Spring has arrived, but the normal excitement of new beginnings, baseball games, and vacations has been tempered by the COVID-19 pandemic that is impacting the world. Normally, I would write about the WE Local events that are synonymous with spring, but the remaining events have been canceled as we shelter in place and wait for some sense of “normal” to return. So, instead, I will write about the joy I have found in relying on my SWE family and the mission that is still relevant in today’s chaos.
As many companies have struggled to adapt to a remote working environment, SWE teams are not losing a beat.
As many companies have struggled to adapt to a remote working environment, SWE teams are not losing a beat. Our network of more than 42,000 women have been connecting and working together to drive SWE’s mission through our committees, affinity groups, leadership coaches, and global ambassadors. Communication has also continued to be strong via the online blog, All Together; SWE Magazine; group emails; virtual book clubs; and Zoom meetings. My local section had our leadership meeting on Zoom, and it was great!
Professional development is another area where SWE has been able to help those who are sheltering in place. The Advance Learning Center has some fantastic options, including the Diverse podcast series. The series was recognized with a merit nod in the digital content category of the 2020 ASAE Gold Circle Awards! Other options include the new e-series on leadership fundamentals, diversity and inclusion training, multiple options for continuing education credits, and much more.
As SWE has been doing for the past 70 years, we continue to serve as advocates for women in engineering. We had an excellent congressional visits day, immediately before the lockdown went into place in Washington, D.C. While it was oddly quiet in the halls of Congress, SWE was one of the last visitors to have in-person meetings. Elbow bumps and hand sanitizer were in abundance during each session. Of course, SWE continues to offer a wealth of scholarships for our next generation of women engineers, and we also offer a virtual career fair in April for our professional members. As we look forward to WE20, the individual awards have also been expanded to include a new recognition for patents awarded to SWE members.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has secluded us, it has also brought us closer together. SWE is a global organization with women all over the world. We are all in this fight together. I hope that you will use SWE to help you stay connected, educated, and sane during this difficult fight. Stay safe, and I hope to see you all at WE20.
FY20 SWE President
“President’s Note: Joy and Relevance in the SWE Mission” was written by Cindy Hoover, F.SWE, FY20 SWE President. This article appears in the 2020 spring issue of SWE Magazine.
Read more from the 2020 spring issue of SWE Magazine:
- Feature: Toward More Accessible Work Environments
- Feature: Engineering for Good
- Feature: Inclusive Design for Living Longer
- Feature: Women Engineers You Should Know
- SWE Forum: From Congressional Visits to the “New Normal” Brought by COVID-19
- Opening Thoughts: Access: A Matter of Human Rights
- News & Advocacy: COVID-19: STEM Strikes Back
- News & Advocacy: Momentum, Authenticity, and Pivoting: The State of Women in Politics
- News & Advocacy: Visiting Congress During a Global Health Crisis
- News & Advocacy: People
- Career Pathways: Shelter-at-Home Orders Put Spotlight on Disability Accommodations
- Life and Work: Is Sitting the New Smoking?
- Reinvention: From Fixing up My Home to Helping Others Construct Theirs
- Media: Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
- Viewpoint: Then and Now: Personal Reflections on Accessibility
- In Memoriam: Marta Kindya, 1946-2019
- Closing Thoughts: Community in Times of Crisis
- Scrapbook: Announcing a New Arrival