While life and leadership are always marked by uncertainty, this past year has been particularly noteworthy in this regard.
FY21 SWE President
By focusing on our core values, SWE was able to remain true to the mission while taking a flexible approach, adapting to circumstances.
When dealing with ambiguity, I personally find it helpful to ground myself by remembering what is most important to me. A similar approach is precisely what has enabled SWE to continue to thrive despite the challenges we’ve faced this year.
Professional excellence is not just the focus of the content of our programs and services, but it is also reflected in the way we deliver them. We recognized that whatever we were able to accomplish in the midst of a pandemic, it needed to maintain the quality people have come to associate with SWE.
Operating with integrity is key to SWE’s success. While early on we were hopeful the pandemic would be short-lived and that we’d be able to gather for WE20 in New Orleans, the safety of our members, staff, partners, and communities was the paramount priority. We planned for contingencies, maintained open communication with what we knew (and what we didn’t), and ultimately delivered another record-breaking event, though it looked different from anything we’d previously experienced. This, combined with membership levels within 2% of last year and the continued support of our donors and partners, is evidence of the trust our stakeholders continue to place in us.
We reaffirmed our commitment to providing an inclusive environment with our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts this year. We invested in a training series specifically for SWE and asked leaders and staff at all levels to complete it this year. I’ve participated in great discussions based on the content, and have appreciated hearing the individual commitments our leaders are making in the interest of continuous improvement. With intentional focus, we elected the most diverse leadership team the organization has had to date.
Last, but not least, SWE’s greatest strength is in its members and the mutual support we provide one another. Whether via engagement with our new mentoring platform, sharing advice and encouragement in virtual meetings and on social media, or continuing outreach events to inspire the next generation, our members continue to inspire one another to continue to excel.
I am so proud of all that the SWE community has accomplished this year. Thank you all for being a part of this amazing organization.
FY21 SWE President