Closing the Gender Gap in STEM: High-Tech High Heels Texas Chapter Adds New Directors

Dallas-based High-Tech High Heels was founded by a group of women at Texas Instruments 20 years ago. They've invested more than $1M in programs that increase access to college-level STEM degree programs for girls.

For nearly two decades, High-Tech High Heels (HTHH) has been dedicated to increasing the number of young girls in STEM. Now, the Dallas-based nonprofit is ramping up efforts with the hiring of seven new directors to its Texas Chapter’s Board of Directors.

The High-Tech High Heels – Texas Chapter recently announced that the newly elected directors were to be part of a group of STEM leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth. They will be tasked with guiding the local chapter to a future filled with success.

“These new board members bring passion, along with diverse skills and experience to our Board of Directors,” Robin Bray, president of High-Tech High Heels – Texas Chapter, said in a statement. “We are excited to work together to fund effective programs that improve STEM education, inspire and mentor the next generation and bring hands-on learning opportunities to girls across the entire K-12 STEM academic pipeline.”

The new directors are: Diana Aguirre, director of development and alumni relations at UTD’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science; Juanita DeLoach, an attorney with Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Pamela Dukes, an enterprise agile coach and trainer at Signify Health; Dawn Hall, director in enterprise technology at State Farm; Jeryn Laengrich, principal and owner of Laengrich Healthcare Partners; Amber Nystrom, Capital One’s technology chief of staff and senior director of strategy and governance; and Carol Primdahl, a founding member of HTHH who spent 27 years at Texas Instruments.

You can learn more about the women here.

Nancy Kelly, a Board of Directors member who’s been with the organization for three years, says so far, the team has mostly focused on raising funds to provide STEM programming to girls in the DFW area.

“Our organization’s vision is to close the gender gap in STEM professions in the United States and our mission is to increase the number of girls entering into a college-level degree program in STEM,” she says. Kelly is also the VP of digital marketing at Dallas-based Texas Instruments. Coincidentally, 30 women from TI were the ones who founded HTHH in 2001.

The women behind HTHH pooled their resources to fund programs that close the gender gap and increase the number of girls who have access to college-level degrees in STEM. To-date, HTHH said it has invested more than a million dollars toward those programs.

Though it remains a Dallas-headquartered organization, HTHH is currently working on expanding its national reach. There are now individual chapters in Texas and Silicon Valley.

This month, HTHH was supposed to host a STEMpact event, but it’s been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly says. Also, the organization’s biggest fundraiser, originally scheduled for September, has been moved to 2021 to celebrate HTHH’s 20th anniversary.

But Kelly says the team still plans on awarding grants this fall. Interested applicants can find the process online—the deadline is Oct. 1. All applications must align with HTHH’s mission.

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