Earlier this month, SWE Global Affiliates connected for a web meeting to share how they are adapting during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than ever, we are all in this together and eager to share the ways in which affiliates are finding new opportunities to support their community, and one another.
How SWE Global Affiliates Are Adapting:
- To meet growing demand, the San Jose Affiliate in Costa Rica is scaling up their virtual meetings and online trainings, going from one per month to one per week. Affiliate members completed a survey on the type of content they would like to see more of, and what topics they would like to speak about themselves. Further south in Brazil, affiliates are taking to social media to poll their followers on upcoming professional development preferences.
- The Toronto Affiliate in Canada recently hosted a virtual professional development session using Zoom. They were able to use the “breakout room” feature to successfully facilitate small group discussions and one-to-one connection. The attendees were impressed by how closely the digital breakouts mirrored the connection of an in-person small group discussion.
- The Montserrado County Affiliate in Liberia is struggling with a lack of wi-fi connectivity for home-bound affiliate members. Instead of using technologies that rely on strong network connections, they are staying in touch through messaging apps and phone calls.
- The Ottawa Affiliate in Canada is hosting ‘Virtual Teatime’ and they are seeing increasing engagement and attendance. By varying the times of day for events, they find that they are more accessible to a variety of audiences.
- In India, affiliates and SWE members have found that this is a great time to highlight the contributions of women in science. There is an enormous amount of innovation by women around the country, and world, that has come from the crisis.
- Affiliates in Brazil have seen their Instagram followers grow as more people are in front of screens. They have taken the opportunity to consolidate their messaging strategy across the country and create unique, relevant content like tips for working from home, book suggestions and recommended online training courses.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, all affiliates are learning to adjust their expectations and lead with empathy. There is a very important role that SWE Global Affiliates play in serving communities of women engineers and, though it looks different than it did a few months ago, that role is more important than ever.