While the 2018 IWiT LPGA Championship presented by Group 1001 events have concluded, event organizers have not stopped communicating with each other about their mission and what’s next.
With an active foundation, board of directors, local organizing committee and event management group all backing the week-long championship and ancillary events, the mission of Indy Women in Tech is continuing ahead toward what’s next.
One of those tech events during the IWiT Championship week, in particular, is ready to move the needle in a big way.
“The year-round planning starts now,” says Abby Warner, co-lead of the IWiT Summit organizing committee alongside Cheetah Digital’s M.T. Ray. “We made a lot of changes between the inaugural event in 2017 and 2018, but we can’t stop there.”
Data and insights
The 2018 IWiT Summit brought together more than 500 individuals to create conversation around the challenges that exist currently in tech and solutions for how Indianapolis is going to combat them.
Data drove this year’s conversation, thanks to a survey the committee deployed several months prior to the event. Questions covered everything from salary and compensation to the demographic makeup of tech teams and executive teams within Indy’s tech companies.
“We needed a baseline of what Indy’s opinion was of its own community before we could decide what the content of the day needed to include,” says Abby. “The results were eye-opening.” The multi-page data report was made available to IWiT Summit attendees that day and was released publicly post Summit.
“What continues to be established and said is that middle managers need training. They are the ones having most of the conversations with individual contributors and will have the biggest impact on raising women up and pushing them forward,” says Abby.
Continuing the conversation year-round
The IWiT Summit committee is focused on planning for next year’s summit, but hopes that their #SeeYourselfHere campaign launched at this year’s event will continue its momentum and put the focus on the positive attributes of Indy’s tech ecosystem. SmartAsset has consistently ranked Indianapolis on the top ten list of best cities for women in tech, but we will only hold that ranking if we keep working toward the collective goal of supporting women in tech while building an inclusive culture for all.
#SeeYourselfHere was created as a campaign to empower women — and men — to work together to build a culture within the workplace that not only welcomes all, but supports and champions every individual and their unique talents and contributions.
Abby says Indy has to set ourselves aside as front runners in the space. “The only way we are going to continue to do that is to have the conversation.” Women and men in tech are encouraged to continue the momentum by using social media to share why people out of our state should #SeeYourselfHere .
T-shirts were also sold at the event, and proceeds support the costs of producing the 2019 IWiT Summit. You can purchase your own T-shirt here.
Making an impact
“There’s data that says women and men feel there’s a ‘boy’s network’ in the Indiana tech sector.” says Abby. “Having the data and insights are important, but we can’t walk into next year’s event saying we did not do anything to make a change.”
Abby and the IWiT Summit committee are continuing to meet and address these issues to explore opportunities to impact change. The Summit committee is appreciative the platform exists, due to IWiT’s focus to shine a spotlight on Indiana’s tech community to show how we can create this change together to propel Indiana forward. Ensuring the platform continues is important. Many companies contributed to the success of the 2018 event, including presenting sponsor Group 1001 and IWiT Summit sponsors Salesforce and Eli Lilly and Company among many others.
“Our costs to produce the summit are high. We need more companies to join us in echoing the importance of these issues. We invite them to join the conversation through their financial sponsorship or lending their time to attend planning meetings to share their voice of support.”
For more details, visit iwitchamp.com.