Two high-profile tech executives are sounding off on what it could take to grow the presence of women in the Indianapolis technology work force. The first Inside INdiana Business Town Hall broadcast in 2017 featured a discussion with Found Search + Marketing Managing Partner Julie Warnecke and Angie’s List Inc. (NYSE: ANGI) Senior Vice President of Technology Robin Fleming. Warnecke, whose background includes a stint at Google, says the situation for women has changed "quite a bit" since she returned to central Indiana from the Silicon Valley more than a decade ago. Though women still account for a smaller portion of leading roles at tech firms compared to men, Warnecke says it’s becoming "much more commonplace" to see women handling a wide spectrum of roles throughout the industry.
Fleming says a key to leveling the figures is bringing more success stories of women in tech to light. "We need to really champion those (stories), get behind those. We need more press. I think it serves as a catalyst, kind of the spark that will let other women know that they can actually do it," she said. Fleming believes Indianapolis is a "fantastic" place for anyone to begin a tech career, but says she’d love to see the local community gather its own data on issues facing women in the work force like the gender pay gap to help illustrate where the city truly stands.
Warnecke says her time in the "hard-driving" atmosphere of the Silicon Valley included examples of women supporting each other and being career-focused. She says tech events in central Indiana 10 years ago included only a couple other women "almost like the one-off" and now she says it is more common to see women in companies ranging from startups to established brands.