• 12/18/2021 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    Joy Neely is the Vice President of Sales at CareMetx, a healthcare technology company that provides patient services to pharmaceutical manufacturers and diagnostics companies. She has also been a board member for Women & Hi Tech for three years, and currently holds our newly-created board position of Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion Director (EDI).

    Throughout her professional career, Joy has been actively engaged in business resource groups and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leadership opportunities in the organizations where she has worked and volunteered. Still, she wanted to be more connected within her community. She was introduced to Women & Hi Tech at her previous employer, Roche Diagnostics Corporation, while serving as the Co-Lead for the Women’s Leadership Initiative—one of the Roche Diagnostics Business Resource Groups. She quickly found that Women & Hi Tech was an excellent fit for her to plug into, and the organization has a mission that aligns with her values.

    In 2019, she became the Corporate Engagement Director and was in that role for two years. Throughout her professional career, she held several sales and business development roles and this was a great way to leverage her strengths, identifying new sponsors for Women & Hi Tech to partner with. In 2020 the board saw an opportunity to make a step change improvement in our diversity strategy by creating a new board position—and the Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion Director role was born. Joy quickly jumped at the chance to fill this role and establish a strong foundation.

    The Women & Hi Tech Board has been on a journey to continually improve the organization’s diversity and to formalize its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy. Joy was able to join the board during a pivotal time when Angela B. Freeman was the President of Women & Hi Tech. Under Angela’s leadership, the board attended the 2-day training course, Interrupting Racism for our Children, that focused on increasing the diversity of the board.

    This commitment to diverse board leadership has continued with Rebecca Bormann and Linda Hicks' presidencies. A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement was also created and added to the Women & Hi Tech website.

    This new role formalizes the path forward for the future.

    In the fall of 2021, Joy launched an Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion Committee of Women & Hi Tech members that represent local Indianapolis organizations, including Infosys, Eli Lilly & Company, Roche Diagnostics, Optum, Allison Transmission, Bell Techlogix, Six Feet Up, and Optimist Business Solutions. This power-house team is composed of Key Opinion Leaders in the DEI space that will help create the blueprint of the Goals, Objectives, Tactics, and Measures to enable Women & Hi Tech to be better aligned with members, sponsors, and community organizations.

    Joy is excited and grateful to this committee of thought-partners and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion experts for allowing Women & Hi Tech to understand any gaps in the current strategy and assist the organization with building a plan to level up.

    Stay tuned for updates to the Women & Hi Tech Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy, Goals, and Objectives in 2022.

  • 11/24/2021 4:32 PM | Anonymous

    Personal branding is a topic many of our members have expressed interest in learning more about. We were so excited to host a discussion about best practices on November 17th! Women & Hi Tech President Linda Hicks and Past President Rebecca Bormann led the conversation. Here are some of the main ideas and tips we took away from the discussion.

    • Personal branding encompasses not just what people say about you, but also what they think about you and expect from your presence. Therefore, social media is an important element of personal branding, but only when the persona you present is backed up and confirmed by your behaviors.

    •  Your personal brand also lets people know what you stand for, your values, and your boundaries. Sharing articles and observations, as well as anecdotes and moments of vulnerability, helps reinforce your truth by showing others, not telling them.

    • Authenticity is essential to personal branding. Many attendees agreed that it is off-putting when someone presents one way on social media or at work, then behaves totally differently in other areas of their life. In fact, this inspires some professionals to stay off social media altogether, to avoid misalignment between their personal brand and professional brand.

    To better-define your personal brand, start with two or three words that describe how you want to be perceived. Then, ask others in your life for “360 feedback.” This is a list of questions sent to a wide variety of the people you interact with, including friends, peers, supervisors, vendors, and more. 

    Collecting anonymous responses lets you learn how you are perceived across the broad spectrum of your life. Do you come across in the way you aspire? What experiences does your network have with you that confirms or contradicts your desired personal brand?

    Another proven step to build your brand is consistency. Find your cadence and desired tone and be consistent in how and where you share those messages.

    If developing and deepening your personal brand and executive presence are some of your goals in 2022, we would love for you to join us for a new Women & Hi Tech Professional Development Series on Executive Presence and Personal Branding launching in January! Through pre-recorded training and small group exercises, we can’t wait to help our members grow their personal presence, capacity to achieve buy-in, and negotiation skills. Learn more and register to join us for one, two, or all three sessions!

  • 11/24/2021 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    This year, we took our proprietary OperationAll programming virtual with an amazing panel on November 18th. 

    Linda Hicks, President of Women & Hi Tech, and board member Tiffany White kicked off the event in agreement that more involvement from male allies earlier in their careers would have helped them feel more welcomed and empowered in their roles as engineers.

    Then, we got to hear tips, insights, and anecdotes about male allyship from our panel of experts. Here are a few of the gems we heard from each participant:

    Doug Theis, Director of National Strategy at Expedient 

    “If leadership is not modeling and communicating about appropriate culture, then it’s hard for others to follow. That’s where men need female allies to give them honest feedback and even call them out when behavior is acting as a barrier, rather than a bridge.” 

    Chris Fultz, Program Executive, B-52 / F130 at Rolls-Royce 

    “Not recognizing the value of a woman’s input because there is a man you trust more can be a very harmful behavior. This even extends to job postings. Be aware of how you are listing what is required for a role versus what is desired.” 

    Calvin Hendryx-Parker, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Six Feet Up

    “You can’t deal with a situation if you don’t start with your own behaviors and reactions. Men may tend to cut people off because we have a great idea and want to express it, but it’s been important for me to learn to pause and give room for everyone’s voice to be heard.”  

    Wayne Patrick, Chief Revenue Officer at AIS 

    “Make the issue personal. Give it the ‘what if’ test. What would you want done if a woman in your life was going through the experiences of your colleagues? When the issue becomes real to you in this way, you will be a better listener and a better advocate.”

    Ben Phillips, Director in the Audit and Assurance Services, Katz, Sapper, & Miller and Treasurer of Women & Hi Tech. 

    “Allow yourself time to practice allyship. Give yourself the kindness to take baby steps and work toward building connections and self-awareness. Don’t assume you know what opportunities people want, what they want to learn, or that you can speak for them.”

    Listen to the full panel recording to learn how each panelist defines allyship, the strategies for equity and inclusion that have worked at their organizations, and what to do in tense situations. Thank you again to all these experts for sharing their stories and perspectives! We are so grateful to have these allies in our mission to change the landscape for women in STEM and make these industries equally inclusive to all. 

  • 11/10/2021 9:14 AM | Anonymous

    Amber Peckham is the new Communications Director of Women & Hi Tech. She applied for this position after volunteering with Women & Hi Tech for many years as part of her role as a Senior Content Manager at Metonymy Media, a longtime sponsor. “My past colleague Darcy Lee served as President of Women & Hi Tech during her time working at Metonymy. Through her we were able to get involved with creating content for Women & Hi Tech.” This included member and board member profiles, putting Amber directly in touch with the incredible stories every member of Women & Hi Tech has to tell.

    “I was fascinated to learn about so many diverse STEM industries, and inspired and motivated by the women’s stories of overcoming barriers in their professional and personal lives.” When she learned the Communications role was available, she felt called to step up and help amplify the stories of the organization. “I am from a small town in rural Indiana. I loved chemistry, but I literally remember thinking that there wasn’t any way to have a job doing chemistry--because I wasn’t hearing those stories or seeing those role models.”

    Amber’s goals in her role include supporting Women & Hi Tech’s statewide expansion initiatives, which will be starting in Fort Wayne and Columbus in 2022. “I want to make sure we are telling stories of people in those communities, and the work they are doing to improve their own little corner of our beautiful state and its hidden gem, the STEM ecosystem.” Amber also aspires to drive member engagement and make more potential members aware of Women & Hi Tech statewide through keyword optimization of the website.

    “As a creative professional, I bring a unique perspective to the table, since most of my fellow board members have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math. Working together, we are going to achieve incredible things.”

  • 11/10/2021 9:12 AM | Anonymous

    Hannah Stork is a Client Executive for the software development company Rural Sourcing, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Hannah decided to join Women & Hi Tech because of her desire to engage with, support, and learn from other women in STEM.

    As our Corporate Engagement Director, Hannah has made it her mission to help Women & Hi Tech become a statewide movement. In her role, Hannah develops creative and engaging ways to grow the organization’s sponsorship base across Indiana with focuses currently in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Columbus. She is also a member of our Infrastructure task force which is committed to engaging and support more women outside of the greater Indianapolis area. Hannah is leading the implementation of Women & Hi Tech’s first Fort Wayne in-person event in 2022.Details will be published in Q1 of 2022.

    Hannah brings a fresh pair of eyes and creativity to her role. As an example, she recently met with a potential sponsor who didn’t have very many employees based in Indiana. However, they were so impressed with Women &Hi Tech’ s mission and organization, they decided to become a sponsor and donate some of their memberships to Indiana STEM college students and other individuals who may not otherwise have access. Hannah’s ability to “sell” the benefits of Women & Hi Tech membership has resulted in several new sponsors and a great pipeline of sponsor candidates. Needless to say, she’s keeping very busy!

    Regarding her overarching goals as a board member of Women & Hi Tech, Hannah wants to be an active force in helping women without STEM degrees be equally represented in STEM. “I want women like me to understand that a STEM career is not off-limits. There are plenty of opportunities in STEM for people who don’t have a technical background but are interested in technology and science. I feel honored to be part of an initiative that is exposing women and young girls to the endless opportunities that exist in science, technology, engineering, and math.”

  • 11/01/2021 9:04 AM | Anonymous

    We currently need two volunteers to lead committees to support the planning of our Leading Light Awards. Time commitments are estimated to be 10-20 hours per month, likely increasing as the event date approaches on Oct 6, 2022.

    Registration Chair and Committee: The Registration Committee Chair will be responsible for running registration for the 2022 Leading Light Awards. They will gather additional Registration Committee Members to help with managing guest check-in at LLA, seating chart maintenance and management, and maintaining monthly registration counts compared to goal, among other duties. They will also manage the on-site registration process (check-in, drink tickets, seat assignments) as well as the 24-48 hour notice of attendee name changes. They will create a form to collect information of attendees from each sponsor (name, dietary restrictions), and contact bundle admins to determine attendees from each sponsor, managing any changes, and other needs as applicable.

    Volunteer Chair and Committee: The Volunteer Committee Chair will be responsible for gathering, managing, and being the main point of contact for volunteers specifically for the 2022 LLAs. They will coordinate with committee chairs to determine on-site volunteer needs, as well as coordinate on-site volunteer assignments, prep, instruction, and escalations. They will also assist in the planning and execution of the event within the approved budget. Volunteers will help with many tasks including: greeting guests at arrival, escorting guests to their seats, acting as human arrows, running candy tables, assisting with registration, setup and teardown assistance, and other needs as applicable.

    If you are interested in one of these positions, please reach out to Lauryn Andrews at and Amber Peckham at by November 8.

  • 10/31/2021 3:49 PM | Anonymous

    By Glenn Keller

    On October 14th, 2021, we were honored to hear from speaker, coach, and author Caroline Dowd-Higgins at our  Executive Women’s Forum, the first in-person event we hosted in over a year. Ivy Tech sponsored the event at their Culinary and Conference Center, including the historic Courses Restaurant, operated by Ivy Tech culinary students.

    “The purpose of Network like a Ninja was to help women understand how they can network better and to instill the confidence required to network. And of course, to practice,” said Linda Calvin, Director of the Executive Women’s Forum. “The post-event networking session gave attendees the opportunity to use the skills Caroline shared in her presentation in a very common environment for networking, ‘the happy hour.’”

    Board President Linda Hicks, was on hand to kick things off and Ivy Tech President Dr. Sue Ellsperman made time in her busy schedule to also offer her welcome and support. Both women gave a personal example of the power of networking and how networking played a pivotal role in their career development.

    Caroline Dowd-Higgins covered the importance of networking not only as a career supercharger but as a necessity. She made it clear from the start that this was not going to be a lean-back-and-watch session. Her message was interactive, thought-provoking, and full of helpful, practical advice.

    The beautiful Courses restaurant was a perfect backdrop for drinks, hors d'oeuvre and conversation. We played a game of Networking Bingo, gathering information about the new friends we made. The first two attendees to complete their bingo cards won copies of Caroline’s book, "This Is Not The Career I Ordered." We even learned that "Elvis Slept Here" prior to performing his final concert at the old Market Square Arena. Who knew?

    Attendees had the chance to get their picture taken by the incredible Faith Blackwell, who also generously donated a PowerShots session to support Girls Inc of Greater Indianapolis in honor of International Day of the Girl. Our Girls Inc. friends were on location to accept donations in support of their programming. Congratulations to our networking package raffle winners, Sonal Sheth Zawahri and Lisa Petersen, and the winner of the PowerShots session, Rinn Neidig.

    Takeaways From the Event

    It is hard for some people to effectively network. Women especially can view it as "non-authentic" or awkward. Introverts in particular also find networking difficult, but the super-power that many introverts have is their ability to listen. Extroverts may not be as tentative to network, however, listening to understand and not just jumping in with comments is a struggle which may make their networking efforts less effective.

    Caroline covered some important "dos" for networking:

    • Listen first: encourage people to talk about themselves. Invite others into the conversation--which is also a good way to exit.
    • Think about what you want the person to remember about you when they walk away...short term memory will allow them to remember 1-3 things at the most.
    • Always close with an offer to help and then follow-up quickly with something of value to them such as an introduction, a link to an article, etc.

    Of course, there were some networking "don'ts" as well:

    • Don't start right off with a pitch or asking for a job. And never ask if you can pick their brain; people make a living with their expertise and shouldn't be asked to give it away.
    • Don't rush to fill in any quiet space. Others in the conversation may still be processing what was just said.
    • Remember that though you may be comfortable dominating a room or a conversation, that can be a turn-off to those you are speaking with. Honor others by adjusting your approach to match their energy while staying authentic.

    Quick LinkedIn Tips:

    • Stay away from "needy" LinkedIn headlines like "looking for an opportunity."
    • LinkedIn gives more exposure to people with over 500 connections.
    • Follow companies you are interested in working with on LinkedIn. Someone will notice.
    • Comment on content that interests you, especially from influencers.
    • An audience member shared that you can easily generate a QR code of your LinkedIn profile, which is helpful at networking events.

    In Closing

    Many thanks to Caroline Dowd-Higgins for helping us all break out of our shell on our own terms, to Linda Calvin for organizing this great learning opportunity, and to presenting sponsor Ivy Tech Community College for hosting us! As we move into 2022, Women & Hi Tech looks forward to continuing our tradition of providing our members with meaningful career development – wait until you see what we have planned!

  • 10/31/2021 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    Our bi-annual Fall Retreat at French Lick Resort in early October 2021 left attendees feeling refreshed, recharged, informed, and inspired. That's all thanks to a keynote presentation from author Angel Henry, as well as the power of the fellowship and friendship we shared--especially at our Western-themed dinner!

    Special shoutout to our President-Elect Dr. Maria Alvim-Gaston (below) and our Fall Retreat planning committee for all their work creating this special getaway for our members and guests.

    Women & Hi Tech President Linda Hicks shared the story of a chance meeting with a hotel guest in the casino. This gentleman celebrates his birthday annually at the resort.

    "He remembered our group from two years ago and had taken a picture with us dressed as flappers--and still had that photo in his phone! He and his wife wanted another photo with us in our Western gear." We had fun sharing with him about our organization and joked that we will see him in 2023!

    A highlight of the retreat was hearing from Angel Henry, who is so passionate for diversity in the field of IT and beyond. Her knowledge of why women and minorities are often missing from the room helps advance the conversation of inclusion and make real change.

    "Angel brings differing advice for audiences based on age, race, and professional level," recalled Rebecca Bormann, Women & Hi Tech Past President. "Her advice hit home and sparked a great discussion and many women authentically sharing their personal experiences being a woman in STEM."

    Women & Hi Tech was delighted to have a mix of new members, long-time members, college students and STEM professionals join us for the retreat. Thanks again to all who attended.

  • 10/10/2021 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    Rebecca Leon is our new Director of Community Outreach. Rebecca is a mom of three boys and a Principal Research scientist at Eli Lilly & Company. She is also a transplant from southern Florida. As a scientist at Eli Lilly, Leon works in cross functional early drug discovery teams, and mentors new scientists.

    “I became interested in Women & Hi Tech when I learned of the scholarships provided to students in STEM and the impact the organization has had in the community,” said Leon. “As a recipient of scholarships myself, I know first-hand how essential it is to enable students to pursue their education.”

    Leon is familiar with the challenges faced by women early in their science careers and wants to help pave the way for the next generation.

    “Networking between organizations is important in community building, especially for those new to the Indiana community,” said Leon. “The goals for Women & Hi Tech’s community outreach program are to raise awareness of career paths and provide role models and career skills for the next generation of women in STEM.”

    As director of community outreach, she plans to strengthen relationships with the local community by building upon Women & Hi Tech’s strong reputation to support events and organizations that are working to drive diversity and inclusion in the Indiana STEM pipeline. Some recent ways Women & Hi Tech members have supported community organizations include the Girl Scouts Circle the City event, the upcoming Conexus Collegiate Case Competition, and through individual mentoring via Pass the Torch for Women.

    If you know of a community event, program, or organization that aligns with Women & Hi Tech’s mission and who would benefit from our support, contact Rebecca at

  • 08/25/2021 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    Join a board committee and help Women & Hi Tech advance our mission!

    Are you passionate about changing the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all? Can you spare a few hours a month to advance that goal along with us? 

    The following committees are seeking members for a minimum one-year term:

    • Volunteer Recruitment Committee
    • Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
    • Networking and Member Events Planning Committee
    • K-12 Outreach Committee
    • Communications Committee
    • Community Outreach Committee

    Whatever strengths and talents you bring to the table, joining a committee to support our all-volunteer Board of Directors will benefit your professional development by growing your marketable skillset, expanding your professional network, and gaining experience contributing to a well-established Indiana nonprofit.

    See below for information about each of these opportunities and next steps to apply for a role! We are so grateful for your interest and can't wait to hear from you. 

    Please note all candidates must be members in good standing and must remain in good standing throughout their time on the committee.

    Volunteer Recruitment Committee

    • Seeking 2 volunteers to assist with coordinating and managing volunteers for all our events
    • Time Commitment: up to 1 hour per week to respond to volunteer requests, post volunteer opportunities and attend Women & Hi Tech events as assigned to manage volunteers for the 2021-2022 fiscal year
    • Qualifications: Candidates are needed with a friendly, welcoming and patient demeanor
    • Contact: Sahara Williams,

    Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

    • Seeking 1 additional volunteer to assist with developing and implementing Women & Hi Tech’s DEI goals including strategy development, metrics tracking, and communicating DEI objectives to others
    • Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per month for the 2021-2022 fiscal year
    • Qualifications: Candidates should have the ability to positively influence others. Ideal candidates have background or experience in diversity, equity and inclusion. Candidates must have flexibility in their schedule to attend monthly virtual calls and occasional face to face strategy meetings.
    • Contact: Joy Neely, 

    Networking and Member Events Planning Committee

    • Seeking up to 2 volunteers to assist with the planning and implementation of 4-5 of Women & Hi Tech signature networking and membership events 
    • Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per month generally plus day-of event assistance for the 2021-2022 fiscal year
    • Qualifications: Candidates should be creative, willing to share ideas, and be comfortable working in a team environment. Planning experience is a plus!
    • Contact: Sahara Williams,

    K-12 Outreach Committee

    • Seeking up to 3 volunteers to help attract more girls to STEM careers by increasing STEM exposure, engagement, and mentorship opportunities.
    • Time Commitment: 2-3 hours per month for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, Committee meetings are the 1st Monday of each month from 4pm-5pm
    • Qualifications: Candidates should enjoy working with youth.  Ideal candidates would have a background in education.   
    • Contact: Crystal Morton,

    Communications Committee

    • Seeking 1-2 additional volunteers to assist with social media scheduling, website updates, copywriting, and other projects when interested. 
    • Time Commitment: 2-3 hours a month, broken out into small tasks weekly.
    • Qualifications: Experience with Hootsuite is a plus but not required, it’s easy to learn. 
    • Contact: Amber Peckham,

    Community Outreach Committee

    • Seeking up to 3 volunteers to help identify and support events that align with Women & Hi Tech’s mission that are outside the scope of the K-12 and Collegiate Outreach committees
    • Time Commitment: 4-6 hours monthly for the 2021-2022 fiscal year
    • Qualifications: Committee members will be requested to participate at events as volunteers, Women & Hi Tech representatives, and STEM industry professionals. This may include coordinating activities with host organization,  planning and facilitating events (set up and tear down), staffing the booth during in person or virtual events, networking and recruiting new members during events.
    • Contact: Rebecca Leon,

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Women & Hi Tech is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Federal ID Number: 35-2113596. 
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