In anticipation, Jessica Rannow, past president at SWE and project manager at AmerisourceBergen shared with us who her female role models are.
From my first SWE meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I aspired to be just like our section President Tina, SWE has been a great source of role models for me. As I progressed through different SWE leadership roles, there is one group that has been and continues to be a source of encouragement, knowledge, and inspiration - the SWE Past Presidents.
This photo was taken at the FY16 BOD installation in Omaha, NE where I became SWE President-Elect. As I prepared for one of the busiest and most interesting years of my life, these four women influenced my development as a leader, provided support when I needed it, and set the example for the SWE President I aspired to be.
Alyse Stofer was the Director of Regions when I served as Region Governor. I learned a lot from her about being organized and how to run a professional meeting in order to achieve your goals. She was one of the first SWE leaders I worked with regularly to serve as SWE President and she made the role an attainable goal for me.
Stacey DelVecchio and I met through different SWE leadership roles and she served as Society President my first year on the SWE Board of Directors (BOD). She taught me to be assertive and not wait for others to give direction. She also encouraged me to be my authentic self and although others may find topics like finance and bylaws not exciting, they are necessary for our Society and it is important to have knowledge of them.
Elizabeth Bierman and I knew of each other way back when we were students at different Region H colleges and served as Region Governors and BOD members together. From her I learned that no situation is impossible – you sometimes need to take your passion and pull resources from places you didn’t even know were available to make things happen. And then if it doesn’t happen the first time, reassess the situation and try again.
Colleen Layman and I met as first year Region Governors where we attended our first governor summit wide eyed and not exactly sure what we got ourselves into. She made sure I kept focusing on the big picture and to not let doubt, stress, or skeptics get me down. Her encouragement to run for SWE President was instrumental in my taking the leap; knowing someone you respect has your back is definitely a confidence booster.
And now as I join the league of SWE Past Presidents, they will continue to inspire me on how to utilize my talents and experiences I acquired in the role to continue to grow in my career. They have all stayed involved in SWE in ways that fit their personalities and interests while continuing to advance SWE and partner organizations. The theme of our last SWE year not only fits me as #SWEisMyConstant but SWE is all of our constant!
On August 26th, or in the days leading up, share a photo of your female role model with the hashtags #SeeHerBeHer and #WomensEqualityDay. Tag SWE and FIRST in your post so we can interact with you!
In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26th as “Women’s Equality Day” to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.
SWE and FIRST have a common goal to support diversity and inclusion in engineering, technology and all other disciplines, and supporting women is at the core of that focus. Both organizations are actively engaged in developing strategies and creating programs that empower women to reach their fullest potential. With the #SeeHerBeHer campaign for #WomensEqualityDay, we hope to create a conversation, to inspire sharing and to empower women to advance and succeed wherever and whenever they are!
To join the movement, make sure to follow FIRST and SWE on Twitter: