Evangeline Philos, Canada
I became a global ambassador in order connect with the international SWE community and exchange lessons learned. As an affiliate leader, I felt that it was important to hear how other affiliates responded to challenges and discuss some of the strategies the Toronto affiliate applied to overcome hurdles. Hearing about the different challenges facing women in engineering across the world, yet seeing how we are all united in our advocacy for women in engineering, has been my favorite part about this experience.
Articulating to others how much the Toronto affiliate has achieved was important in recognizing how far we had come and how valuable the affiliate is to the Toronto engineering community. We progressed from hosting meet-ups sporadically in bars in 2015 to hosting two events per month as official event series, partnering with corporations, industry groups and community leaders. Companies and speakers reach out to us now to partner and we were recently interviewed by a radio station! I feel incredible pride for the team when sharing these momentous achievements with the SWE international community and I realize how lucky I am to have worked with a group of such inspiring and motivated leaders.
My experience as a global ambassador has pushed me to think bigger and to see that the SWE Toronto affiliate is a part of SWE’s wider strategy of globalization. In my term as President of SWE Toronto, I tried to leverage this idea to get the affiliate thinking bigger. I led high-level visioning for the affiliate, helping to implement a board structure and lead the transition from a working board to a governing board to promote growth and expansion. I negotiated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to make SWE Toronto an official community partner of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), the advocacy body for Professional Engineers in Ontario, where our long-term vision is to continue to grow SWE’s presence in Ontario as a community partner throughout the province.
I look forward to seeing how the international SWE community continues to grow and advance SWE’s mission across the world. Seeing what has been achieved in the last year convinces me that we will be able to achieve many great things in the years to come.
I became a SWE Global Ambassador to give direction to my involvement with SWE’s Toronto Affiliate. As an affiliate member, it was an opportunity for me to become familiar with the larger organization and its mission.
As a SWE Global Ambassador, my goal was to spread awareness of the SWE brand, which I was able to accomplish through my work at SWE’s Toronto Affiliate. I led the affiliate’s marketing and communications activities for the past year, and worked towards establishing a strong online presence in the local community. A variety of online channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Eventbrite and MailChimp were employed to reach potential audience for events hosted by the affiliate. By far, email marketing using MailChimp has been the most impactful tool for reaching the community. In addition, resources provided by SWE such as the web-hosting platform, SWE domain emails, SWE brand logos and templates were supplemental in promoting the affiliate’s online presence and inviting members of the local community to explore the world of SWE. The Global Ambassador Program also offered an opportunity to secure funding, which was beneficial in developing custom marketing material such as banner and business cards for affiliate-run events. This unique opportunity to combine my experience being an ambassador and an affiliate member, gave me perspective on how local affiliates are key to advancing SWE’s mission internationally.
Being involved with SWE the past year, I was able to build valuable team skills and communication skills. I learned to recognize the strength that each member brings to a team, to allow room for individual expressions and, to trust each teammate for the success of a common endeavor. I also realized that open communication builds trust within a team. I have been able to successfully translate these lessons I learned to my work and personal life and they will continue to shape my leadership journey.
In the SWE community, I was surrounded by peers who were ambitious, motivated and full or ideas, and their energy was a constant inspiration for me. To me, this community and the companionship of the women who make the community is what enriched my experience being a SWE Global Ambassador!
Interested in becoming a SWE Global Ambassador? The deadline to apply to become a Global Ambassador in FY20 is June 30, 2019.