Participating in a conference outside your home country is a unique opportunity to Experience what it is like for women engineers in a completely different geographic location and culture.
Springtime symbolizes new growth and beginnings, returning from the winter season with the hope of being stronger and full of life. Experiencing spring in the northern hemisphere has caused me to reflect on these hopes both personally and as they relate to SWE.
WE Local season kicked off with our first conference in Detroit, followed by Hartford, Connecticut, and Seattle. All three U.S.-based conferences were filled with notable speakers, inspirational keynotes, and networking opportunities with women at all career stages. During each of these conferences, I realized the strong opportunity for growth.
A welcome return to in-person events
This year, for the first time since 2020, both our Congressional Outreach Days and WE Local India took place as in-person events, and I can wholeheartedly say both were stronger than ever.
We returned to Capitol Hill in March, in between the U.S.-based WE Local conferences, for a much-anticipated outreach event. While many of this year’s attendees were participating for the first time, there were a sizable number of returning attendees as well. For both first-timers and more experienced participants, meeting with legislators’ staffs in person was a huge opportunity to grow. Speaking with staff on Capitol Hill is a great way to practice your advocacy skills. I know attendees are sometimes nervous — until they realize we are the experts in the room! Recognizing the expertise that we bring to the conversations, through our experiences as women engineers, is a key component of the training we provide in preparation for the actual visits.
I am always surprised by the people I meet during these events. This year, one of the staffers I met with was an engineer-turned-staffer. She previously worked for my company and was a SWE member! Keep your fingers crossed; she promised to renew her membership.
WE Local Bengaluru recently concluded. This was my first time to India, and I experienced such a warm welcome from all the attendees. After four years of not meeting in person, these women were ready to get back together and grow. There was so much excitement and enthusiasm regarding potential new opportunities awaiting them.
If you have not yet attended a WE Local conference, I encourage you to make plans for one of next year’s conferences. And if you want to spread your wings a bit, I hope you’ll consider one of our locations outside your home country. Participating in a conference outside your home country is a unique opportunity to experience what it is like for women engineers in a completely different geographic location and culture.
Lastly, if the events listed above haven’t encouraged you to set new goals or expand your life in a meaningful way, please take time to read about this year’s group of Women Engineers You Should Know in this edition of SWE Magazine. It is always an inspiration to learn about them and, for me personally, an opportunity to consider new possibilities and ways to develop my life.
May this season of new growth inspire you to push your boundaries as you find new ways to expand your opportunities as well.
Dayna Johnson, P.E.
FY23 SWE President