In May 1950, over 60 female engineers gathered in Atlantic City and founded the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). At a time when women were identified by their marital status, this group of women dared to defy the norm in an unwelcoming profession. These women engineers were not looking for a challenge but wanted a platform to help express their potential and contribute to society.
Many women engineers began their careers during WWII when the male-dominated workforce was scarce. Thanks to the efforts of SWE’s founding members, women engineers are now considered great innovators and educators, participating in career fields that have shaped the development of American technology. They have made significant contributions to the world of engineering and inspired generations of women to aim high. These efforts helped open doors for women engineers in fields, such as wind energy.
Since its founding, SWE has focused on introducing young women to careers in engineering, demonstrating to employers and the public the critical role women engineers play in creative teams, and providing support to women engineers as they advance in their careers. With more than 27,000 members worldwide, the organization’s community efforts include scholarships, conferences, K-12 outreach programs, and a host of learning and educational initiatives.
SWE also focuses on public policies that impact the advancement of women in engineering. The organization aims to provide SWE members with timely information and tools to enhance understanding of the issues and encourage volunteer participation at the federal level. SWE continuously works to educate other professional societies and policy makers on the importance of applying Title IX in STEM fields – a field with a high gender imbalance. WPE