History

The General Assembly established the Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) in 1996, charging it with assessing the needs of Indiana women and their families and with promoting the full participation of Indiana women in all aspects of society. Another task charged to ICW was the “identification and recognition of contributions made by Indiana women to their community, state, and nation.”

ICW created the concept of the Torchbearer Awards to honor the many Hoosier women who have overcome or removed barriers to equality or to whose achievements have contributed to making our state a better place in which to live, work and raise a family. Recipients are women who have been pioneers in their industries, have inspirational stories that set the standard for other women, have faced tough choices, demonstrated character and have made significant contributions to their communities and/or to the State of Indiana. While there are a number of award programs, these awards are the only such event in which the State of Indiana recognizes and honors its finest natural resource – the women of Indiana.

The statue, Victory, from atop the Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Monument, was the image selected to represent the Torchbearer Awards. Victory is symbolic of the character and achievements of the women honored, and the flame she holds represents the light our Torchbearers have brought to our state and their communities.