Each month throughout the year, we’ll be spotlighting a different SWE Affinity Group (AG). The SWE Affinity Groups’ (AGs) mission is to bring together communities that share similar interests and backgrounds that support the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) strategic goals of SWE.
SWE Affinity Group goals:
- Develop a sense of community in the Affinity Groups fostering an inclusive environment where people discuss experiences in their engineering career, online and offline.
- Provide professional development opportunities enabling and sponsoring leadership experiences, networking and mentorship.
- Empower members through highlighting accomplishments and supporting diversity in the SWE Leadership pipeline, Awards, and Scholarships.
SWE Affinity Groups are organized into DE&I AGs and Business Interests AGs. DE&I AGs are focused on the needs of social minority populations and support initiatives tailored to serve these communities. Business Interest AGs are loosely centered around the members’ business environment and career experiences.
For the month of April, we are excited to highlight SWE’s Global Women Engineers Affinity Group, a Business Interest AG.
Get to know the goals of the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group!
What are the overall goals of the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group?
- Mutually support each other by building community through media (Website, Facebook, magazine, etc), partnerships, and metrics where members are able to share knowledge, concerns, and experiences among themselves and allies
- To increase empowerment through leadership pipeline, highlight accomplishments on social media, and awards
- Increase understanding and commitment to the value of diversity and inclusion as an integral part of SWE culture
- To close the gap in programming for global members
- To have a pulse on the needs, recommendations, and concerns of global members and expats
- To be a pathway for communication to SWE’s Board of Directors (BOD)
Does the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group have regular meetings? If so, when and how often? What takes place during a typical meeting?
There are leadership meetings every month and a quarterly call for all members. Our first all-member quarterly call was a celebration for the fourth-year anniversary of the AG. We came together to have a casual conversation about the SWE leadership pipeline and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on work and life.
How is the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group working to reach and include new members?
Facebook has been a great platform for engaging with the community, however we realized it may not be available worldwide. So for FY21, we emphasize our membership engagement in alternative social media platforms, such as Linkedin and Instagram. We have successfully reached over +500 members on Instagram and +700 connections on Linkedin. In addition, we reach out to global members through the SWE Global newsletter and in Global Ambassador and Affiliate calls.
Why is the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group important to its members?
With more than 2000 global members around the globe, our AG is a place for all members regardless of their location to come together and get a sense of community, voice their needs and share the amazing work they do everyday.
Where would you direct those interested in joining or learning more about the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group?
Meet the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group members!
Claudia E. Berdugo Diaz
Lead, Global Women Engineers Affinity Group and SWE Leadership Coach, Leadership Coaching Committee
SWE member since: 2018
Claudia E. Berdugo Díaz received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. After graduation, she worked for a year at Process Solutions and Equipment supporting the design, construction and commissioning of process equipment. She is currently a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She joined SWE in 2018 while serving as Treasurer of the GradSWE section of SWE-UIUC. She is the recipient of the SWE WE Local 2021 Rising Star Award. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, traveling and reading.
Electronics and Telecommunication Engineer
Co-lead, Global Women Engineers Affinity Group
SWE member since: 2019
Archana A Suryawanshi received her post-graduate degree in Embedded Systems from BITS Pillani Institute. She has 13 years of experience in the automotive domain. Prior to John Deere she worked at Behr Hella Thermo Control and Thuse Electronics as a software tester in the automotive domain. She is currently working at John Deere as Supervisor in Embedded software test and quality domain. She is Co-lead of the SWE Global Women Engineers Affinity Group and also an active member of the John Deere SWE Speaker committee.
Ikpotokin O. Peace
Collegiate Engagement Lead, Global Women Engineers Affinity Group and SWE Global ambassador
SWE member since: 2017
Peace holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a National Diploma in Civil Engineering with Distinction. She started her career full-time at OAL, which is a consulting firm, and has also worked with top construction companies in real estate, telecommunication, and transportation sectors. Peace is interested in the built environment, youth capacity building, and STEM Outreach. She is also passionate about volunteering and giving back to society.
Mulikat A.L. Idris
History and Heritage Lead, Global Women Engineers Affinity Group and SWE Global ambassador
SWE member since: 2020
Mulikat is an agricultural engineer employed at SCC Nigeria Limited as the QAC engineer where she ensures quality in the engineering and manufacture of steel pipes. She has been a SWE member for two years during which period she has been a Global Ambassador for FY20 and FY21. Mulikat has hosted programs in Nigeria for both university and high school students; some of which are featured on SWE’s Alltogether blog. She describes her experience in SWE as amazing and enjoys meeting like-minded women, new friends, learning new things and getting more exposed. She has had the opportunity to be the History and Heritage Lead for FY21 for SWE Global Women Engineers AG. She loves travelling and meeting new people. Mentoring is her passion.
LinkedIn Lead, Global Women Engineers Affinity Group
SWE member since: 2016
Anitha holds an M.Tech in Automotive Electronics and is an Automotive Engineer by profession. She started her career as an Engineer at Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles Pvt Ltd and joined John Deere in 2016 as a Senior Engineer. She is interested in becoming an expert in systems validation in agriculture machinery. She loves travelling, cooking and when she gets free time, she plays badminton. Anitha really enjoys being a part of the Global AG at SWE. She is inspired by Stueti Gupta Ma’am and Ria Ghosh ma’am for their leadership roles, feeling motivated to learn diversity of experience and also to gain leadership experience.
Society Awards Lead , Global Women Engineers Affinity Group and SWE Awards & Recognition Committee.
SWE member since: 2015
Rishika Shekhawat is a Lead Design Engineer at John Deere Technology Center, India (JDTCI). She has completed her B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering, M. Tech in Design Engineering and is a certified Hydraulics Specialist of the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS). Rishika joined and participated in SWE activities for the first time as an employee at John Deere. Inspired by SWE’s vision and mission, she has successfully participated with increasing responsibilities in various SWE events at JDTCI, Pune and then JDCP, Augusta. She is serving now as the GWE-AG Society Awards Lead and a member of the SWE Awards & Recognition Committee.
Instagram Content Lead , Global Women Engineers Affinity Group and SWE Porto Alegre & Metropolitan Region Chair
SWE member since: 2015
Thamiris is from the south of Brazil, 28 years old, engaged, and her passion is learning. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, a Master’s degree in Pediatrics, and plans to graduate this year with a Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering. Thamiris has worked for John Deere since 2015 where she became a SWE member. Her current role is in Finance & Accounting and she has worked for 4 years in Sales & Operations Planning. She is the Instagram Content Lead for the Global Engineers AG, chair of SWE Porto Alegre & Metropolitan Region, and past-chair of SWE Unisinos.
Blanca Rosa Navarro
Elected SWE senator FY22 – FY24 , SWE global ambassador
SWE member since: 2014
Blanca Rosa is a Technical Solution Architect/Consultant for Midrange, Storage and Cloud IaaS at DXC. Blanca holds a B.S in Electronic Engineering from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (ITCR) and has two Master’s degrees in Project Management and Strategic Leadership in Information Technology. Her technical portfolio includes three published patents, as well as two additional patents filed and four publications. Blanca has been a SWE Global Ambassador since 2014 and was the first member in Costa Rica. She launched the first university affiliate in 2017 and first professional affiliate in 2018, currently acting as president. She was the lead of the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group during FY18-FY19. Also, she is the lead of VMUG Costa Rica (VMware User Group).
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