(STATEHOUSE) - About 80 women gathered at the statehouse to celebrate the strides they've made in government and in business, and to encourage each other to aim higher.
The Indiana Commission for Women sponsors the annual program.
Executive director Kristin Garvey says the commission conducted a survey on obstacles to women's advancement produced. The top answers were gender-neutral -- access to health care and job security -- but the next top answer was caregiving.
Garvey says if there's not a way to make sure your family is taken care of, it's difficult to start a business or go back to college.
Deborah Oatts, president of the Indianapolis chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, says women own three of every 10 privately-owned businesses. Women hold four of Indiana's seven statewide elected offices, 22 seats in the House and eight in the Senate.
Evansville Senator Vaneta Becker told the crowd women add a different perspective to policy discussions, and in some cases can broaden the General Assembly's priorities to areas such as child care and health care.
Garvey says the commission plans to post a resource guide on its website to help women candidates know what it takes to run.
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