What Is New With SWE Affinity Groups?

SWE Affinity Groups (AGs) are communities of individuals who share the same interests and goals. These groups help build community, provide professional development opportunities and empower and celebrate women from different paths of life. Interested in creating a new AG? We'd love to hear your ideas!

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Affinity Groups (AGs) are communities of individuals who share the same interests and goals. These groups help build community, provide professional development opportunities and empower and celebrate women from different paths of life. SWE has a total of ten Affinity Groups that fall under two categories:

Diversity and Inclusion:

SWE’s Diversity and Inclusion Affinity Groups were formed to align with protected classes under the US Federal anti-discrimination law. These Affinity Groups focus on the professional needs of social minority populations and support programs tailored to serve these communities.

Business Interests:

SWE’s Business Interests Affinity Groups are grassroots communities focused on social and networking opportunities around common interests. The focus of these Affinity Groups is loosely centered around the members’ business environment and experiences.

Call for New Affinity Groups

In FY19, an Affinity Group protocol was created for creating new Affinity Groups. The protocol includes the Application and Evaluation Rubric (see chart below) to add a new group. New Affinity Groups are formed when there are leadership, goals and mission (aligned with SWE and Affinity Groups), critical mass and strong interest for long term sustainability of the group. Based on learnings from this year, the first year of the New Affinity Groups will be used to onboard the leadership and incubate the community and further define the mission and goals.

What Is New With SWE Affinity Groups? SWE affinity group

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In FY20, the Affinity Groups would like to expand and create two more groups—one new Diversity and Inclusion Affinity Group and one new Business Interest Affinity Group. Suggestions for new Affinity Groups can be submitted on the application form which can be obtained by sending a request to affinitygroups@swe.org.

Information for proposing a new Affinity Group includes:

Required:

  • A description of the group’s membership
  • A potential number of interested SWE members to join the Affinity Group
  • Identification of a minimum of ten SWE members interested in participating in the new Affinity Group
  • Reason for requesting the Affinity Group.

Recommended:

  • Identification of type of Affinity Group (i.e. Diversity and Inclusion vs. Business Interest)
  • Description of how the proposed Affinity Group promotes the SWE Core Values
  • A proposal for lead(s)/champion(s)/sponsor(s) for the first year

SWE Core Values

Applications can be submitted to the Affinity Group Co-Leads, Claudia Galván and Davida Gondohusodo , at affinitygroups@swe.org. The call for applications will open February 1st, 2020 and close March 6th, 2020 at 5:00 pm CST.

The Affinity Group applications will be reviewed using the evaluation rubric by the Affinity Group Co-Leads and a SWE Board of Directors representative. The intent is that the new Affinity Groups will be approved by the SWE Board of Directors in March/April with the new Affinity Groups being created no later than June 2020. The protocol for creating new Affinity Groups will be evaluated annually and updated based on best practices and lessons learned. Any questions regarding the Affinity Groups or the creation of new Affinity Groups can be directed to affinitygroups@swe.org.

Thank you for your interest and continued support of the Affinity Groups!

Natalie, Claudia and Davida

Author(s) Information

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