In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure the health and safety of our members, sponsors, and supporters, Women & Hi Tech is excited to announce the first-ever Virtual Leading Light Awards (LLAs) and Scholarship Gala to be held on October 1, 2020 from 6:30-8:30pm (EST). Typically held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom with 600-700 guests, this signature, biennial event by Women & Hi Tech focuses on celebrating Indiana women in STEM - women who are risk-takers, leaders, educators, mentors, and those who are changing our local STEM landscape. In addition, and new this year at the 2020 LLAs, Women & Hi Tech will focus on “Equity and Inclusion” in STEM, by recognizing our male allies, as well as our diversity, equity, and inclusion champions. In honor of this 20th Anniversary of the first Leading Light Awards – originally the Spotlight Awards - and the incorporation of the organization, Women & Hi Tech is also thrilled to be awarding over $50,000 of scholarships and grants to women and girls in Indiana pursuing STEM fields through its #LLA20for20 scholarship and grant campaign.
Women & Hi Tech is also pleased to announce Sarah Jones, an award-winning all-platform journalist for WTHR Channel 13News, as the new emcee for the Virtual LLAs and Scholarship Gala on October 1, 2020. Prior to the 2020 Women & Hi Tech Virtual LLAs and Scholarship Gala, Ms. Jones had over a decade of experience in news media in the U.S. and all over the world, including Turkey, Netherlands, South Sudan, Czech Republic, England, Dubai, Canada, and more. Ms. Jones has also worked for major international news networks, including CNN, the BBC, and Al Jazeera America. Ms. Jones earned her B.A. in Communications from Lake Forest College and a Masters with Merit in International Broadcast Journalism from City University in London.
Women & Hi Tech is thrilled to have Ms. Jones’ engagement and support of the 2020 Virtual Leading Light Awards and Scholarship Gala as we celebrate female STEM leaders, and the benefits and advantages of “Equity and Inclusion” on the robust pipeline of talent in the Indiana STEM community. The mission of Women & Hi Tech is to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.
About Sarah Jones:
Ms. Jones recently joined WTHR Channel 13News as a “one-WOMAN-band” meaning she films, edits, writes, produces, and reports her own pieces and material. Ms. Jones has also advised senior level military personnel and government officials in the US and allied countries on social media technologies. Ms. Jones’ global travels as a journalist has fueled her deep appreciation for diverse cultures and traditions. Ms. Jones was named by Friends of Europe as one of the top twenty North American Young Leaders, and was also voted Best Journalist in Social Media at the Sixth Annual Shorty Awards.
Ms. Jones has been recognized as an International Women's Media Foundation fellow, a two time International Reporting Project Fellow, and is among the top forty female social media influencers for conversations surrounding artificial intelligence. Ms. Jones received the Women Economic Forum's highest honor on International Women's Day, 2018 in Hague where she was named as one of their "Women of the Decade" in News & Social Engagement. Selected as one of the top one thousand most influential Twitter profiles, Ms. Jones also continues to serve as an Online Media Awards judge and Skoll World Forum delegate since 2015. Proudly, Ms. Jones founded Remembering Fallen Journalists, an online movement to honor those who have died while bearing witness, which reached over 9 million people in its first year.
Ms. Jones is personally passionate about access to education, social entrepreneurship, and women's rights, access to clean water and sanitation, as well as ethical fashion and products. Ms. Jones has also won awards in fencing and Tae Kwon Do.
About Women & Hi Tech:
Women & Hi Tech is a 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in Indianapolis in 1999 by Eli Lilly scientist, Joyce Gustafson, and Indiana University academic, Georgia Miller. Over the last two decades, Women & Hi Tech has blazed a trail for supporting, recognizing, and advancing outstanding women and girls pursuing STEM fields in Indiana. In that time, Women & Hi Tech has become a pillar of the local STEM community through its educational, professional development, recognition, mentoring, and networking programs, which provide valuable resources to champion collegiate and career women, along with STEM exposure opportunities for K-12 girls. A membership of almost 2000 professionals and students operated by an all-volunteer working Board of Directors and Emeritus, Women & Hi Tech is the only non-profit organization founded and focused in Indiana that is dedicated to changing the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.