Focused Collaboration Leads to Effective STEM Leadership

Posted: Updated:

As a woman who has built a career in a STEM field, technology, I have come to realize that collaboration is an essential ingredient for organizational growth and survival. As my year serving as president for Women & Hi Tech comes to an end, one of the most impactful takeaways for me has been how a shared vision and strategic partnerships can help change the landscape for women studying science, technology, engineering or math in Indiana.

W&HT was formed in 1999 and the need is still very obvious and looking specifically at the area of technology: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be an estimated 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and not enough applicants who can fill them. With an increasing demand for technical talent across all industries in our state, it is imperative that the training and mentorship of females in STEM be at a level on par with that of their male peers. It will take boldness, curiosity, and diligence to help women pursue studies and a career in STEM and this support cannot be achieved by one sole entity. When we pledge to work together, the outcomes are stronger for everyone.

Below are a few key ways that focused collaboration is helping to change the landscape for women in tech across the state:

  • A formal partnership was forged between Women & Hi Tech, Indy Women in Tech and Pass the Torch for Women, drawing on contributions from each organization to support women making career transitions into tech.
  • The fifth annual Passport to Hi-Tech at Conner Prairie allowed girls ages 7 to 12 to learn about careers in STEM. Conner Prairie and Women & Hi Tech hosted the event with financial support from Roche Diagnostics.
  • The inaugural Ignite Your Superpower! event with Pippa Mann gave 600 IPS and Warren Township middle-school girls the opportunity to discover more about STEM through participating in hands-on experiences, interactions with female role-models and fun-filled learning on a college campus.
  • Executive Women’s Forums focused on providing professional development topics related to supporting women in staying in and succeeding in their STEM field.
  • Recognizing the need for both men and women to be in these crucial conversations and to encourage Male Allies the creation of the Operation All (Male Allies) Committee is helping to engage men and women alike to support the growth of women in STEM fields.

These achievements were not accomplished alone. From the corporate, government and collegiate sectors to nonprofit space, we have multiple levels of support for the growth of women in STEM careers in Indiana. Governor Holcomb, the City of Indianapolis, and organizations like Indy Women in Tech, Ladies in SaaS, Pass the Torch for Women, and more are all putting in the effort to support this mission to ensure Indiana in ready to meet the talent needs of our state. The end goal is not only to provide academic and professional exposure for young women to pursue a career in STEM, but to plant the seed for everyone employed or technically trained in a STEM field to take an active interest to engage and consider serving as a mentor.

By working together as a unifying force among all stakeholders in the community, we can help create a level playing field through providing supportive services, facilitating career changes, and providing mentoring resources. The future for women in STEM is on the horizon; the time is now and the opportunity is here. If we don’t take advantage and continue to build crucial collaborations, it will evaporate. The new 2018/19 W&HT Board are ready willing and able to support this change.

Audrey Taylor is the founder and CEO of netlogx and past president of Women & Hi Tech.

  • Perspectives

    • Why Blogging Without Rules Produces the Best Content

      I spend a lot of time talking with people about what makes writing good. Depending on who you ask, good writing might be exciting and illustrative. It might be simple and efficient. If you ask someone who works in marketing, good writing translates to whatever helps a marketing strategy generate more leads, or more sales, or more of whatever a business is looking to gain. Though I fully respect and agree with this results-oriented perspective on content, in practice it can be...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Mansion May Fall to Wrecking Ball

      A one-time mansion that once hosted dignitaries and politicians while they visited Valparaiso appears to be facing demolition, following years of decline and disrepair.  The stately mansion, known locally as the Brown home, maybe knocked down and replaced with condominiums, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • Socio received the Top-Rated Overall Culture award. (Provided Photo/Socio)

      Inaugural Tech Culture Award Winners Unveiled

      Indianapolis-based Powderkeg has unveiled the winners of the inaugural Indiana Breakout Tech Culture Awards. Eleven Hoosier tech companies received the honors based on survey rankings from the 2019 Tech Census, which focused specifically on tech cultures. Nearly 270 tech companies were nominated and the winners were selected from a group of 50 finalists. More than 1,300 individuals responded to the survey, which allowed employees to rate their companies and employers on...

    • Photo courtesy of Purdue University

      Purdue Offers 'Stranger Things' Replica Tee

      Purdue University has partnered with trademark licensing agent CLC to produce a special-edition replica Purdue shirt that appeared on an episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3.”  The university also teamed up with Venley to accurately replicate the shirt, which will be available at retailers on the West Lafayette campus and online later this month.

    • Alexa Deaton and Colby Shank

      Higher Ed Commission Promotes Two

      The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has promoted Alexa Deaton to associate commissioner and Chief Financial Officer. She previously served as director of accounting. Also, Colby Shank has been promoted to associate commissioner for student financial aid, a new position for the organization. He most recently served as assistant commissioner for financial and student support services.