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2018 Leading Light Award Overview

The Leading Light Awards were held on October 4, 2018 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom and celebrated the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The event was emceed by Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business.

Women & Hi Tech President and Director of Accounts for Metonymy Media, Darcy Lee, welcomed attendees to the gala and spoke of the 19-year history of Women & Hi Tech serving girls and women in STEM in Indiana. Jo Basey was awarded the inaugural Gustafson-Miller Change the Landscape Award for her lifelong contributions to women in STEM and Information Technology, and Lisa Laughner, President & CEO of Go Electric, was awarded the Barnes & Thornburg Hi-Tech Woman of the Year award for outstanding achievements over the course of her career – and recent successes with Go Electric.

The evening included remarks from honored guest Blair Milo, Indiana’s Secretary of Career Connections and Talent, and featured presenters from Eli Lilly and Company, Rolls-Royce, Barnes & Thornburg, Salesforce, Pass the Torch for Women, IUPUI’s Kelley School of Business, Indiana State University, Eleven Fifty Academy, and IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie.


There were seven different Leading Light Awards presented in 2018. The awards recognized women of achievement in STEM – those who have excelled in their fields and who exemplify the broad impact of women in STEM. To see the full list of nominees, go to the 2018 nominee page.    To see the full list of winners, go to the 2018 winners page.


Mike Bel photography captured the amazing moments of the evening.  Be sure to visit the 2018 picture page.


Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, we offered two $5,000 scholarships, one for an undergraduate student and one for a graduate student.  Additionally, Professional Development Scholarships were also awarded.  SIM Indy sponsored the Leading the Future Scholarship.  To see the full list of scholarship nominees, go to the 2016 nominee pageTo see the full list of scholarship winners, go to the 2018 winners page.  

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