SWE and WITI
Although women have had long and prosperous careers in the science and technology professions, proving themselves in a field once dominated by men remains an ongoing process. To make that process somewhat more manageable, today there is a host of development and training resources available to women who pursue technical careers.
Among the oldest and well-known services available to women in the sciences is the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). SWE, a non-profit educational service organization, is dedicated to supporting women in the engineering profession. Founded in 1950 when a group of women engineers from different states met independently in New Jersey, SWE has become an organizational support system for women active in the field as well as those who wish to enter it. Central to SWE’s philosophy is the belief in mentoring. SWE also offers developmental workshops, technical sessions, and business support meetings. Today SWE has members in all 50 US states as well as in many other nations.
Over the past decade or so, new organizations have formed to support women in the profession as well as women who have interests in technology. Women In Technology International (WITI) is an organization dedicated to supporting women in fields related to technology by providing educational support, conferences, and online resources. Just over a decade old, WITI has rapidly grown over the past couple of years to support not only women in the science and technology fields, but also women who consider technology a vital part of their careers and businesses.
There are currently 37 WITI chapters worldwide, offering a variety of resources related to training and support. Some of these resources include the WITI National Conference Series, Conference Tracks, WITI Fast Track Expos and the WITI “Xecutive” Coaching, all professional programs dedicated to the professional development of women in science careers.
As women continue to advance in the fields of science, technology, and engineering, the level of support for women technicians will also continue to grow. SWE and WITI are two examples of the wide range of choices available to women technologists.