The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as
engineers and leaders.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was the first organization dedicated to women engineers. It exemplifies the struggle women have faced over time, gaining entrance into a male dominated discipline. It also bears witness to the triumphs and honors women have enjoyed as engineering students and practicing professionals.
What began with student groups in the 1940s, blossomed into a full-blown national organization in 1950. Increased defense spending and a shortage of men during World War II provided unprecedented educational and employment opportunities for women interested in engineering. As a result, female graduate engineers began organizing local meetings and networking activities in order to exchange information and address mutual concerns. SWE increasingly fulfilled these needs throughout its early years as more engineering schools began opening their doors to women. And it still does today, as SWE continues its mission of a non-profit educational service organization.