Women & Hi Tech exists to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.


  • 06/20/2019 8:01 AM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    Bobbie LaFollette, CPAIn 2016, Bobbie LaFollette won a scholarship through Women & Hi Tech’s Leading Light Awards. This put her squarely on Women & Hi Tech’s radar just as the org was looking for its next Treasurer – one who could take the organization to the next level. As a CPA with a background in tech and finance, Bobbie was the perfect fit.

    In her two years as the Treasurer on the Women & Hi Tech Board of Directors, Bobbie has accomplished a lot. LaFollette originally started out in art and design but circuitously ended up in the world of STEM via accounting. At first, like most young people, she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do. “I had an interest in STEM fields and had trouble deciding a major. My initial major was biology, but I also had an interest in art and design. Eventually, I changed college campuses and moved closer to home and totally changed programs. I got my associate's degree in Computer Graphics Technology from Purdue, then I started working at a bank, which is when I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career, though, because I had an interest in finance and accounting and also in software development and design.”

    For a while after getting her Associate’s Degree LaFollette worked as a CPA, but then decided that she wanted to get back to her tech roots. She started taking classes at Eleven Fifty Academy where she was introduced to Women & Hi Tech by Tiffany Trusty, “Tiffany was involved with the apprenticeship program at Eleven Fifty Academy. She got me involved with Women & Hi Tech. My career background prior to taking a coding boot camp was mostly banking or accounting related, but I'd diverged from that. I had some experience as a software developer and now I'm a business analyst at a software company.” Currently, LaFollette works at Baker Hill in Carmel developing banking software. She lends a unique perspective in her role at Baker Hill. “I am a business analyst, which is a bridge between development and stakeholders. Given my experience in both development and business, I can relate to both groups and liaise between them.”

    LaFollette brought her impressive accounting skills with her to Women & Hi Tech, as well as her insights into software design and coding, to help make positive advancements to Women & Hi Tech’s financial infrastructure. “Since coming on board, I've made improvements in our software systems, and put together more advanced financial reporting packages. These changes have allowed the board to focus more on strategic planning and future growth.” Her contribution to the Board of Directors is a great example of the variety of ways math lovers help support and grow an organization.

    As for the next generation of women in STEM, LaFollette believes talking to girls about careers in STEM at a young age can help them understand they aren’t necessarily bound to traditional gender roles, and can help combat real issues young women face, such as peer pressure and confidence. “ If you can reach them when they are younger and let them know of all the opportunities out there, they may realize they have more options than they think." She also believes in the importance of mentoring for female students and professionals in STEM, and that mentoring can be a great vehicle to spread the word about the growing need and opportunities for women in STEM fields. To pay it forward, Bobbie mentors and provides guidance to female students at Eleven Fifty Academy.

    “Mentoring and one-on-one interactions help shed some light on how women fit into STEM fields.”

    As a Women & Hi Tech scholarship recipient herself, LaFollette also sees scholarships as an important means to help women get into STEM fields. Helping women pay for college is very near and dear to her heart, especially when it comes to young women living in smaller towns who go to smaller schools. She knows the importance of scholarships and grants first-hand. “I came from a family that didn't have as much money, so I relied on grants and scholarships. For some young women, a scholarship can really make a difference. I’d like to see us reach more girls and young women in rural areas and at smaller schools that don’t have as many STEM-related resources as the larger schools.

    She sees her role as Treasurer as a way of helping Women & Hi Tech offer more financial aid to those in need. “We have grown tremendously as an organization in the past few years. Having a CPA as the Treasurer helps us continue to grow and advance our ability to fund scholarships and programs for young girls and women in STEM."

    LaFollette sees a bright future ahead for young women because of the efforts of Women & Hi Tech. “Because of organizations like Women & Hi Tech that have taken it as part of their mission to purposefully and strategically try and make more women and minorities aware that there are lots of different options with STEM careers, more girls and young women are looking at STEM careers . Years ago, most software development and engineering roles were predominantly filled by men. Because of our efforts and the efforts of organizations like ours, the number of women in STEM-related fields continues to grow.”

    LinkedIn Profile

  • 06/20/2019 8:00 AM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    Careers for Math Lovers You Might Want to ConsiderAs you are probably aware, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. If you have studied the former three fields, there are many career opportunities to choose from. But while math is the foundation of every STEM subject from bioengineering to coding, it’s a little more difficult to pinpoint careers that require a degree in mathematics, specifically. Believing we can’t be the only ones with this question, and knowing there are math lovers and parents of math lovers among us, we put together a list of some of the best STEM careers for serious math lovers. By looking at factors such as the 10-year growth rate we have pinpointed fields that will surely have openings in the future. We’ve also highlighted the male to female ratio and racial diversity within the given careers paths. Finally, we’ve pointed out the egregious pay gaps between men and women so that women know what they’re getting into (and how much to ask for).


    • 10 Year Growth Rate

    An actuary is a mathematical professional who looks at risks and their financial consequences. They use financial theory, statistics and math to study uncertain futures. They usually work in the insurance field but there is a big need for them in government, banking, healthcare, and various types of consulting firms, businesses and unions. Actuaries are responsible for designing plans that mitigate risk or control the impact of potential losses such as loss of income, unsuccessful financial transactions, loss of life or injury. They also assist with implementing these plans, from financing to operations, so this career path requires a strong understanding of business as well.

    Market Research Analyst2

    • 10-year projected job growth

    This job requires individuals to analyze marketing and sales trends in order to forecast potential sales for a service or product – what people want, who will buy them, and at what price. They measure the effectiveness of current marketing strategies and gather data about consumers, competitors, as well as market conditions. Additionally, they have to be able to communicate this information in a way that is understandable to those who don’t have a background in the field. This requires someone who has a background in math, but also someone with great communication skills.

    Financial Analyst3

    • Male/Female ratio
    • 10-year projected job growth

    A financial analyst looks at financial conditions on both a macro and micro economic level and uses their knowledge of business to make predictions about the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s potential financial decisions. Some of the more common roles an analyst is given is to recommend what moves a company should or shouldn’t make when it comes to buying and selling stocks or help analyze the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Companies heavily rely on financial analysts to make sure that a company’s growth is not only stable but increasing. While the salary is high at an average of $115,000 a year, it has the biggest pay gap of all the careers on this list.

    Technical Writer4

    • 10-year projected job growth

    Technical writers rely on both English and Math skills in order to translate complicated processes in a way the average person can understand them. For example, if a paper is published about the discovery of an exoplanet, which took a complicated series of equations to find, it’s a technical writer’s job to explain how the equations worked to determine that the planet exists. They also talk to engineers and scientists and work to manage the information flow between project teams so that everyone is on the same page.

    Key Takeaways:

    • These careers require great math and communication skills, and the ability to effectively collaborate with other key stakeholders.
    • These careers often additionally require a sound understanding of business, a strong understanding of human behavior, and the ability to use software databases.
    • There is a lot of forecasted growth in fields that require mathematical acumen.
    • Even in fields where women have a majority of representation, there are still monumental wage gaps.
    • There is a serious lack of racial and ethnic diversity in math fields.

    Just as math is at the core of any STEM career, diversity and equality are at the heart of Women & Hi Tech’s mission. Because many of these roles are vital to how any organization functions and grows, it’s imperative that we encourage young women who love math to pursue these types of careers; there is certainly a lot of opportunity and math majors have some of the highest levels of job satisfaction! To find out about more great opportunities in math-related fields, the Association for Women in Mathematics has some great resources. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about math careers, this article features nearly 25 more careers that math lovers can consider.






  • 06/08/2019 4:00 PM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    Women & Hi Tech members are invited to the Women & Hi Tech Annual Meeting of the Members on June 18, 2019 from 1:30-2:00 pm, followed by the Executive Women’s Forum – You Are More Than Enough. During this meeting, we’ll review what we’ve accomplished together over the past year, some plans for the coming year, and provide the opportunity for you to vote to elect the 2019-2020 slate of the Board of Directors of Women & Hi Tech.

    If you plan to attend the Annual Meeting of the Members in person and have yet to register, please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

    Recognizing how busy everyone is, we are pleased to share that you may also vote electronically (by proxy). CLICK HERE TO VOTE BY PROXY for the 2019-2020 board slate if you do not plan to attend the Annual Meeting of the Members. You will be asked to log in to your Women & Hi Tech account before voting.

    Voting will end at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 18. Votes received in-person or by proxy after 5:00 pm on June 18, 2019 will not be counted in the official tally for election of the 2019-2020 slate of the Board of Directors.

    Thank you for being one of over 1,800 valued members of Women & Hi Tech, and for participating in the 2019-2020 Annual Meeting of the Members. If you have any questions, please contact us at WHTInfo@womenandhitech.org.

  • 05/31/2019 2:01 PM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    Dear Women & Hi Tech Members, Sponsors, Partners, and Friends:

    As May comes to a close, it brings along with it the completion of the biggest and best Women & Hi Tech Spring Networking Event with over 200 friends at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, as well as the Memorial Day Holiday. In reverence, Women & Hi Tech would like to belatedly salute our veterans, current military servicemen and women, and all of the Gold Star families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice to provide and protect the freedoms that we, as Americans, so richly enjoy. In their honor, Women & Hi Tech will continue to bring attention to our own local heroes and advocates that support and promote the advancement of women in STEM in this community.

    For twenty years, Women & Hi Tech has been a leading force to effectuate change in the landscape of women represented in STEM in Indiana to be equally inclusive to all. To date, our growing number of members, sponsors, and supporters evidence the value and impact that our organization has historically provided to women in STEM through its professional development programs, networking events, and recognition opportunities, such as the Leading Light Awards. These programs and events are brought to fruition through the dedication, hard work, and sweat equity of an all-volunteer working Board of Directors. In continuum of our efforts to recognize our local STEM heroes and to “celebrate our past” during our 20th Anniversary, Women & Hi Tech continues to highlight women who have provided great contributions to this organization through their service on our Board of Directors.

    In this fifth edition of “Grown from STEM,” Women & Hi Tech would like to recognize two business leaders who have given their time, talents, and treasures to this organization. Jo Basey is a founding member of Women & Hi Tech who remains a driving force of the organization as she has over its two decades, particularly after her retirement from a trailblazing business career. Rebecca Bormann is an IT business development professional who serves as Women & Hi Tech’s Corporate Engagement Director and focuses her attention on building, growing, and sustaining meaningful relationships. Please read more about Jo and Rebecca and how their STEM backgrounds, business acumen, and passion for helping other women fuels their involvement in Women & Hi Tech.

    Profile:  Jo Basey, Board of Directors Emeritus

    Profile:  Rebecca Bormann, Managing Director of Sales & Services, Bell Techlogix, Inc. 

  • 05/31/2019 2:00 PM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    In 2016, Rebecca Bormann took on the role of Managing Director of Sales and Service for Bell Techlogix, a Gartner-recognized leading IT managed services and solutions firm headquartered here in Indianapolis. “Myself and my peers across the country are the faces of Bell Techlogix in our respective communities. We listen to IT leaders speak about what’s important to them in their organizations, and what functions of IT they need most help with. We also host technology events and participate in national IT symposiums,” Bormann explained. “Bell Techlogix is extremely proud to have predominantly women in these outward-facing roles, and each is highly successful. My peers and I are proud that as female technologists we get to represent women in STEM through our engagement in local and national IT forums and symposiums, presenting at the executive tables and boardrooms of our clients, and building strong and lasting relationships in the IT community.”

    Around the same time Rebecca took on her role at Bell Techlogix in 2016 is when she joined Women & Hi Tech. “When I joined, I started out as a volunteer just helping set up for the Leading Light Awards. I quickly realized this is an organization that aligned with my core values and my passions of supporting other women and inspiring and empowering our youth. When I heard about Ignite Your Superpower (IYS) I knew I had to help launch this event. I asked to be part of the IYS exhibitors committee, since I knew that was an impactful way I could contribute,” said Bormann. Her involvement in that committee led to Rebecca’s nomination as Director of Corporate Engagement, where she has served for two years.

    Relationships are one of the things Bormann appreciates most about her seat on the board, and also a big part of why she enjoys her business development career. Originally, she was enrolled in pharmacy school, following the footsteps of both her parents. “As much as I have always loved science, after a couple of years working as a pharmacy technician, I knew it wasn’t the career path for me,” she said. So, Bormann dropped out of pharmacy school, did some research about companies she might like to work for, and landed a sales and service job in Verizon’s business division after a rigorous interview process. “Working at Verizon introduced me to the broad world of technology. Tech is continually advancing and changing. I love that there is always something new and different to learn. And I love that with each new IT innovation I get to help my clients learn and advance their businesses.”

    In the two years Rebecca has served on the Women & Hi Tech board as Director of Corporate Engagement, both the number of corporate sponsors and the amount of corporate contributions have nearly doubled. “I see our corporate sponsors as vital to Women & Hi Tech’s continued success and growth. Our sponsors directly empower us to make the future of STEM more inclusive to all by enabling us to expand our programming and events that support women in STEM, as well as reaching more girls to inspire them to pursue a passion in STEM. Our corporate sponsors enable us to provide scholarships and grants to females seeking STEM degrees and certifications. And our sponsors allow us to reach more women working in STEM today, by helping us spread our mission within their organizations and encouraging both their male and female employees to become active Women & Hi Tech members.”

    When it comes to her predictions for what the next twenty years of growth for Women & Hi Tech will hold, Bormann thinks more robust diversity will be an essential factor. “I believe deeply in the mission of Women & Hi Tech--we need STEM career opportunities and paths to be equally inclusive to all.” Rebecca says she sits at executive IT meetings and across the negotiation table with women more often than she used to, but that breaking down gender barriers is just the beginning of the work required to diversify STEM fields. “Race, religion, age, and socioeconomic backgrounds are all part of changing the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all,” she said. “Historically, one perspective has dominated these industries."

    "We all recognize that advancement and innovation can’t happen in a bubble. Each unique and diverse perspective brings new ideas, new angles, and new strategies that make us, our businesses and our organizations better.”

    Bormann says that in the next two decades, she wants the vision and reach of Women & Hi Tech to empower individuals of all backgrounds to have the hope and vision to chase their dreams in STEM. “I want to see us do more to reach out, inspire and teach underserved girls about all the possibilities in STEM fields. I want to see male allies recognized at the Leading Light Awards—much sooner than twenty years from now! I know there will be a day that we will look at our membership and event attendance and see a diverse group of men and women representing all of the STEM fields. This is Women & Hi Tech’s future because from the beginning this organization has been committed to the idea that it takes all our contributions to drive meaningful progress. Whatever that mission looks like in the future, I know we will rise to meet it.”


  • 05/31/2019 2:00 PM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    As a founding member of Women & Hi Tech, Jo Basey was one of a core group of women who agreed twenty years ago to take action against the implicit bias they saw in the STEM community around them. “The original intent was to involve, recognize, & promote women in STEM. There were roles we knew women were not getting recognized for taking on, and not getting promoted into because it wasn’t believed women could fulfill them.” Today, Basey remains an emeritus member of the board of Women & Hi Tech, where she feels her role is as a guide to help the organization keep focused on that mission.

    “We have come very far in twenty years, but the girls we reach with events like Ignite Your Superpower and Passport to Hi Tech certainly aren’t stepping into management positions or joining the C-Suite of a company any time soon,” Basey points out. “For a while in the nineties, you could point to ten or more large Indiana companies with female CIOs. Now, it’s gone down again. Is that because women aren’t choosing those roles? I’m not sure. But if barriers exist, we need to continue to help raise awareness and break them down."

    "When we aren’t at the board table, that means our perspective isn’t actually being included.”

    Basey’s own career in STEM was not along a traditional linear path. As the oldest of five children, when she graduated high school, she had acceptances to study pharmacy at both Purdue and Butler. “But I was ready to get married, and five years of school just seemed like too much.” So, Basey got jobs in three different research centers at Indiana University, and didn’t start college until her youngest child entered kindergarten. “I had bosses that would not let me off work to go to school. It wasn’t like it is today. I had to make up any time I took off.” Jo described the hard work of carrying a stack of FORTRAN computer cards between campus buildings in the middle of the night to check her programming work. “My husband would say when I was crawling in bed at 2am, ‘What are you doing? You know you have three kids? You know you have to be at work at 8am?’ But I was determined to do this.”

    Though Basey’s studies for her business degree involved learning computer programming, she never ended up working an IT or technical job. The Indiana University MIS research center where she worked was able to stretch five years of funding from an IBM grant into eight while they were developing The Information Management Affiliates Program. Kelley School of Business decided to keep those efforts as part of the Indiana Business Research Center. This early coalition focused on helping IT decision makers deal with pressing issues in their fast-changing field. “I’m not tech savvy so to speak, because I never had to apply it myself. I was staffing the programs to teach executives what they needed to know. I listened to the membership as to what kept them awake at night, what topics were on their list of worry and why? We then found the people the best at solving those issues, because they had already tackled them. They had success or failure stories to share. Our approach was, let’s come together and talk about this stuff, not reinvent the wheel.”

    Basey’s experience with building contacts and her network of connections are part of the foundation of Women & Hi tech today. “In the early years I helped identify not only speakers for our forums, and potential corporate sponsors, but also suitable board members.” Jo also served as Women & Hi Tech’s treasurer for seven years, where her talent stretching a budget would find more application. “One of our first goals we achieved was hosting the Leading Light Awards, the first one in affiliation with Lilly Women’s Network and Women in Business. We didn’t give any scholarships or awards—just paying for the food was scary enough. But we kept doing it. Today, there’s a heck of a lot more of a cushion to be able to do things like the $20,000 in scholarships we are giving away at the anniversary celebration. The increases in corporate membership are allowing us to do good work that will make a difference in the lives of undergrads, graduate students, and professional women who all need dollars to further their education in STEM fields.” In 2018, Jo herself was recognized at the Leading Light Awards as a recipient of the inaugural Gustafson-Miller Change the Landscape Award, named in honor of two other founding women of the organization.

    Jo says that in twenty years, she plans to be rolling up the ramp with her walker to attend another Leading Light Awards, one she hopes will fully reflect Women & Hi Tech’s deep impact on the STEM landscape. “In 20 years, I want to be able to point to things happening in politics, in university leadership, in the c-suites of private companies and say—we were part of that.”


  • 05/20/2019 7:29 AM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Women & Hi Tech greeted a sold-out crowd of sponsors, members, and friends at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the 2019 Spring Networking Event. Darcy Lee, President of Women & Hi Tech, kicked off the event by welcoming the crowd to IMS. Darcy also reminded the attendees that Women & Hi Tech continues to celebrate its 20th year as a non-profit in Indiana working to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.

    Darcy then introduced Sheetal Prasanna and Grace Ybarra, 2019 Indianapolis 500 Princesses. Sheetal, a 2018 Women & Hi Tech Leading Light Award (LLA) scholarship winner and Purdue engineering student, and Grace, a freshman at Indiana University, reminded the crowd that the Princess program is not a pageant, but rather celebrates Indiana's civic-minded and academically driven young women. Grace spoke about the courage exhibited by her mom, Susan Vaughn, Women & Hi Tech Board Member Emeritus, and how that encouragement has impacted her in her studies. Sheetal also provided a touching and inspiring tale of how winning Women & Hi Tech’s LLA scholarship opened doors to opportunities, such as the Indianapolis 500 Princess program.

    Maria Alvim-Gaston, Networking Director for Women & Hi Tech, introduced Rebecca Ruselink, CIO of IMS, who urged the crowd to always be fearless and assertive in their careers.

    Angela B. Freeman, President-Elect of Women & Hi Tech, thanked Rhonda Winter, former Board Member, who established this very popular event years ago. Angela also introduced Jimmie McMillan, Senior Corporate Counsel at IMS. Jimmie energetically spoke on technological advances used at IMS during the Indianapolis 500. The 200 event attendees, clad in Women & Hi Tech blue t-shirts, then ventured out to explore the garage areas of Gasoline Alley in the beautiful May weather.

    Pictures from the event can be found online at https://womenandhitech.org/page-18294. If you have pictures from the event that you would like to contribute to Women & Hi Tech's photo directory, please contact Lori Boyer, Communications Director at communications@womenandhitech.org

  • 05/02/2019 5:00 PM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    The Nomination Committee for Women & Hi Tech is still seeking female and male candidates for the Corporate Engagement Director position on Board of Directors to help fulfill the mission of changing the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.

    Women & Hi Tech is run by an all-volunteer, working Board of Directors. Candidates for this position will bring wisdom, experience, effectiveness, candor, and creative thinking in his/her role on the Board of Directors.

    The nomination deadline for this position has been moved back to Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

    All nominations will be reviewed by the Nomination Committee. Nominees must be Women & Hi Tech members in good standing at the time of initial voting and must remain in good standing throughout their tenure. New board members take office in July, 2019.

    Click here to view the description of the Corporate Engagement Director position.  

    To apply, please complete this application form by May 28, 2019.  

  • 04/30/2019 11:02 AM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    Dear Women & Hi Tech Members, Sponsors, Partners, and Friends:

    In today’s market, you’re often more likely to encounter individuals who have non-linear careers than linear careers. Rather than climbing the career ladder, modern professionals are traversing an ever-changing lattice of jobs and opportunities. Although it was common for Baby Boomers to have fewer than 10 jobs their entire adult career (ages 25-50), Millennials and Gen Z are entering a job market where career flux is the norm. For example, it’s not uncommon for current professionals to hold a job that has seemingly little to do with the degree they received, or early career experience or expectations they have garnered.

    For the past few months, we’ve profiled current and past Women & Hi Tech board members, highlighting their STEM career journeys and elements that have led to their success. Some of these women have had careers that went straight from point A to B; but many have taken a wandering journey to arrive in a STEM role where they feel valued and have impact. Take as an example our President-Elect, Angela B. Freeman, who started out as a Molecular Biologist and is now a Patent Attorney. Also, Past President, Audrey Taylor, founder and CEO of netlogx; she has become one of the most celebrated female businessowners in the state of Indiana without having any secondary education at all.

    Sharing this wide variety of stories with you is intentional because we know it helps people understand how to make changes, advances, and take risks in their own careers. What unites these stories is the emphasis on a strong network, a supporting tribe, as well as mentors and champions that keep women grounded, oriented, and moving in the right direction in the ever-changing landscape of women in STEM. We are proud that Women & Hi Tech has supported and sustained this community over the last twenty years, and we will continue to highlight the stories and faces of female leaders that will guide Indiana into the future as a recognized leader of female STEM talent.

    Our board profiles this month feature Tiffany Trusty, Manager of Mobile Medical Apps at Eli Lilly and Company, and Lori Boyer, Software Engineer at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. Both are currently doers and leaders of Indianapolis’ vibrant and growing tech community. We hope sharing their stories offers insight into your personal and professional growth, and inspires you to positively impact your own life, our community, and women in STEM.

    Profile:  Tiffany Trusty, Board Member Emeritus and Manager, Mobile Medical Apps, Eli Lilly and Company

    Profile:  Lori Boyer, Communications Director and Software Engineer, Barnes & Thornburg


    Darcy Lee
    Women & Hi Tech President

    *For more information on sponsoring a scholarship, please contact Rebecca Bormann, our Corporate Engagement Director at corpsponsor@womenandhitech.org.

  • 04/30/2019 11:01 AM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

    When Lori Boyer graduated from Indiana University with a degree in marketing and sociology, she wasn’t sure what future lay ahead. Her decision on her college major had been largely influenced by the expectations of teachers and friends from her small home town about what was “expected” for girls to study. “Even just going to IU was a big enough risk,” Boyer said. “I did not have the confidence to break the mold and speak up, to say ‘Get out of my way! I’m a woman! Hear me roar!’ I don’t have regrets, but I wish I had joined computer clubs and found my nerds back in college.”

    Instead, after graduation Boyer got a job at a software company in the human resources department. She soon got tired of being asked the same questions over and over. “I decided we needed an online FAQ, which at the time was a substantial undertaking,” she said. “Back in the days of dialup, you couldn’t just watch an online tutorial, or upload a file to a web host and call it done.” Boyer turned to the thick coding books in her office and began a journey of self-education that would define her career. “After I completed that project, I saw a position had opened up at our company for a junior web developer. I applied, and when I got it, I couldn’t believe it.” From there, lacking mentors, it was back to the books. After a few years learning the basics, Boyer began a journey of job-hopping, spending 1-2 years at each organization before she found her upward mobility was too limited for her liking.

    “It seemed like the only way to get raises or to further my career was to accept a new position. Otherwise, it wasn’t happening at the same pace as my contributions to the team.”

    That all changed when Boyer was hired by Barnes & Thornburg, where she continues to work happily after over a decade. “A lot of people think I must have some legal background, but my role here is centered on automation and integration. The software I write makes it so that others have an easier job because I’ve automated the way they can complete an assignment. For instance, one software I wrote took a 2-3-week manual process down to a few hours.” The project was a finalist for a MIRA Award. “Anytime I can take a procedure that is completed on paper and make it digital, that helps us grow, streamlines processes, and frees up trained minds like lawyers and paralegals to get back to practicing law,” Boyer said.

    Though she started work at Barnes & Thornburg in 2006, Boyer didn’t learn about Women & Hi Tech until 2014, when a project she completed at the firm made her a finalist for a Leading Light Award in the Outstanding Achievement in STEM category. “I have always felt very secluded as a woman in tech, especially a self-taught one. As soon as I heard, I thought ‘Wow, that’s cool. I’m not actually alone.’ I started volunteering right away and joined the board in 2015 as Communications Chair, just as we were making major changes to the website and infrastructure.” Now in her second term on the board, Lori manages the organization’s social media and email marketing, website, and event registrations. “We had Facebook, Twitter, and a blog before I joined the board, but I am proud of the degree that I have helped elevate them and make them consistent,” she said.

    “I also really enjoy getting out in the Indy tech scene to speak at events and encourage women to pursue STEM Careers,” Boyer added. “That’s something that even 3.5 years ago when I started on the board I was terrified of. I was so scared they would ask a question and I wouldn’t know the answer. I had big impostor syndrome. Thanks to Women & Hi Tech, I have grown beyond that.” In 2018, Lori was named a TechPoint #Tech25 Winner. “Basically, this is an award for the techies hanging out behind the scenes that aren’t in the C-suite.” she described. “The other 24 are also all people like me who have been around, but aren’t executives or CEO's, yet do so much that they are important to an organization.”

    Continuing her self-education, Lori also applied for a #GrowWithGoogle scholarship and was accepted to complete a certification in Android development. “Is it something I use every day? No. But it’s now a skill I have that’s totally different from the code I write in my day job. Learning different coding languages makes me happy. I like a good challenge!” Opportunities like this are one of the reasons Boyer is so delighted that Women & Hi Tech has started to offer professional development grants as of 2018. “If you’re a grown person and already in a job, how are you supposed to progress your career? Sure, take classes in your own time…but the funding isn’t always there. I like that we support nontraditional paths, because across the Indianapolis STEM community, other organizations do too.”

    Lori predicts that it’s through shared goals with other local organizations that Women & Hi Tech will be able to do more and more within the next twenty years. “It’s great to see all these different groups starting to come to a place where we all work together and know each other’s value,” she said. “That works well for us to connect our members with opportunities. What’s coming next for us is more. More outreach. More members. More partners. More growth. And more success in accelerating STEM innovation by encouraging talent to pursue passion.”



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