The future of our community, state, nation and world will depend heavily on technology. Today, women represent 26% of the nation’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workforce. To keep up with growing workforce demands, we must keep pace by attracting women and girls into tech careers.
The good news is that an Indiana program may have found a solution to helping bridge the gender gap in tech. Now that program, Indy Women in Tech (“IWiT”), has identified South East Florida as a potential future expansion market and is seeking funding and partnerships to make an impact, beginning in Palm Beach County. Yesterday, the launch was celebrated with a press conference featuring: Hon. Greg Ballard, Former Mayor, Indianapolis, Indiana; Jody Dedon, Executive Director, Indy Women in Tech (IWiT); Dr. Gary B. Vonk, President, Keiser University, West Palm Beach; Mark Ruben, Executive Director, Israel Bonds, Palm Beach County; Hon. Jimmy Patronis, Chief Financial Officer, State of Florida; and a $25,000 donation from CEO, Simple Health.
“STEM education is a major component to cultivating the next workforce generation; but it is also important to close the gender gap and encourage all young people to explore and get excited about technology,” said Jimmy Patronis. “For me, I get excited when people are learning new technologies and starting new businesses. This program will diversify our workforce and train them in those skills most desired by today’s forward-leancing technology companies.”
Jody Dedon added: “In the few short hours we’ve been here, we have already seen the wheels start turning. Everyone, every state needs more technology and more women in tech. I’m excited for what we’ve done in Indianapolis to happen right here in South Florida and eventually explode across the state.”
Photo from L to R: Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard; CEO of Simple Health Steve Dorfman; Executive Director of IWiT Jody Dedum; and CFO of Florida Jimmy Patronis.