WWII Led to the Creation of Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

WWII Led to the Creation of Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Melissa W.

In continuation of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting an organization that promotes the voices of women interested in joining the engineering field: The Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Chicago, IL, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is an international not-for-profit educational and service organization specifically created to give “women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry.” Though not becoming formalized until 1950, SWE was created in the late 1940s when WWII caused shortages of men in the field which offered women unique opportunities to explore engineering.

According to their website, SWE strives to “empower women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering and technology professions as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.”

SWE describes itself as a “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.” Members of SWE gain access to limitless networking opportunities, employment search/career coaching, professional development seminars/conferences, and eligibility to over $800,000 in annual scholarships.

Annual membership is offered to students majoring in engineering or a STEM field. There are currently over 40,000 members internationally and you’ll recognize these graduates by their purple and white honor cords and custom purple satin stoles.

Below is an example of a similar product offered at Senior Class Graduation Products, though students are recommended they check with their chapters for specific purchasing information.

purple and white honor cord from senior class graduation products

Are you a member of SWE? Let us know in the comments!


Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

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