Living without limits extends beyond the SWE annual conference. It’s an active concept that invites your participation, and there are so many ways to continue to grow and learn through SWE’s many offerings.
SWE’s signature annual event, WE23, wrapped up at the end of October, and looking back on the experience, I am both humbled and in awe at what turned out to be a banner year for the conference. Themed “Live Without Limits,” the event gathered more than 18,000 individuals in person in Los Angeles, along with another 3,500 joining virtually from around the world. Wow! And the sense of camaraderie and community that SWE is known for was both palpable and infectious.
That feeling, along with some other incredible feedback, was reflected in the post-conference survey, which I am perhaps most proud of. The results tell a story of an attendee experience that was overwhelmingly positive and one that speaks to the heart of SWE — our mission, our values, and our culture. For instance, survey respondents gave an average rating of 8 out of 10 for sense of belonging. What’s more, more than 90% of respondents explicitly stated that WE23 promoted a welcoming and inclusive environment for them.
Additionally, more than 78% of respondents noted growth in their personal community, and more than 85% shared that they expanded their professional networks. Community and belonging are the heart of our organization, and what we created at WE23 is the kind of environment we want for everyone in engineering and technology every day. SWE will continue to create a safe and inclusive environment at all SWE events.
As for the programming, WE23 delivered a powerhouse lineup of sessions along with plenty of opportunities to connect, including three engaging and passionate keynote speakers, seven Inspirational Insight sessions — which also provided continuing education units, or CEUs — 200 panels and workshops, numerous fun and dynamic events, a career fair with more than 470 exhibitors including diversity and academic partners, and many opportunities to network and engage with other attendees.
Our recently added ethics, anti-discrimination, and human relations content is top-notch and meets the requirements of CEUs for state licensure.
Living without limits extends beyond the SWE annual conference. It’s an active concept that requires your participation, and there are so many ways to continue to grow and learn through SWE’s many offerings. To start, head over to SWE’s Advance Learning Center for on-demand access to courses, many of which are free to members and offer CEUs/professional development hours. There are a few offerings, out of the more than 200 courses available, worth highlighting. Our recently added ethics, anti-discrimination, and human relations content is top-notch and meets the requirements of CEUs for state licensure. In addition, our latest Neuroinclusion Training can help any organization tap into the business benefits of being more inclusive of people with neurological differences.
If you prefer a more one-on-one approach, check out the SWE Mentor Network, an exclusive members-only community that facilitates mentoring conversations. As a SWE member, you can offer mentoring services, receive mentoring, or both. Mentoring takes place throughout the year during two-week cohorts.
For those looking for a more intimate environment for networking and professional development, how about a WE Local conference? WE Local conferences offer the same high-quality content and networking as SWE’s annual conference. Take a look at the five locations in 2024 at welocal.swe.org and join us to connect locally and learn globally.
Lastly, with so much happening across SWE, how do you find out about things right in your own community or those happening virtually? That’s where the new SWE events calendar on swe.org comes into play. The calendar aggregates events hosted by SWE sections, affiliates, affinity groups, committees, and more — all in one place.
As we start the new year, I hope that you — in tandem with SWE — continue to live without limits!
Karen Horting, CAE
Executive Director & CEO