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Empowering Women in Government: A Year of Impactful Events by Our SWE Affinity Group

Women in Government Affinity Group
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The Women in Government Affinity Group, a vibrant community within the Society of Women Engineers, has been leading the charge in empowering women professionals and promoting these values. Over the past year, the group organized a series of engaging events, ranging from providing guidance for a national conference to exploring the significance of DEI&B, celebrating Women’s History Month, and advocating for sustainable infrastructure. Let’s take a closer look at these impactful meeting topics that have made a difference in the lives of women in the field.

Highlights of Our Past Year

Our October Topic was Maximizing the National WE22 Conference

The Women in Government Affinity Group kicked off the year by offering valuable advice to its members on how to make the most of the national WE22 conference. Recognizing the significance of such events in career advancement, the group provided guidance on networking, navigating sessions, and leveraging opportunities to build meaningful connections. By empowering their members with valuable insights, the group ensured that attendees were well-prepared to optimize their conference experience.

Our key insights for maximizing conference experiences:

  1. Maximize through participation: Engage actively in various conference activities, such as attending sessions, participating in workshops, networking with peers and industry professionals, and joining interactive discussions.
  2. Set goals ahead of time: Prior to the conference, establish clear objectives you wish to achieve, whether it’s expanding your professional network, gaining new knowledge in specific areas, or exploring potential career opportunities.
  3. Plan your agenda: Create a well-structured schedule by reviewing the conference program in advance. Identify the sessions, workshops, and events that align with your goals and interests, ensuring that you make the most of your time and opportunities at the conference.
  4. Polish your elevator pitch: Take the time to refine and practice a concise and compelling introduction that effectively showcases your expertise and interests.

In November, We Took a Deep Dive into Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI&B)

Understanding the importance of DEI&B in engineering and technology, the Women in Government Affinity Group dedicated November to explore this critical topic. The discussions focused on embracing DEI&B as an integral part of our work rather than a separate initiative. They highlighted that inclusive thinking and diverse teams lead to greater innovation and improved business performance. The group acknowledged that DEI&B is a continuous journey and encouraged members at all stages to embark on this transformative process.

In March, During Women’s History Month, We Celebrated Women Leaders in STEM

Women’s History Month served as an opportune time to recognize the remarkable achievements of women leaders in STEM fields. The Women in Government Affinity Group paid tribute to iconic figures such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, highlighting their contributions and lasting impact. By emphasizing the importance of women leaders, the group inspired its members to strive for excellence and break barriers in their own careers. Celebrating these trailblazers showcased the incredible potential and influence of women in shaping organizations and society as a whole.

In April, We Focused on Environmental Concerns With Guest Speaker Tiffany Reed-Villarreal

In alignment with the growing emphasis on sustainability, the Women in Government Affinity Group invited Tiffany Reed-Villarreal, City Council member for Aledo, TX as a guest speaker during Environmental Month. Tiffany shared insights on sustainable infrastructure and the role of Envision, shedding light on the intersection of engineering and environmental responsibility.


The Women in Government Affinity Group, a dedicated community within the Society of Women Engineers, has made a significant impact in empowering women professionals this past year. As we continue to inspire and uplift women in engineering, we have planned an exciting lineup of upcoming topics for the next year, including cybersecurity, mindfulness, and a diverse array of guest speakers! Do any of these topics interest you? Please send a message at womeningov.ag@swe.org or join our Facebook news feed to get engaged. You can also subscribe to our AG’s updates by logging into your member portal and editing your Communication Preferences.

Authors

  • Jenna Lynn Henderson

    Jenna Lynn Henderson, PE, PMP (she/hers) is a results-driven professional with a fervent commitment to empowering women, advocating for accessibility, and driving excellence in engineering and technology. As the National Co-Lead for the Women in Government Affinity Group at the Society of Women Engineers, Jenna spearheads strategic initiatives aimed at creating a supportive and inclusive community for women in the public sector. She conducts engagement surveys, orchestrates impactful marketing campaigns, and hosts networking events, fostering an environment where women can thrive and leave a significant impact on their careers. Jenna has excelled in a staff augmentation role for municipal departments across the U.S. and as a Project Manager on Civil Engineering Projects. In both roles, she optimized departmental efficiency, streamlined workflows, and prioritized employee growth and development. Additionally, Jenna serves as a member of the City of Fort Worth Mayor’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities, as a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Accessibility Subcommittee. In this capacity, she actively advocates for the inclusion of all individuals and collaborates with stakeholders to identify barriers and develop strategies for improvement, ensuring equal opportunities for all. Jenna holds a Master’s of Science in Technology Leadership from Brown University, where she received recognition for her Master’s work on the application of Artificial Intelligence for Infrastructure Assessments. She further enhanced her leadership expertise with a Certificate in Global Leadership, Innovation & Technology from Madrid’s IE Business School, her completion of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Training Program and the Certificate in Leadership Development for Engineers from Rice University. Her strong foundation in engineering was laid at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering with Latin Honors of Magna Cum Laude.

  • Jenni Dalzell

    Jennifer Dalzell is a Technical Assistant for the Division of Radiological Safety and Security for the Region III office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Division, including budgeting, tracking of work and metrics, and training for staff, in addition to supporting inspections and licensing reviews. Jennifer joined the Agency in 2007 in the Nuclear Safety Professional Development Program, where she completed qualifications to be a Resident Inspector. Prior to starting her position as a Technical Assistant, Jennifer served as an Incident Response Specialist, was an inspector for spent nuclear fuel dry cask storage, and a license reviewer for materials licensees. In addition to her technical work, Jennifer has volunteered for the last 10 years for her Agency’s Federal Women’s Program Advisory Committee, including serving as the group’s secretary for 2 years. In recognition for her dedication and outstanding service as a champion for diversity, Jennifer received a Meritorious Service Award and Federal Women’s Program Advisory Committee EEO awards in 2020. Jennifer has volunteered with SWE Chicago for the last 3 years, serving as both the VP of Membership and the Secretary. In 2022, she became the co-lead for the Women in Government Affinity Group and in 2023 is the Business and Interests AG Work Group Lead-Elect.

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