How collaboration is propelling gender parity in Indy tech
The local tech industry is marching steadily on the road toward gender parity. A 2017 report from SmartAsset revealed that women with computer jobs in Indianapolis earn $102 for every $100 their male counterparts earn–a clear contrast to what most women earn in other industries compared to men.
But while the wage numbers are encouraging, just 25 percent of the respondents to Powderkeg’s 2018 Indianapolis Tech Census Report were female, and survey participants scored the community’s inclusivity as just above-average. Both reports illustrate the rapid progress we’ve made, as well as the clear need for more resources and support for women.
It’s the goal of Indy Women in Tech (IWiT) to help further develop a supportive and equitable ecosystem for Hoosier women and girls in the tech industry. The second annual IWiT Championship takes place August 16-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and it’s an ambitious effort to highlight the role women play in the city’s current and future successes. The weeklong event also features a day-long summit, curated by women leaders in the Indy tech community.
Jody Dedon, executive director of the IWiT Foundation, credits existing organizations for helping build momentum around women in tech. “Organizations like TechPoint Foundation for Youth and Ladies in SaaS lift all of us up,” she said. “We recognize that we can’t do it alone. We wouldn’t be able to do our education training and mentoring without Eleven Fifty and Pass The Torch. And thanks to them, we’ve now got a global stage to showcase what Indiana can do for its community.”
Collaboration is a critical element of success for the IWiT Foundation, and it’s already paying dividends. By facilitating networking opportunities, they’re helping close the gap between aspiring tech workers and the tech community.
“IWiT has been a great partner for Ladies in SaaS,” said Kristen Hamerstadt, founder of Ladies in SaaS and VP of marketing at SmarterHQ. “While their focus is in bringing more women into tech, our focus is on women who are already in tech. The women at the IWiT Foundation are always recommending that people join Ladies in SaaS to build their networks and careers in tech.”
The beauty of the collaboration between IWiT and the wider tech community is that it also builds on the city’s reputation for sports. Partnering with the LPGA for the tournament not only leverages the Brickyard Crossing golf course and its history, it provides a central location for an event that’s changing the way the world sees Indianapolis. It’s a vision Jody wants to expand in the future—which will take a village to bring that vision to reality.
“What’s next for Indiana? Our collective goal is to make Indiana the number-one tech industry across the nation,” she said. “What can you do to help? Where can you join in? What are you doing to build an inclusive culture? Come join us. We need you!”
Tickets are on sale now for the IWiT Tournament, as well as byte, the weekend food festival accompanying the tournament. Get your tickets before August 1 and receive a discount. Discover other events during the IWiT Championship Week.