CHICAGO (Sept. 22, 2017) – The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has earned two 2017 ASAE Power of A Gold Awards for its STEM Re-entry Task Force, created to meet the needs of women wanting to return to work after a career break while also addressing the challenge encountered by employers in attaining a diverse workforce at all levels of their organizations.
ASAE honored SWE’s initiative which addresses the need to increase the participation and contribution of women in the engineering and technology workforce through innovating programming for women and their employers. Through the Task Force, SWE has established a framework for success that can be replicated across the sector for women as well as men.
“Congratulations to SWE for paving the way for a solution that makes a significant positive contribution to its entire industry,” said Sharon J. Swan, FASAE, CAE, Chief Executive Officer at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and chair of the Power of A Awards Judging Committee. “Their initiative exemplifies how we work best when we work together and how associations have a positive influence on our everyday lives in every way.”
SWE partnered with iRelaunch to execute a program that utilizes internships as a vehicle to engage returning technical women and work closely with employers to pilot, implement and grow a successful re-entry program. SWE has recruited 14 organizations (Booz Allen Hamilton, Caterpillar Inc., Cummins Inc., Ford Motor Company, General Electric Company, General Motors, IBM, Intel Corporation, Johnson Controls, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Schneider Electric, and United Technologies Corporation) into cohorts for the Task Force. By being grouped and working within the Task Force, organizations take advantage of leveraging the diversity of thought to inspire innovation.
“The creation and work of the Task Force is historic. Having pioneered the creation of re-entry programs within the engineering field, the partners of the Task Force are re-engaging a hard-to-reach group: Mid- and senior-level women with technical degrees who left the workforce but desire to return. Many partners with launched re-entry programs through the Task Force have already increased the number of internships offered, have expanded geographically, and have also started re-entry programs in divisions outside engineering for their organizations,” said Karen Horting, CEO and executive director of SWE.
In the 18 months since its official launch, the Task Force has been recognized as the first umbrella structure to gather different organizations from within the engineering and technology sector to create re-entry programs. All its partners report that participation has supported their companies’ core values and across all launched re-entry programs, the rate of converting re-entry interns to long-term employees ranged between 60 percent and 100 percent. Recruiting and programs for the 2018 cohort is well underway.
ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, the industry’s highest honor, recognize the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global levels. The Power of A Awards reward the outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals who work tirelessly to strengthen lives, the workforce, our systems and structures, the economy and the world.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit www.swe.org or call 312.596.5223.