SWE supports, promotes women in engineering

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a national organization that is devoted to the support and success of women in exciting technology and engineering specialties. SWE conferences are held throughout the year, giving members opportunities to meet women from all around the world as well as speaking with SWE professionals and networking with sponsor companies.

Each week, GT SWE holds meetings on Tuesday evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Flag building atrium. The executive board, along with the forty to sixty regular members, discuss current initiatives, delegate committee chairs and build a professional relationship with one other.

Despite what the name of this organization suggests, anyone can join SWE. This includes men, non-engineers and anyone who supports Women in Engineering. One of their biggest recruitment events is “Tea with the Dean,” held at the beginning of the fall semester.

“The Tea with the Dean event helps girls understand the kind of support system they have at Tech in terms of all the professors that are willing to help them out,” said Sheree Tamaklo, GT SWE President and a third-year NRE major.

Annual membership dues are only twenty dollars.  Both a national and a regional conference are held each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. In the past, these conferences have brought members to a wide range of locations including Chicago, Charleston, Tennessee, California, Memphis, Orlando and several others.

“I attended a conference spring semester freshman year and I met all of these wonderful ladies who mentored me and helped me walk in to interviews and talk to companies. [They] have been the biggest support for me to grow my professional platform,” said Bibha Gelal, VP of administration and third-year ISyE.

“I really love the networking aspect of it. It gets you up close to companies and gives opportunities that you wouldn’t get at a career fair. You get comfortable figuring out what you want to do as an engineer and how to be a professional,” said Christina Hamm, VP of Industry Relations and a third-year NRE major.

SWE does more than just support current engineering women in their career. They have a flourishing outreach program that seeks to introduce young women to the engineering industry. “This year, SWE held six  outreach events and reached over 700 girls, not only in Atlanta area but in the south Georgia area, which is something new this year,” said Lizzie Kornegay, VP of Outreach and a second-year ISyE major.

“We try to show younger girls engineering is an available professional option for women and the benefits of engineering,” Tomaklo said.

“SWE also provides a great basis for women to build their leadership skills along side academic achievement. SWE is not just a collegiate organization. It is a professional organization so once you’re done with SWE at Tech, you can continue your SWE experience as a professional engineer for the rest of you life,” said Dimple Bansal, Secretary and a third-year ISyE major.