Robin Fleming, senior vice president of technology, Angie’s List, and Sally Reasoner, vice president of talent, Central Indiana Workforce Development Initiative (formerly with TechPoint), were guests on Inside INdiana Business this weekend for an Inside Innovation segment with reporter Barbara Lewis on women in technology. The interview came on the heels of the Women & Hi Tech Leading Light Awards, which celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math.
While there are more women who are becoming tech founders, CEOs, developers and programmers today compared to years past, Fleming and Reasoner outlined some of the efforts underway to increase female participation in STEM fields.
“There are a lot of things happening. A lot of the efforts I’ve noticed are focused on technology and software development, and things like Girl Develop It and a lot of it focused in the K-12 space,” Reasoner said. “I am here representing the Central Indiana Workforce Development Initiative and its something we take really seriously because we represent all high tech fields especially the tech-enabled industries like agriculture and life sciences … Our efforts are centered around building strategies and pipelines specifically anchored around populations that are not equally represented, like women. So more to come! We are just starting our work but its important to us as we move forward.”
In response to a question about mentoring, Robin Fleming said: “I was very lucky during my years in school. I really didn’t focus on STEM very much and during my junior year of high school we had a computer science class for the first time. I took it and I loved it, but it was one of those things that seemed like it was just for the guys so I focused on communications instead. Later in life, my mom encouraged me to look at technology. I ended up with an internship that led me to a team that implemented an inventory control system and I was just absolutely hooked!
“In national numbers, we have about 5 percent of women in technology leadership roles, and overall about 25% is all, so I believe its really important. One of the things I like to do is encourage young girls to focus on STEM and to encourage women to get into technology opportunities.”
Indianapolis was recently ranked fifth out of 58 cities by Fast Company for The Best Cities For Women In Tech. A new report from SmartAsset shows women make up 26.5 percent of U.S. tech jobs and earn on average 85 percent of what men make in similar positions.
Read the full story and watch the video on Inside INdiana Business.