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WE21 Town Hall Q&A

SWE HQ Answers to Membership Meeting and Town Hall Questions at WE21
WE21 Town Hall Q&A - Town Hall

SWE HQ Answers to Membership Meeting and Town Hall Questions at WE21

Download the SWE HQ Membership FY22 Slide Deck Here >> 

Q: What are the locations for upcoming conferences, both WE Local and Annual Conference?

Future Annual Conferences are scheduled as follows:

  • Houston, TX WE22 October 20-22, 2022
  • Los Angeles, CA WE23 October 26-28, 2023
  • Chicago, IL WE24 October 24-26, 2024

WE Local locations for 2022 are listed here and locations and dates for WE Locals past 2022 have not been finalized.

Q: What are the planned COVID precautions for WE Local?

SWE HQ will likely not utilize an app for WE Locals given their smaller size. We will continue to encourage masks and will also likely require attendees to present either a COVID-19 vaccination card or a recent negative COVID-19 test at the time they pick up their badges.

Q: Where does the money for non-EFI scholarships come from?

SWE HQ works with numerous corporations, organizations, and private donors that sponsor non-endowed, individual and/or multi-year sponsored scholarships.

Q: WE22 will be in Houston, TX. Due to CA travel restrictions, students at public universities and public employees will not be able to use state funds for travel. How does SWE plan to address this issue?

SWE HQ will factor in-state travel restrictions into future plans for Annual Conference and WE Local conference; however, Houston, TX was selected well before CA-based travel restrictions were in place. SWE HQ recommends attendees consider volunteering for WE22 to get a registration discount, applying for a registration grant to comp the cost of registration, or planning to seek travel support from non-public sponsors or their SWE section to attend.

Q: Is it possible to stream or record the membership meeting in future years? Will a copy of the slides be made available to members?

SWE HQ is posting general answers to commonly asked member meeting questions on All Together along with the informational slides from the meeting.

Q: What sessions will be made available after the conference for those who had overlapping meetings? How will the app be improved in future years to reflect accurate information for all sessions?

SWE HQ seeks to improve the schedule and app consistency each year and this year is no different. With hundreds of events and many last-minute changes at the request of speakers, it is not always possible to ensure all information is perfect. We encourage app-users to ensure notifications are enabled on their phone for the SWE Events App and also that the data settings allow the app to refresh using cellular and wifi-data in an effort to ensure the user is getting the regular app updates with schedule improvements. 

All full conference attendees will have access to the virtual platform for 90 days (through 1/23/2021). Check this page for information on how to access the virtual content.

Q: Can SWE implement an SSO for its various applications? Can SWE also create a form template with links to its various applications with a spot for username and password to be filled out by members?

SWE HQ has SSOs between key applications (such as the member database, registration systems, and our Learning Management System). These custom SSOs cover the applications most commonly used by over 90% of SWE members. SWE also uses many other applications, especially for volunteer and leader engagement, and it is not financially practical or feasible for us to manage dozens of custom SSOs for third-party applications (some of which change from year to year).

The current trend within many major third-party applications is to utilize the end-users Google or Facebook login IDs to allow for SSOs. SWE HQ encourages users to consider changing their primary SWE login ID to one they use for Facebook or Google to ensure that, as third-party applications, SWE uses follow this trend, SWE end-users will be able to utilize SSOs provided by other entities. This will keep more funding for SWE directed towards its mission-driven causes that benefit the majority of members.

SWE will not provide a template for users to store passwords or a list of various applications as this is something of an individual preference and responsibility. In addition, providing a public-facing list where all SWE systems are stored is also a potential liability.

Q: Will SWE be expanding its membership guidelines to include Global Sections rather than only Global Affiliates?

At present, sections can only be formed within the United States. SWE HQ and the Board of Directors are evaluating this question to determine a path forward for the future. Currently, all SWE sections are required to have ten active members. As of the fall of FY22, there are only 14 affiliates with ten or more active members.

Q: What does SWE’s relationship with other diversity organizations look like during COVID and currently?

SWE HQ has active partnerships with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, Inc. (NOGLSTP), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) and the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE).

Many of these partnerships existed before, were maintained during, and will continue to be maintained in the future despite the COVID-19 pandemic. SWE’s partnerships with them look like the exchange of in-kind resources, thought conversation and leadership, content sharing, and general advocacy, as is relevant, with these other organizations.

Q: Can SWE partner with ERGs within companies? What does this look like?

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups that serve as a resource for members and organizations by fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives. Other benefits include the development of future leaders, increased employee engagement, and expanded marketplace reach.

ERGs are organizations/clubs/affinity groups within a company that are often centered on a common interest (i.e., “Professional Women of Company ABC”).  Society of Women Engineers (SWE) membership is often not required to be part of an ERG, although many women in technology/engineering/leadership ERGs encourage their members to join SWE.

With a SWE ERG Affiliation, contacts for the group will have access to SWE’s Professional Development Training & Webinars to advance women in STEM, develop connections with like-minded individuals within and outside of the organization and increase the number of individuals supporting the mission to advance engineering and technology as a career for women. For more information, email

Q: How is SWE working to promote best practices for those with invisible disabilities?

SWE has increased its website accessibility to meet more ADA compliance standards, responds to various requests for disability accommodations at its events, has closed-captioning for much of its online content, and makes other accommodations as well (including factoring in the use of color in online presentations and lighting for in-person events).

Q: Can Section Presidents be notified when someone within their Section wins an award?

SWE HQ is adding this to the standard operating procedure for Awards and Recognition.

Q: Can the search function in the membership portal be improved?

SWE HQ must maintain compliance with GDPR and various data protection laws from around the world. Our previous member directory, while it had a more expansive search function, was not compliant with the standards required by our growing and global membership. With the previous directory, SWE also noted instances where individuals would join SWE just to access, harvest, and download member data in bulk.

SWE made the decision to have a more limited member portal with no download option to better protect member data and ensure it is better prepared to be in compliance with global data protection standards.

SWE members and leaders who are unable to find the information they need for a legitimate request may submit an External Data Request form, which is published under the SWE Resource Center on and available here.

Q: Is there a standard for zip code association with Sections? Where is this information available?

Yes, SWE HQ strictly follows section and affiliate assignment rules as generally stated in the Bylaws and specifically stated within Article IXV Section B of the Record of Policy and Interpretation document, which is managed by the SWE Board of Directors. Zipcode association for sections is approved at the time of the chartering of the section at the discretion of the SWE Board of Directors.

As outlined by the Record of Policy and Interpretation document, a full mapping document is kept on the SWE Resource Center on > About >  Governance > SWE Resource Center > Section Governance > Section & Affiliate Member Assignment & Mapping Directory

Q: Can SWE send additional information regarding the SWE Mentor Network? This is a valuable resource that should be marketed for all members, not only collegiate students.

SWE HQ regularly promotes the SWE Mentor Network to all members. SWE also uses the term “mentor” and “mentee” vs. “mentor” and “student” to promote a more inclusive environment for professionals. This resource is available to current members only. To get more information, visit this link.


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