Women in tech is no doubt a subject of interest locally and nationally. You’ve likely seen the ranking from SmartAsset calling Indy the fourth best city for women in tech due to compensation and opportunity in our current workforce. I’ve interviewed many female tech movers and shakers in Indiana, and they are all working hard to encourage more women to follow their footsteps and take the leap into fast-growing (and in high demand) technology fields.

But for all of the dedication and emphasis put into the topic of creating opportunities for women in tech in and out of Indy, there are challenges rising to the surface. Executive leadership from our tech companies share the difficulty of diversifying their workforce to make it more appealing to women. We hear stories of women feeling discouraged about applying for careers in tech when they notice a male-dominated workforce.

In the June 12 edition of the Indianapolis Business Journal, tech reporter Jared Council highlighted the Indy Women in Tech Foundation and multiple women’s organizations addressing these very issues in Indianapolis. Indy Women in Tech, Inc. (“IWiT” or “IWiT Foundation”) is a non-profit organization created to inspire women and female students of all ages to pursue opportunities in the technology field of their choice. Specifically, they partner with allied organizations to recruit women to work and study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as provide the necessary financial support, training, and education.

Today, we are announcing our partnership with the Indy Women in Tech Foundation (IWiT) to intentionally focus on further understanding the workforce need and existing programs, develop relationships with all stakeholders, propose solutions, and coordinate stakeholders, program providers, and participants.

Emily Trimble

Emily TrimbleIndy Women in Tech Program Manager

To do so, we’ve created a unique role within TechPoint to embark on this effort. We are proud to announce that Emily Trimble, former campus director for The Iron Yard Indianapolis, will be the IWiT program manager.

Trimble joined The Iron Yard in 2015 where she built relationships from the ground up with hiring managers, software developers and engineers, and executives at tech companies in and around Indianapolis. Trimble recruited students to The Iron Yard, managed their education paths, and developed demo days to showcase the work of her students. Prior to The Iron Yard, Trimble was recruiting tech-skilled talent for tech companies through her role at Vitamin T, a talent agency with a focus on web and graphic designers, front-end developers, UX/UI developers and more. She also contributed articles to TechPoint on the topic of prioritizing diversity and inclusion in Indy’s tech industry.

“We have an untapped market of Hoosiers (many are women) who are the key to substantial growth and success for our already thriving tech community. I’m excited to jump in and join the effort to empower women to reach their full potentials,” said Emily Trimble.

As part of her role, Trimble will work to educate employers about the process and needs of potential candidates and will serve as an advocate for each woman within the IWiT membership by operating as a coach and connector between each woman, potential employers, mentors, and other valuable supporting partners. More details about IWiT membership will be announced soon.

IWiT is partnering with Ivy Tech Community College, Eleven Fifty Academy, and TechPoint to develop comprehensive workforce transition strategies that are applicable to women in various stages of their career. Those who apply for IWiT membership will speak with Trimble to understand which of these career paths is right for them.

Ivy Tech Community College is launching IvyWorks in partnership with IWiT. Courses will be offered in the following areas: IT Support; Software Development; and Business Operations, Applications, and Technology (BOAT). IvyWorks gives adult learners the support they need to earn industry-backed credentials and build a career in Indiana’s fastest-growing technology fields. The program is designed to meet the needs of adult learners balancing school, work and family obligations. IvyWorks provides strategic professional development, business networking and wraparound support, so that participants can earn their degree and excel in their career. IWiT provided a grant that will support women in the IvyWorks program with classes starting Fall of 2017.

IWiT has also partnered with Eleven Fifty Academy, a non-profit technology academy that provides an immersive learning experience designed for new coders. Offering twelve-week accelerated learning programs for .NET, JavaScript and Java and headquartered in Fishers, Indiana, Eleven Fifty empowers people of all ages and backgrounds to launch, change, and enhance their careers. The mission of Eleven Fifty Academy is to close the nation’s growing technology skills gap by cultivating a wealth of technical talent that benefits the individual, their employer, and their community. A recent grant from IWiT will allow a unique cohort of women to begin Java classes in June.

In addition to the workforce transition strategies, IWiT is focusing on K-12 robotics initiatives, a STEM day at the University of Indianapolis campus on August 17 with Women & Hi Tech and Conner Prairie, and the inaugural Indy Women in Tech LPGA Championship at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Brickyard Crossing golf course. IWiT will use the national and global vehicle of the LPGA to showcase Indianapolis as a viable tech hub destination and show LPGA event attendees (40,000+) to the wonders of STEM and prospect of a career in STEM.

As these programs develop, TechPoint will highlight the people, companies and events making an impact on behalf of and with women in tech in Indianapolis. Do you have a story to share? Click the “Send A Story Idea” button below and keep us in the loop.