I hope you consider attending a conference in a location that allows you the opportunity to grow, whether that’s meeting new people in an area of your home country you aren’t familiar with or learning about a culture far from home.
I took time off work at the end of 2022 to recharge and during that break had a realization: This SWE fiscal year is already half over! I could not believe it. The entire board and all of SWE leadership has been, and continues to be, so busy knocking goals out of the park this year that the halfway point completely sneaked up on me. Nevertheless, a new calendar year presents the opportunity for a renewed focus as we enter the second half of FY23.
Over the course of my reflections, I spent a lot of time thinking about WE22. If you did not have the opportunity to attend in person, I hope that you have connected with someone who did. In my role as SWE president, the conference was busier than I ever thought possible, yet I tried my best to connect with old friends, meet new friends, engage with members, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Our programming was stellar as usual (and I’m grateful for the virtual playback option so I have been able to catch more of it!). Our keynotes inspired me — from leveraging the opportunities that await us, to reframing our brains, to looking up. I was deeply inspired by all three keynote speakers. And, of course, having our reality TV show stars with us in Houston created a whole new level of SWE conference experience! Fox’s Domino Masters made for a very exciting “Invent It. Build It.” outreach event, and our Netflix “bakineers” brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the closing session that thinking about it still makes me smile.
From conferences to dialogue, to outreach, and beyond
Maybe you couldn’t make it to WE22. Worlds of opportunities still await you: WE Local season is upon us! This year, we have five WE Locals spread across the globe. Starting in February, you can attend conferences in Detroit, Michigan; Hartford, Connecticut; Seattle, Washington; Bengaluru, India; or Barcelona, Spain. When I say that a world of opportunity awaits, I truly mean it! I hope you consider attending a conference in a location that allows you the opportunity to grow, whether that’s meeting new people in an area of your home country you aren’t familiar with or learning about a culture far from home. Articles in SWE Magazine are designed precisely with this in mind, supporting the themes of conferences such as WE22, the various strengths of different locales, and in-depth examination of issues relevant to women in engineering and technology. For example, this edition’s focus on STEM diplomacy covers cities that have become innovation hubs for this type of activity, including Barcelona, our host city for WE Local Europe.
If you haven’t made it to one of our WE Local conferences, what better time than now? Between some amazing keynotes, great sessions, a career fair, and celebrating award recipients, you’re sure to have a blast while taking steps in your professional development.
One other activity I’ve taken some time to do since conference is meet with various SWE collegiate sections as my travels have allowed. Being able to share what SWE is working on has been incredibly rewarding for me, and I really love providing the opportunity for our members to ask me questions! And, as I think about our collegiate members, let’s take the opportunity to increase our pipeline of women engineers on Feb. 23, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day!
What a range of opportunities, from conferences to outreach, and beyond, await you in 2023.
FY23 SWE President