The SWE Affinity Groups’ (AGs) mission is to bring together communities that share similar interests and backgrounds that support the diversity, equity, inclusion, & belonging (DEI&B) 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, Business & Interests AGs, and Career Stages AGs. DE&I AGs are focused on the needs of social minority populations and support initiatives tailored to serve these communities. Business & Interests AGs are loosely centered around the members’ business environment. Career Stages AGs focus on the time phases of AG members’ careers, from Early Career Professionals AG to Late Career and Retiree AG.
For the month of March, we are excited to highlight SWE’s Late Career & Retiree (LCR) Affinity Group, a Career Stages AG.
March is Women’s History month, and March 1 was the national “ReFIRED not Retired” day. For the SWE Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group, “ReFIRED” means we continue to be fired up for life. Members who are not yet retired also stay ReFIRED while keeping their jobs going. This is in keeping with our energetic members – even though many may be retired from their careers, they are very busy! They volunteer, work to implement a STEM Center of Excellence in their state, RV around the country, bird-watch, golf, and more.
Get to know the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group!
What are the overall goals of the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group?
- To close the gap in programming for the late career and retiree SWE members demographic, including, but not limited to: topics suitable to this demographic, seasoned leader programs, and more technical pathways.
- To channel/capitalize on a deep commitment by these SWE members to giving back and offering opportunities to connect at the global, national, and local levels.
- To address these SWE members’ concerns about the lack of appreciation and acknowledgement given to long-standing members of the organization.
- To have a pulse on the needs, recommendations, and concerns of late career and retiree members.
- To be a pathway for communication to SWE’s Board of Directors (BOD).
Does the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group have regular meetings? If so, when and how often? What takes place during a typical meeting?
The LCR Affinity Group has both quarterly all-member meetings and monthly leadership team meetings. During the monthly leadership meetings, we plan for upcoming events, address ways to further engage members during conferences, at the local section, and in between through our Connections committee. Approximately twelve people attend each Leadership Team meeting.
The quarterly all-member meetings are open to all members. We generally have approximately 40 people attending. Topics range from current business updates to fun social activities.
Read about the December 2022 All-Member Meeting in our newsletter.
How is the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group working to reach and include new members?
We have been hosting sessions during the annual conference. Our members have made presentations at the WE Annual and WE Local conferences. We have a Facebook group with 409 members. We publish a bi-monthly newsletter. We send e-blasts periodically to all SWE members who have opted in to the Late Career and Retiree list in their Communications Preferences on the SWE website.
What opportunities does the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group have for logo items?
We have our logos on file with Lands’ End. Instructions to access the SWE Tucson storefront (where our logos and the SWE Fellow logos reside) may be found in this pdf.
What new activities has the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group added recently?
The LCR AG started a new subgroup this year called Legends. Recognizing that women in general, and SWE women in particular, have not received the same public acclaim as men, the Legends subgroup focuses on advancing visibility of early SWE pioneers including the early Achievement Award Winners. This helps achieve our third goal: To address these SWE members’ concerns about the lack of appreciation and acknowledgement given to long-standing members of the organization.
Last year the LCR AG added an Awards Subgroup to help members apply for SWE Awards. Most of the focus has been on SWE Fellow, but help is available with other awards. Potential awardees are paired with mentors who have already earned the award for help with nomination packages. After some general meetings with the entire group, the potential awardees and mentors work together on the actual nomination package. This also helps achieve our third goal.
Why is the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group important to its members?
This is a place where SWE late career and retiree members can connect with each other and feel their contributions to SWE are still valuable. The collective experience of the members of the LCR make us a natural source of leadership and guidance for the other affinity groups. It’s a place where we talk about topics of interest to us. We’re working to provide our members and local sections with productive ways to re-engage and provide value to both the sections and the LCR members.
Where would you direct those interested in joining or learning more about the Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group?
- Check out https://linktr.ee/swelcr for links to all our contact points
- Join our Facebook page
- Check out our website
- Read our last Newsletter and subscribe to stay up to date
- Join our meetings by sending an email to email@example.com
- Sign into the SWE member portal and opt-in to Late Career & Retiree AG emails
Our next Monthly Leadership Meeting is March 12th, and our next Quarterly All Member Meeting is March 19 at 1 pm PDT / 4 pm EDT. You can register for the meeting here. Remember to look for us at WE Local Seattle and WE23!