SWE’s Public Policy Affinity Group (AG) aims to inspire members to get involved in public policy and support, and to create a community and safe discussion around advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels to advance policy interests that align with SWE’s goals. This week, we will be highlighting some SWE members who attended Congressional Visit Days in March.
What made you interested in public policy?
Sesha: I feel strongly about introducing relevant STEM programs to K-12 students. I believe that this will encourage them to pursue STEM careers later in life. Policies that promote and support STEM education and after school programs are critical to make this possible. So I want to lend my voice to such initiatives.
Nabila: For me it was advocating for those who do not have the privilege to advocate. Advocating through public policy brings awareness to those with power to acknowledge the struggles a woman faces. As a POC woman, representation was something I have never seen and I want to be able to represent for those who may have encountered the same thing as me.
What do you hope to accomplish through advocacy?
Maria: I’d like to help get more women into engineering, whether they are re-entering or considering it for the first time!
Do you have advice for anyone interested in getting involved?
Teresa: Just do it! I’ve been doing this for 6+ years and now our local SWE is even advocating at the state level. I keep learning more along this journey and it has made me a much more informed citizen.
Lauren: It can be terrifying to put yourself out there like this. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Practice talking and try to connect with others who’ve already been involved. They have so much knowledge and wisdom.
What are your thoughts on Capitol Hill Day so far?
Vanessa: I love the training session and guest speakers SWE has arranged. It made me feel more confident in preparation for the meetings. The research data showing current status is very helpful as the staff also like to see research data.
Public Policy Affinity Group
Those who are interested in joining or learning more about the AG can join our Facebook group or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next general meeting will be on Tuesday, May 16th at 6pm EDT – register here for a reminder.