SWE’s inaugural international conference, WE Europe, came to a close on May 8, wrapping up two days full of professional development, international excitement and plenty of opportunities to forge new connections. The conference’s theme, a Global Exchange for Change, extended the work SWE had laid the foundation for back in October at WE14-taking SWE’s mission to a global level, introducing the Society to engineers around the world and focusing our combined efforts on the betterment of women in engineering worldwide.
WE Europe, which took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, hosted 190 registrants from 24 countries. Attendees participated in 40 educational sessions and tracks, including Career Management for Students and Early-Career, Inclusion and Cultural Awareness, Innovation and Disruptions, and Career Transitions for Professionals.
While an incredible number of diverse cultures were represented, there was one common factor uniting all the events’ participants: unity amongst peers. Many a first-hand account from the conference related the joy of discovering new friendships in an unexpected place.
A natural extension of the good-natured camaraderie that formed among attendees, the conference’s networking events quickly became hot spots of activity, representing an unprecedented opportunity for SWE members to connect with colleagues from around the world.Keynote Diane Janknegt from Wizenose technology for kids speaks about finding your passion and building the right team.
The WE Europe conference app also produced plenty of interactions, providing a way for engineers separated by language barriers to forge new friendships. The app was downloaded by more than 70 percent of attendees, and in total, there were over 15,000 user interactions on the app throughout the course of the conference.
All in all, the conference proved to be a great success. As it all began to wind down, it was easy to sense a growing level of excitement, the buzz already circulating in anticipation of reconnecting at next year’s WE Europe.
We hope you’ll join us there, too! We’ll see you May 2016 at WE Europe in Madrid, Spain.