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Rep. Susan Brooks – D.C.'s Top 50 Women in Tech 2015

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Rep. Susan W. Brooks

Representative, Indiana's 5th District
House of Representatives

By representing the northern third of Indianapolis, Rep. Susan Brooks, the Republican co-chair of the Congressional High-Tech Women's Caucus, represents a burgeoning area of startups and entrepreneurship in the technology sector.

In her first term, Brooks co-chaired a subcommittee focused on emergency preparedness, response and communications. Since then, she's introduced the Social Media Working Group Act, which passed the House twice, and is awaiting action in the Senate. If passed, the bill would codify the Homeland Security Department's Social Media Working Group, which meets regularly to improve the department's social media techniques. The bill would also bring representatives from academia and the private sector into the working group.

“I think our laws need to catch up with technology and some of the other things that we are also focused on," Brooks said. “Data breach notification is one of the top issues facing companies that hold personal information about our customers and our employees. We need to bring the government up to speed there, too."

I think our laws need to catch up with technology.

Women promoting technology need to recognize and understand that there are not enough women in high-ranking technology positions, Brooks said. In response, those same female technology leaders need to open themselves to being mentors.

“The Women's High-Tech Coalition is about promoting women into high-ranking positions and organizations and then also with a focus on making sure that we are being role models and bringing more girls into the tech field," Brooks said. “I think the women who are promoting technology need to recognize that there aren't enough women in the tech industry."

Brooks ran for Congress to become that type of role model, she said.

“I realized I had an opportunity to be that role model and to encourage people to push themselves harder, to think bigger than maybe they had thought in the past about what their possibilities could be," Brooks said. “I think technology is the way we do that."

– Jake Williams

Read the full story about this year's selection of D.C.'s Top 50 Women in Technology, and view the full list here.