Women & Hi Tech exists to change the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.
 
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Board Profile - Rebecca Bormann

06/29/2020 12:01 PM | Lori Boyer (Administrator)

Last year we profiled Rebecca Bormann’s incredible work as both Women & Hi Tech’s Director of Corporate Engagement and the Managing Director of Sales & Services at Bell Techlogix, a leading national IT Managed Services firm headquartered in Indianapolis. This year, we are excited to feature her again as the organization’s next President effective in just a few days, beginning on July 1, 2020. “In my fourth year on the board, I am amazed at how much I continue to fall in love with Women & Hi Tech and its members. As the mission of equity and inclusion has become even more at the forefront of everything the organization is doing, I feel even more passionate about helping to lead the change that will make our STEM industries and our world safer and more inclusive to all.”

Bormann shared news about many of the steps that Women & Hi Tech has taken to put action behind its mission of inclusion. “Events like Ignite Your Superpower and our Special Edition Executive Women’s Forums focused on The Disparity of Diversity Amongst Women in STEM, and OperationALL have been some of the more visible programs to lead crucial conversations that help increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. Board members also went through a 2-day anti-racism training led by Indiana Child Advocates, with a focus on how to Interrupt Racism For Our Children,” Bormann shared. “Whether it’s systemic injustices in education, the criminal justice and prison systems, healthcare, or STEM industries that must become more equitable, we need and want everyone’s hearts and minds to be open to make positive change.”

When it comes to changes in STEM, Bormann observed that equity and inclusion is really what Women & Hi Tech’s movement is all about. “Certain groups of people have not been treated equally. Reforming systems, businesses, and how humans treat one another comes down not just to the different colors of people at the table, but the equality and inclusivity they experience in those seats. Our country claims everyone is equal, but that is not the case, which has become crystal clear in recent weeks and months if it wasn’t before — and we need it to be.” At her work, Rebecca shared that Bell Techlogix recently formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which she joined, that is tasked with evaluating and determining what actions Bell Techlogix can take to create a more equitable and inclusive culture and business practices, particularly for our African American, Black and Brown communities.  By suggestion of Bell Techlogix’s CEO, Ron Frankenfield, the committee’s first action named Juneteenth a Bell Techlogix company holiday.  For 2020, all employees were given a floating holiday to take on a day of their choosing, to remember, honor and celebrate the emancipation of those enslaved in the United States. Beginning in 2021, Juneteenth will be a Bell Techlogix corporate holiday. Rebecca commented, “When we include diverse people and perspectives to lead, brainstorm, create and solve problems, that is how we advance in organizations, in industries, in our communities, our states and in our nation. That is how we change the world.”

This insight also renews Rebecca’s commitment to Women & Hi Tech, because she sees how women’s unique perspectives are essential to the problem-solving demanded in this new remote work environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Everyone can relate to needing to pay closer attention to inflection and tone on calls. In video, we must be observant of body language. In my experience women excel at these things. Women are good listeners and survey the entire situation, not just the immediate words being used. But more than that, the pandemic has created widespread problems that affect so many such as, how to continue K-12 and collegiate education safely, job loss, economic issues, and of course how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and cure those infected. These are complex problems that need multiple perspectives, experiences, expertise and skill sets to solve- women bring their unique backgrounds, talents, skills and experiences to the table and are needed to create lasting, effective solutions.” She concluded, “Diverse women having a seat at the table—in business, in nonprofits, in the government—brings different perspective and ideas and ultimately, the best possible answers.”

As President of the Board of Directors, Rebecca will lead the most diverse board Women & Hi Tech has ever been privileged to have in its 20-year history. “Our board and new board members are awesome,” she said plainly. This especially has her excited for the Leading Light Awards event (LLAs) scheduled October 1, 2020. “We don’t know yet what exactly this year’s LLAs is going to look like, if it will be everyone in person, virtual or some hybrid of the two. But we do know, we are still going to be celebrating amazing women in STEM that are leaders, risk-takers, motivators, mentors, landscape changers, equity and inclusion champions and our male allies. We are equally excited about funding growth of the future generation of female STEM professionals with over $40,000 in scholarships and grants that will be awarded through our #LLA20for20 campaign—the most ever awarded in Women & Hi Tech’s history. Our sponsors are not only speaking up about the importance of equity and inclusion in STEM fields, but are also financially supporting and getting involved to practically help further our mission of inclusion for all.”  

Rebecca is excited to work with the board during her Presidential term to execute Women and Hi Tech’s new two-year strategy plan and primary goals. One personal mission during her presidency is to leave behind an even more diverse organization than she has stepped up to lead. “I want our board to include even more diversity in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and represented STEM fields. Among our membership, we also need to attract more diverse women and men. That’s because we all agree our organization should be a place where all people feel included, welcomed, and can be their authentic selves—a place where we network, learn, and grow together as a STEM community because of everyone’s unique talents and gifts. We all share the passion. Now, we continue to put that passion to work to effect positive change in our organization, and our Indiana STEM community.”

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