The Society Membership Committee has come a long way since its original charter of handling the day to day membership related needs of our Society. No longer is the committee worrying about sign-ups and renewals, contacting individual members to remind them about renewal deadlines, and just generally handling the tactical activities associated with these details for our membership base. With our membership now over 30K and growing all over the globe, it just doesn’t make sense for the committee to play this role anymore, especially with the fantastic support provided by HQ in these areas. So what is the committee doing now?
For the past couple of years, the committee has been redefining itself as a more strategic body within the Society, focused on membership communication, and meeting the needs of our unique membership categories. For example, in FY16, the Multicultural Committee became part of the Membership Committee, with a focus on strengthening and expanding our Affinity Groups, to better meet the needs of various subgroups within our society. Since FY16, the committee has worked to develop existing Affinity Group leadership and offerings, create new Affinity Groups (stay tuned for new Affinity Groups for Small Business and Entrepreneurs!), and expand the Affinity Group presence and communication both in and outside the Society. This includes better collaboration with our partner Societies, such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).
In addition to the work with the Affinity Groups, the Membership Committee has focused on better collaborations between company Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and SWE (Check out #SWEmyERG), including a social media campaign and new region awards beginning in FY16.
Finally, the committee has been closely aligned with other SWE strategic goals from the Board of Directors for FY17, including better support and offerings for our small business and entrepreneurial members of the Society, and understanding how our relationship with 2 year and community colleges can be improved.
Clearly, the Membership Committee has made a transformation and is now playing a more strategic role within the Society. As such, we are also revising our charter, and brainstorming on a new committee name that is more descriptive of the work we’re now doing for the Society. Stay tuned for more great news from the Membership Committee, and please feel free to reach out to us with any recommendations or feedback via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
By Erin M Carroll, FY17 Membership Committee Chair