Dear Women & Hi Tech Members, Sponsors, Partners, and Friends:
Two and a half years ago, while serving as Treasurer, I was asked by the Board to serve as the next President of Women & Hi Tech. It was a surreal moment. I actually looked behind me to see who they were talking to, and said, “You mean me?” Then, filled with emotions ranging from excitement to fear, I cried and said, “Yes!”
Have you had a moment like this in your career or professional life – a moment when someone extended a hand to you and lifted you up? A moment when someone saw something in you that you didn’t see in yourself? A moment when you were scared, but took the leap anyway? A moment when someone shone their light on you? I hope if you haven’t, you will experience this at some point in your life or that you will be the light for someone else.
I’ve learned so much in the past few years. I’ve learned that sometimes the people you think are your friends see you as a mentor, and that mentoring others is an amazingly rewarding experience. I’ve learned that taking the time to understand your own personality and communication styles can make you a better leader. I’ve learned that executing a great vision requires years of planting seeds and nurturing ideas – patience, passion and persistence. I’ve learned that many other women struggle with the challenges of being working mothers, and that although we sometimes think the best path forward is to put down our heads and power through, we’re better off picking up our heads and carving out time to connect with others. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but I think you get the point.
As I wrap up my term as President, I look forward to continued learning in my role as Past President under our next President, the inimitable Angela B. Freeman, and to celebrating Women & Hi Tech’s 20th Anniversary in August. Thank you to our members, volunteers, committee members, sponsors, community partners, male allies, and to my fellow board members for working together to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all. Together, we are making a significant impact on the future of women in STEM.
In this edition of Grown from STEM, we recognize a math lover who has used her talents to help grow Women & Hi Tech’s impact in the community. Bobbie LaFollette is the Treasurer for Women & Hi Tech and a Senior Business Analyst with Baker Hill Solutions. Her passion for technology and finance has made her an invaluable asset to Women & Hi Tech. Finally, although you may know many people with careers in science, technology and engineering, it seems much rarer to find someone with a career in math. So, in this edition, we explore careers for math lovers. If you’re a parent of a young girl who loves math, you may find this article especially interesting!
Women & Hi Tech President