Dear Women & Hi Tech Members, Sponsors, Partners, and Friends,
As 2019 comes to a close, it provides us an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and achievements of this illustrious organization, Women & Hi Tech. 2019 began with Women & Hi Tech declaring a year-long tribute to our 20-year history with a theme of “Celebrating our Past and Investing in our Future.” From launching this monthly “Grown from STEM” newsletter featuring Board profiles, Passport To Hi-Tech at Connor Prairie, our Spring Networking Event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and multiple Executive Women’s Forums ending with Jessica Gendron discussing “Putting your Self-Confidence into Action” to Ignite Your Superpower at IUPUI, the Fall Retreat at French Lick, OperationALL for our male allies, and our Holiday Networking Event at the Montage, we have spent this year celebrating the history and legacy of this fine organization.
To invest in our future, Women & Hi Tech exceeded our goal of raising $20,000 and awarded over $30,000 of scholarships and professional development grants to future female STEM leaders during our 20th Anniversary Celebration in August. This level of annual financial impact was a first for Women & Hi Tech, along with my election as the first Woman of Color and/or African-American to serve as President. Women & Hi Tech has also made significant strides in expanding its collaborative impact in this state by forming and/or capitalizing on significant partnerships with like-minded local organizations including The Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Pass the Torch for Women, Girls, Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, IvyWorks, and Every Girl Can STEM. We look forward to identifying opportunities to continue to grow supportive partnerships as Women & Hi Tech continues to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.
And 2020 is going to be another strong year for Women & Hi Tech, as we continue to focus on increasing and/or improving diversity, equity, and inclusion of women in STEM in Indiana. Notably, Women & Hi Tech will kick off our 2020 programming with our first “Special Edition” Executive Women’s Forum entitled “A Double Whammy or Triple Threat” focused on the Disparity of Diversity Amongst Women in STEM on Feb 5th, where we will address topics, such as privilege and empathy. Women & Hi Tech’s Leading Light Awards on October 1, 2020 will be bigger and better than ever as we also recognize our male allies and our equity and inclusion champions. But for now, on behalf of our all-volunteer working Board of Directors, I would like to send heartfelt appreciation out to all of you for your dedicated support of Women & Hi Tech’s mission over the last 20 years, now, into this new decade, and the distant future.
In this 12th edition of “Grown from STEM,” Women & Hi Tech would like to introduce you to our board members who have specialized in education at the collegiate and university levels. We invite you to meet Georgia Miller, a visionary whose ideas and action culminated into this very organization as a co-founder and Past President of Women & Hi Tech. Before retirement and beyond establishing this auspicious organization, Georgia was a recognized and esteemed leader building collaborative and productive relationships between Indiana businesses and higher education institutions. Women & Hi Tech’s Collegiate Outreach Director, Merri Beth Lavagnino, also had an extensive career in information security and privacy in academia before recently transitioning to an executive corporate role. Both ladies have been key in connecting Indiana academic and business institutions. Please read more about Georgia and Merri Beth and how their backgrounds and passions for connecting business and academia to support women in STEM fuels their support and involvement in Women & Hi Tech.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Everyone!
Angela B. Freeman, M.S., J.D.
Women & Hi Tech President