Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Mission

To “stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and to demonstrate the value of diversity.” SWE preserves its historical heritage through collections that document the national organization’s origins, activities, and members. These collections reflect our main focuses on: career guidance, using conferences, scholarships, awards and other programs to encourage women to enter or return to the engineering profession and to attain high levels of educational and professional achievement; publicizing the role of women in engineering, placing them in engineering jobs and promoting them in industry and professional circles; serving as a center of information on women in engineering; and allying itself with other organizations to promote equal opportunities and equal rights for women.

Activities

The National Society of Women Engineers hosts two big events every year; One National Conference and A Regional Conference. The National Conference is in Long Beach, California this year and will be in Orlando, Florida in 2010. This event is huge, with thousands of women networking, attending sessions and tours, as well as, participating in a career fair that host over 200 companies! The regional Conference is in Columbia, MO this year and is intended for women in the Midwest. The UMKC chapter of SWE is very active in the Kansas City Metro area. Events include the Black and Veatch Christmas in October and Stream Clean 2009. At Stream Clean 2009 the UMKC chapter of SWE partnered with Engineers Without Borders to help clean up a stream in Overland Park, Kan.

How to Join

There is no fee to join the UMKC SWE chapter, simply visit the SWE RooGroups page. To become a member of the national organization, there is a fee. This fee includes a quarterly magazine, as well as, a special conference issue. It also allows access to the SWE website. The SWE website contains information about career enhancement, scholarship opportunities, networking opportunities, and so much more!

Interesting Facts

During the 2008 school year, the UMKC chapter of SWE invited representatives from the professional section of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to come and do a presentation about the many opportunities for engineers while they are students and after graduation. This meeting lead to the founding and development of the UMKC Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. SWE is closely linked with the UMKC Student Chapter Engineers Without Borders. Founded May 27, 1950 with 65 original members, The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was the first organization dedicated to women engineers. Today SWE has over 17,000 members in nearly 100 professional sections and 300 student sections throughout the United States. SWE is not only for women. In 1976, men were admitted as full members for the first time.