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 firstname.lastname@example.org.