National Society of Women Engineers
What is SWE?
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.
The mission statement, adopted in 1985,states: The Society of Women Engineers stimulates women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expands the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in the quality of life, and demonstrates the value of diversity.
- To inform young women, their parents, counselors, and the public in general of the qualifications and achievements of women engineers and the opportunities open to them.
- To assist women engineers in readying themselves for a return to active work after temporary retirement.
- Serve as a center of information on women in engineering.
- To encourage women engineers to attain high levels of educational and professional achievement.
How did SWE originate?
The Society of Women Engineers originated when small groups of women engineers and women engineering students began meeting independently in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Nearly 50 women from these groups came together on May 27, 1950, in New Jersey at Green Engineering Camp of the Cooper Union and formed the Society of Women Engineers.
Who can join SWE?
While most SWE members are women engineers or women engineering students located in the United States and Puerto Rico, anyone who supports the organization's objectives may apply for membership. SWE has members in every state as well as in more than 20 foreign countries and U.S. military locations overseas. U.S. citizenship is not required. Membership was opened to men in 1976. Membership grades are: Student Member, Affiliate, Associate, Member, Senior Member, Fellow, and Honorary. Applicants are assigned to the highest membership grade for which they are eligible. An application, which can be printed, completed and submitted to your section, may be accessed from the Membership area.