Dear Women & Hi Tech Members, Sponsors, Partners, and Friends:
As we near the end of this year’s Women’s History Month, Women & Hi Tech would like to pay tribute to all of the fearless female leaders who have come before us, and upon whose shoulders we stand. We would also like to recognize the upcoming centennial of the Women’s Suffrage movement, which led to the constitutional amendment providing women the right to vote. While working to promote women’s personal rights, further advancements have also been spearheaded by women to support their professional equality when working outside of the home. Women like Marie Curie, Grace Hopper, Elizabeth Bragg, and Katherine Johnson - each of whom made significant contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), respectively. Importantly, the leadership of these and many other women throughout history has not only resulted in STEM industry innovations, but has established a benchmark of the value realized when female leaders contribute their style and expertise to STEM industries.
In honoring female leadership in STEM nationally, we would be remiss to not highlight Women & Hi Tech’s own history as a local force to promote the advancement of women in STEM in this community. For twenty years, Women & Hi Tech has driven change in the landscape of women represented in STEM in Indiana to be equally inclusive to all. While there have been significant increases in the number of female STEM practitioners over the last two decades, in 2019, women still occupy only about 24% of STEM careers and hold only about 18% of STEM leadership roles in the U.S.1
In addition, female STEM entrepreneurs only make up about 5% of the 30% of female-owned businesses nationwide.2 Moreover, female entrepreneurs only receive about 18% of the venture capital secured by their male counterparts, but generally report about 12% higher revenue as compared to male-owned businesses.3 Accordingly, the role of the female STEM entrepreneur is evolving and increasing as women continue to make multi-faceted impact in the world of STEM, not just as practitioners, but also as businessowners.
In this third edition of Grown from STEM, Women & Hi Tech would like to recognize two female STEM entrepreneurs who started their tech-related businesses here in Indianapolis. Audrey Taylor is the Past President of Women & Hi Tech, and is the CEO of netlogx. Susan Vaughn is a Board Member Emeritus of Women & Hi Tech, as well as the President and CEO of The Project Authority, Inc. Please read more about Audrey and Susan and how their STEM backgrounds, business acumen, and organizational leadership skills culminated in the establishment of thriving businesses as female STEM entrepreneurs.
Profile: Audrey Taylor, Past President of Women & Hi Tech and CEO of netlogx
Profile: Susan Vaughn, Past President/Board Member Emeritus and President & CEO of The Project Authority, Inc.
Angela B. Freeman, Esq.
Women & Hi Tech President-Elect and 20th Anniversary Committee Chair
1Neal, Stephanie and Smith, Audrey. "Are We Underselling the Promise of Women in STEM Leadership Roles?" DDI World, https://ddiworld.com/challenging-thinking/are-we-underselling-women-in-stem-leadership-roles
2Kymn, Christine. "Help Wanted: Seeking Women Entrepreneurs in STEM." Brookings, 8 December 2014, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2014/12/08/help-wanted-seeking-women-entrepreneurs-in-stem/
3Weisul, Kimberly. "When It Comes to Revenue, Women Entrepreneurs Are Pummeling the Guys." Inc, 6 June 2018, https://www.inc.com/kimberly-weisul/boston-consulting-group-female-founders-higher-revenues.html