The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is an educational organization dedicated to
creating awareness of the women in the engineering fields and exposing younger women to
the engineering profession.
The first nation wide meeting, on May 27, 1950, marked the creation of this now world wide
The mission statement of this organization states:
The Society of Women Engineers stimulates women to achieve full potential in careers as
engineers and leaders, expands the image of the engineering profession as a positive force
in the quality of life, and demonstrates the value of diversity.
The four main objectives of this organization are:
- To inform young women, their parents, counselors, and the public in general of the
qualifications and achievements of women engineers and the opportunities open to them.
- To assist women engineers in readying themselves for a return to active work after
- To serve as a center of information on women in engineering.
- To encourage women engineers to attain high levels of educational and professional
This organization, consisting mainly of women engineers and engineering students, is open
to anyone who supports the cause. Men, now accepted into the organization, at one time had
their own chapter.
The main advantages of this organization are the social networking that it creates, along
with the scholarship and advancement opportunities that it offers to its members, especially
This organization is similar to other educational and professional societies such as the
National Society of Professional Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
(SPHE), and the National Society of Black Engineers.
In a male dominated profession, this organization has done much to encourage young women
to consider the engineering profession. Although still mostly men, many women (such as
myself) have chosen this career path (as I am sure all you geeks out there don't mind).
In my own experience, being a minority in such a situation can be tough, and no matter how PC
everyone seems, stereotypes tend to linger. Support these organizations. They bring
necessary diversity and new views into the profession and create a environment more
conducive to advancement.