The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a not-for-profit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering, and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career for women through an exciting array of training and development programs, networking opportunities, scholarships, and outreach and advocacy activities.
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 demonstrate the value of diversity.
SWE strives to help women engineers leave their footprints in the field and encourages them to continually Aspire. Advance. Achieve. at every stage of their careers.
- Inform young women, their parents, counselors and the general public of the qualifications and achievements of women engineers and the opportunities open to them
- Assist women in readying themselves for a return to active work after temporary retirement
- Serve as a center of information on women in engineering
- Encourage women engineers to attain high levels of education and professional achievement
Approximately 20,000 individual members, 55% of which are students
Ten geographic regions are comprised of 300 collegiate member sections and 100 professional member sections.
Strategic Priorities and Programs
The Society's three- to five-year planning horizon strategies and current programs include the following:
Growing the Profession: Outreach
Women choosing to enter the engineering and technology profession will increase within the next few years. SWE's current activities, programs and tools include:
- Dedicated outreach resource center
- WOW! That's Engineering! turnkey outreach event programs
- Assessing Women and Men in Engineering (AWE) outreach assessment tools
- Involvement by SWE and its members in programs with Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., Future City Competition, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), NASA SCIFiles, local science fairs and local school career days
Women in engineering and technology will excel professionally, and their achievements will be showcased and valued. Current activities, programs and tools include:
- Online and in-person professional development program
- The Annual Conference
- SWE Magazine, an award-winning publication on women in engineering
- Work/life balance resources
- Awards and competitions, including the annual Achievement Award, Upward Mobility Award, Entrepreneur Award, collegiate competitions and more
- Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineer exam preparation, licensing and continuing education
SWE will be a catalyst for changing the professional climate to enable women in engineering and technology to excel. Initiatives include:
- Public policy goals including strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in America's schools and educating policy-makers and other professional societies on how Title IX can be applied to STEM fields •
- The national scholarship program that awards more than $400,000 each year; most SWE professional member sections offer scholarships to local students
- Educational briefings for members of Congress, their staff and other policy-makers
- Providing SWE members the tools to participate in public policy
Women in engineering and technology and SWE stakeholders will find value in SWE as a diverse, inclusive community. SWE is committed to diversity through these principles:
- Developing women in engineering across socio-economic strata and occupational focus
- Encouraging the interest and active participation of women and girls of under-represented ethnic groups
- Providing support to women, which acknowledges and respects differences in family status, sexual orientation, age and physical abilities
As a leader in diversity, our initiatives include:
- Leadership training and mentoring
- Training and assessment, including cultural awareness
- Communicating the accomplishments of all members
- Partnering with other diversity organizations
Milestones in SWE's History
||SWE was formed; Dr. Beatrice Hicks was elected as the Society's first president
||SWE holds its first annual National Convention in New York City
||Journal of the Society of Women Engineers is published
||SWE becomes incorporated as a non-profit educational service organization
||SWE becomes truly "national," as the Los Angeles section is chartered
||A Board of Trustees is established
||The executive director position is created
||The Board of Directors is re-established
||SWE enters the public policy arena
||SWE celebrates 50 years
||The Corporate Partnership Council is formed
||SWE joins coalition formed by MentorNET to raise awareness of the issues of women in STEM
||SWE makes strides in policy by co-issuing the position paper, SWE General Position Statement on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education and the Need for a U.S. Technologically-Literate Work Force
||SWE sponsors EWeek
||New outreach program, Aspire, is launched
||WE08 Annual Conference breaks attendance records
||SWE celebrates 60 years of success with SWE60
SWE Brand Guidelines
Please refer to the Logo Policy and Guidelines for proper usage.
This document provides details on proper use of SWE’s logo identity system and elements. It includes logo and color usage guidelines, preferred fonts, messaging points and photography guidelines. Please send any questions to email@example.com.
Keeping the industry, general public and media professionals up-to-date on SWE efforts and events is important to us. In this section, please find our latest press releases as well as articles recently written about the Society.
|Feb. 15, 2013
||Female Auto Engineers Make Marks While Outnumbered
|Sept. 7, 2010
||SWE Becomes Authorized Provider of IACET CEUs
|June 24, 2010
||SWE Releases Comprehensive Literature Review
Product Design & Development
|April 16, 2010
|April 14, 2010
||Mattel Launching Computer Engineer Barbie
|April 9, 2010
||Revenge of the Nerds: How Barbie Got Her Geek On
Wall Street Journal
|April 9, 2010
||Computer Engineer Barbie and the Role of Women in Tech
Wall Street Journal blog
|Feb. 15, 2010
||Barbie's a Geek Now, Just Like Us!
|Feb. 12, 2010
||Watch Out, Computer Engineers: Barbie Wants Your Job
|Feb. 12, 2010
||Barbie's Next Career? Computer Engineer
New York Times blog
|July 31, 2009
||Female engineers in the spotlight
|July 24, 2009
||SWE Announces WE09 Keynote Speaker
Exploration & Production Magazine
|Jan. 26, 2009
||Diversity and Inclusion
New York Times
|Dec. 12, 2008
||A Bent for Building, From Father to Daughter
|June 20, 2008
||She wears a hard hat
From our most recent annual report and membership brochures, to information on our Annual Conference and public policy positions, this section will provide you with all resources necessary to learn more about SWE.
SWE's main public policy goals are to:
- Educate SWE members about public policy happenings via monthly columns in SWE's professional e-newsletter, articles in SWE Magazine and sessions at the Annual Conference
- Provide tools to participate in public policy
- Have SWE volunteers engaged in public policy at the federal level
- Educate other professional societies and policy makers on how Title IX can be applied to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields
SWE has issued several public policy position statements, and encourages those passionate about STEM-related public policy to communicate with their government leaders. To read our position statements, please visit our Public Policy Toolbox and Position Statements.
Since 1994, SWE has been involved with the public policy arena. Part of our involvement is participating in educational efforts to further the advancement of women in STEM fields. Descriptions of our public policy activities are available to learn more about what we do.
Each month, SWE Washington Representative Melissa Murray Carl spotlights the Society's public policy initiatives related to STEM education, as well as the application of Title IX to STEM fields. Her column is highlighted in our monthly member e-newsletter, All Together, and is available on our website as well.
Research & Statistics
SWE encourages research focusing on women in the workplace, specifically women in the engineering and technology fields. Third-party research below provides statistics related to these topics, as well as resources for those interested in diversity initiatives.
SWE, the official magazine of the Society of Women Engineers (ISSN 1070-6232), is published quarterly with an additional issue in October. Articles in SWE Magazine cover issues of interest to women engineers including the achievements and accomplishments of women engineers, career development, career guidance, outreach to students, activities within the Society and technical themes geared to an audience covering a broad range of engineering disciplines.
Please visit SWE Magazine's online version to learn more.
SWE Logo Toolkit
SWE logos are available for use, but please refer to the Logo Policy and Guidelines for proper usage. Visit the toolkit to download the various logos.
President: Melissa Tata
Melissa Tata is a 12-year Dell veteran and currently serves as the director of engineering and supply chain program management. In this role, she is responsible for streamlining demand and supply planning functions end-to-end, integrating key acquisitions and facilitating change management and sustainable processes to instill a better customer awareness in programs and designs. Melissa is also driving business case development, establishing program governance, and creating a staff development plan to enhance expertise and retention in Dell’s engineering operations team.
Prior to this role, Melissa was the executive assistant to the president of Consumer, Small & Medium business unit at Dell. She was responsible for defining strategy implementation plans, establishing sustainable business management systems and governance processes, leading communication of priorities across the organization, and driving executive alignment and best of breed sharing.
During her six years of management experience, Melissa led teams from eight to 82 and was recognized for generating creative solutions, motivating others, establishing new processes and leading Six Sigma Green and Black Belt projects totaling over $30M in annual savings. Melissa has had the honor of participating in three intense leadership and diversity training programs through Dell, SWE and the Texas Women’s Leadership Power Pipeline. In the various senior manager roles Melissa held in marketing operations, she was responsible for almost $1B in revenue. Melissa developed partner alliance agreements, grew business volume, enhanced forecasting and augmented profitability. In her manufacturing operations senior manager roles, Melissa launched controls for inventory management across 10 facilities, initiated an engineering development program, supported global best practice sharing, and led the installation of all equipment and labor standards for all the headcount to support a factory with product volumes of over 25k/day.
As a SWE life member and 16-year veteran, Melissa appreciates that SWE has enabled her to demonstrate passion, leadership, integrity, and teamwork to drive member engagement. Melissa served four years on the SWE Board of Directors as director of External Initiatives and as speaker of the Council of Representatives. Before that she served as Gulf Coast Region (C) Governor and Deputy Director. She served as the president for the Southwest Texas section for two terms in addition to serving as vice president. As a collegiate, Melissa served as president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Section and as Region F Newsletter Editor. She is the recipient of the SWE 2005 Distinguished New Engineer Award.
Melissa studied mechanical engineering with a M.S. from MIT and B.S. from RPI. Melissa enjoys dancing, swimming and reading. She also treasures time with her daughter and recently relocated from Dell’s headquarters in Texas to Massachusetts.
Executive Director & CEO: Betty Shanahan, CAE, F.SWE
Betty Shanahan is the executive director and CEO for SWE. When she became SWE’s Executive Director in September 2002, Shanahan became the first engineer to hold this position.
Prior to joining SWE, Shanahan spent 24 years in development, engineering management and marketing for the electronics and software industries. Her career began at Data General as the “one woman engineer” on the “Eagle” minicomputer design project captured in Tracy Kidder’s Soul of a New Machine. Shanahan’s career continued at Alliant Computer Systems where she was a member of the design team for the first parallel processing minicomputer and manager of hardware design for subsequent systems. Attracted by the business side of technology, she moved to marketing management in 1990. Shanahan has been responsible for computer-aided software engineering and signal processing products, and file viewing and conversion technologies. Most recently she was the vice president of product management and marketing for the Software Components Division of Stellent, Inc.
Shanahan earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University, a Master of Software Engineering from the Wang Institute of Graduate Studies and an M.B.A. in strategic management from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Shanahan is a fellow life member of SWE and has held numerous section and national volunteer positions, including the 1995 Annual Conference co-chair and chair of the Conference Management Committee. She is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Society of Association Executives.
Board of Directors
President-Elect: Alyse Stofer
Secretary: Elizabeth Bierman
Treasurer: Stacey M. DelVecchio
Director, Membership Initiatives: Lana Fountain Flakes
Director, Education: Kelly Griswold Schable
Director, Emerging Initiatives: Semahat S. Demir, Ph.D.
Director, Professional Development: Linette Patterson
Speaker of the Senate: Helen O. Patricia
Special Director of International Initiatives: Janet Bandows Koster
Director of Regions: Linda M. S. Thomas
Collegiate Director: Allison Machtemes