Dear Members, Sponsors, Volunteers, Supporters and Friends,
I hope you and your loved ones are having a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. As for most of us, the holidays have been a bit different for me this year. At the same time, I've been enjoying a bit of downtime and connecting with family and friends, even though it's been through phone calls and virtual get-togethers – we've still had lots of laughs and created memories that will last a lifetime.
As this unprecedented year comes to a close, Women & Hi Tech would like to express our sincerest gratitude for the continued support of our members, sponsors, partners, and friends and the Indiana STEM community. Despite the challenges we've faced as a global community this year, Women & Hi Tech has continued to blaze trails and support professional and collegiate women and male allies in STEM through our virtual programming. Events including Women & Hi Tech's Executive Women's Forum (EWF) – Leveraging the Gift of Feedback, our ClickSide Chat Series, Women & Hi Tech's #INThisTogether Virtual Spring Networking House Party, the new Women Hi Tech's Virtual Book Club, OperationALL: Advocates for Gender Equity, our Virtual Holiday Networking event and our final EWF for 2020 Flipping the Script on Racism and Women in STEM: The Journey to Equity have all provided opportunities for hundreds of STEM professionals to connect, engage, learn and grow this year. In October of this year, Women & Hi Tech and our over 400 guests were honored to celebrate thirteen esteemed Indiana STEM professionals during our first-ever Virtual Leading Light Awards and Scholarship Gala (LLAs), including the introduction of two new awards, the Equity and Inclusion Champion Leading Light Award and the OperationALL Male Allies Leading Light Award. We also helped pave the way for future generations of female STEM leaders by awarding over $50,000 in scholarships and grants during the virtual gala to young ladies and women pursuing higher education in a STEM field (high school seniors, undergraduate students, and graduate students) and to women seeking a professional STEM certification, as well as female entrepreneurs.
This year we also continued to encourage and inspire K-12 girls to take an interest in STEM. To help with the disparity of home learning, Women & Hi Tech donated our remaining 2019-2020 K-12 funds to the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Education Equity Fund to help purchase computers for students while school took place virtually. Also, we partnered with the Indianapolis Professional Association (IPA) to provide Women & Hi Tech Book Scholarships. The scholarships were awarded to three outstanding African American young women pursuing STEM degrees. We've also continued to work with our partners to honor and support twenty-five (25) Indiana High School students who received the Indiana Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. The awards, sponsored by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Women & Hi Tech, and the Society for Information Management (SIM-Indy) - Indianapolis Chapter, and Indiana University recognized high school girls for their computing-related achievements and interests as part of an effort to encourage more young ladies to choose careers in technology.
I am so proud of all of the good works Women & Hi Tech has accomplished this year. It would not be possible without our members, sponsors, volunteers, supporters, and friends. On behalf of the Women & Hi Tech Board of Directors and Emeritus Members, thank you for your continued support, engagement, and partnership. Together we all continue to advance Women & Hi Tech's mission to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.
We look forward to continuing to promote and advance equity and inclusion for all women in STEM in the coming year!
In this 24th edition of "Grown from STEM," we are delighted for you to get to know more about our Director of Membership Administration, Carol Ganz, and introduce you to our dedicated member, Rabia Kahn. Both Ganz and Kahn are highly accomplished in their respective disciplines in technology and share how their unique paths and careers have led to their success and passion for tech. Ganz and Kahn are champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly for women in STEM, in their careers, volunteerism, and personal lives. Please read more about Ganz and Kahn and how their backgrounds, STEM expertise, and passion for equity and inclusion for girls and STEM professionals helps fuel their support and involvement in Women & Hi Tech.
As we began in the October 2020 edition of "Grown from STEM," we are delighted to continue to feature one of our 2020 Virtual Leading Light Awards (LLAs) recipients in this newsletter. This month we continue to celebrate and recognize Women & Hi Tech's honorary recipient for the new OperationALL Males Allies Award, Gerry Dick, Host and Creator of Inside Indiana Business. Gerry attended our first Spotlight Awards in 2000 and has continuously promoted Women & Hi Tech and numerous other female STEM organizations and professionals. He is an avid supporter, champion, and ally for Women & Hi Tech and all women girls in STEM. Please watch this segment of the 2020 Virtual LLAs to learn more about what fuels Gerry's passion and drive for gender equality in the STEM fields and beyond. Again, Congratulations Gerry!
I wish you all a peaceful, joyful, and prosperous New Year!
President, Women & Hi Tech
If you haven't already, don't miss this opportunity to sign up to join Women & Hi Tech's first Virtual Executive Women's Forum in 2021 on February 11, International Day of Women & Girls in Science, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly. We have a unique and exciting opportunity to learn from Indiana's top-ranking healthcare professional, Dr. Kristina Box. Register here to join Women & Hi Tech for our "Special Edition" Virtual Executive Women's Forum: A CASUAL, CRUCIAL COVID CONVERSATION WITH INDIANA'S HEALTH COMMISSIONER – DR. KRISTINA BOX.