taught that being quiet is respectful and you have to follow those ahead of you…By my second year in college, I had decided I would remain respectful, but still share my opinion and also speak up for others. I couldn’t stand anything else. Today I am so glad I can speak up and tell organizations and individuals what is needed to be inclusive. I think all of us may have a pivotal moment—or a few—where we are so uncomfortable we simply must speak up.

    Whether you attended the event in November or had to miss it, watch the video on our YouTube channel to revisit the full discussion and hear about the career journeys, learnings, and inspiring messages of our panelists.

  • 03/01/2023 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    On February 2nd, Women & Hi Tech hosted our annual OperationAll panel to share messages about male allyship in STEM. Here are some of the perspectives, statistics, and observations shared by our panelists and moderator.

    Prasanna Parthasarathy, CEO, Medvantx: In a survey I saw recently from McKinsey, only 8% of men thought their gender played a role in their not getting a raise or promotion, while 37% of women felt the same way. I am a fan of actions over words and we all have a responsibility to ensure our workplaces are a meritocracy. We have to ensure we are being humble and inclusive within our workplaces. You want to have all different ideas from different perspectives and the best and brightest ideas. I would also highlight flexibility is essential for all genders. Everyone should be allowed to shift their priorities depending on what is going on with their life so they can continue to flourish.

    Dan Byrne, Associate Vice President, Market Access Diabetes Incretins, Eli Lilly & Company: Male allyship to me starts within. We have to be willing to admit and accept that we might not have earned everything we think we have earned. I can convince myself I am supporting minority people in the room, but if I haven’t taken the time to understand why I might not be hearing them or their approaches might be different, I’m not being an active ally. I didn’t used to remember my acts of bias because they didn’t happen to me. My least favorite word is “piggyback”—because it’s usually a man repeating a comment and then getting credit for it.

    Darrick Hooker, Partner,  Intellectual Property Counselor and Litigator, Barnes & Thornburg LLP:  True allyship is hitting the reason women are underrepresented head on. There’s the aspect of coaching them in their work and giving them feedback so women feel supported and included. There’s also the aspect of elevating their voices and helping them to be heard in the workplace. You also must speak up against the stereotypes. If a woman in the room provides a suggestion, don’t take that and adopt it as your own. When women provide their diversity of thought, make sure it is attributed to them. Women are not powerless spectators—they are on the team to speak to their background, depth, and abilities and contribute to moving work forward.

    Ben Phillips, Director, Audit and Assurance Services Group, Katz, Sapper & Miller; Treasurer, Women & Hi Tech: To me a male ally is any man that is willing to advocate and speak up as a force of gender equality. This can be sharing opportunities, sharing the workload, celebrating womens’ achievements, and simply being intentional with your actions. In any industry there is unconscious bias around who opportunities are given to. You can’t make assumptions about what individuals do or don’t want to do—if you’re saying a woman won’t want a project or opportunity because of her family life, well, have you asked her?

    These are just some of the amazing insights and tips from the first half of the panel! Watch the full video on our YouTube channel here.

  • 03/01/2023 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    Shanniese Rice joined Women & Hi Tech in 2019 as part of a self-funded sponsor group at Community Health Network. After attending some events, listening to panels, and hearing stories of our members, she decided she wanted to get more involved. She consulted Active Emeritus board member Darcy Lee about next steps, and on her recommendation joined the Networking Events Committee. “It was a great opportunity to marry something I love to do, planning events, with an opportunity to grow.” Shanniese helped plan last year’s Holiday Networking Event and already has some great ideas in the works for our gathering this holiday season.

    Soon, she was approached by other board members and encouraged to take a more active role in the organization’s leadership. Shanniese applied for the role of board Secretary and was confirmed in the role in June 2022. “I wasn’t sure I was ready, but one amazing thing about this organization is how much people who don’t even know you will show up and pour into you. That inspired me to want to do the same.”

    Today, Shanniese works hard to be present, approachable, and share her story with new members. “Someone else at each of our events is like I was—they want to get more involved but don’t know where to start. I want to present the energy that they can start with me.” While a role on the board is a lot of hard work, she added that the mission of connecting with and supporting women and girls in STEM makes it worth the effort.

    One of Shanniese’s goals is to pay special attention to male allies, increasing the engagement, membership, and networking opportunities for all Women & Hi Tech’s members. “Our name can be intimidating to men, but having male allies helps us grow even further.” She pointed out that many men are actively looking to be more supportive to women, but hesitate out of concern they will make things worse instead of better. “Men don’t want to hold so much privilege—they just don’t always know how to give it away. I want our organization to be a safe space men can come for education as well as meaningful connections and their own empowering experiences.”

    Shanniese is always collecting feedback about how Women & Hi Tech can provide more inclusive and exclusive opportunities for our members. If you have thoughts or suggestions, please reach out to her at

  • 03/01/2023 1:40 PM | Anonymous

    Stepping into the Women & Hi Tech presidency was a natural evolution of Maria Alvim Gaston’s service with Women & Hi Tech. “After three years as networking director, I was more aware of the full scope of our operations, needs, and unique challenges facing us post-pandemic.” With her daughter off to college and a newer role with Eli Lilly & Company’s Talent Development Academy, Maria felt she had the time to devote to the organization and the board of directors.

    Shortly after Maria assumed the presidency in June 2022, Women & Hi Tech hosted one of our most successful Leading Light Awards & Scholarship Galas to date. The organization set a record by awarding over $50,000 in scholarships, including our community-funded #InThisTogether scholarship worth over $7,000. “It was a proud moment to be on stage to award our excellent nominees and recipients,” Maria also mentioned she was grateful her employer showed up to support her volunteer efforts. “Eli Lilly & Company was our first-ever Signature Sponsor for the Leading Light Awards.”

    Another goal Maria is set to achieve in her term, is to help Women & Hi Tech to finalize the strategic plan through 2025. “We have a great team, Linda Hicks led us through the process as we work to see ourselves clearly through the eyes of our members and community. Our mission is at the core of who we are, and through this plan we will make our brand and our mission stronger.”

    To that end, Maria is passionate about trying to include all four STEM disciplines in Women & Hi Tech’s programming. “Our name might make people think we are tech-only, but we want to advance equal opportunities for all women in science, technology, engineering, and math.” Events like Celebrate Science, which Women & Hi Tech newly sponsored this year, are part of this effort.

    “As Women & Hi Tech’s first Latina president, I am also excited to see us get more involved with organizations like La Plaza to get more Latinx students aware of STEM careers and prepared to go to college.”

    Maria shared she hopes to leave behind a more diverse and representative organization. “Women & Hi Tech wants to make it easier to get involved and increase the visibility of what we have going on as an organization.” If any readers out there have feedback or ideas for Maria, you can reach out at

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Women & Hi Tech is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Federal ID Number: 35-2113596. 
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