Get to know the Society of Women Engineers

BY GHADEER ALARADI, Student Life Editor

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a national organization dedicated to providing support and connections for women in male dominated classes. The organization also offers volunteer opportunities for students to get involved with technology in the Detroit area and welcomes graduate school students to learn more about engineering.

Every year, the SWE helps with the Welcome Back Picnic. They also hold resume writing/career etiquette nights for engineering students. They have had University of Michigan- Dearborn graduates speak about their engineering careers. SWE also works with girl scouts and other outreach organizations to promote learning and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities.

Every year, members attend the national Society of Women Engineers conference. “U of M SWE members can attend a career fair with around 500 companies and attend talks given by women in engineering careers who offer their advice on getting ahead in companies, dealing with difficult work situations, and various other topics,” said Emily Lerner, President of SWE.

Members attending the last conference in Los Angeles, California.
Members attending the last conference in Los Angeles, California.

More than 7,000 members from around the world of the national chapter of SWE attend the annual conferences. They offer connections with women in engineering from around the world, gaining insight and learning from influential speakers, and taking professional networks to the international level.

Joining SWE offers members community support, education and development, provides resources, and improves leadership skills. There is also a chance to win scholarships that support women pursuing engineering.

“I believe more women are getting into engineering and I hope the stereotype of women not going into technology is being broken,” said Lerner. She explained that shows like the “Big Bang Theory” portray women as professionals in the engineering field helps to break down stereotypes.

The Society of Women Engineers also has a K-12 Outreach program, where they provide resources for kids in school that want to get into the engineering field.

According to Lerner, SWE is a national organization for engineers, so men are welcome to join and support women pursuing the field.

Students can join SWE by going to http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/membership, and clicking on “Join.”

Students can also find more information about UM-Dearborn’s SWE by stopping by their bulletin board which is located on the first floor of the Engineering Lab Building (ELB). They can also sign up for their mailing list.

The meeting times are posted on the bulletin board, and they are usually once a month. They are usually on Thursdays, but it can vary month to month. Meeting dates are also sent out via email to those who signed up.

“It is important to have SWE on campus for female representation in engineering, all of the wonderful volunteer work we can do to help the area,” said Lerner. “And to create and connect a strong network of professionals who are enthusiastic about what they do.”