The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is an organization whose mission is to provide engineering education and opportunities to women, both within NJIT’s campus community and in the greater Newark community.
An example of their community work is when SWE invites middle and high school girls to NJIT. Sarah Kahn, a senior in Biomedical Engineering and outreach coordinator for the organization, said that SWE gives these girls a tour of the campus locations such as the Makerspace and demonstrates some exciting engineering projects. This tour inspires the next generation of STEM women by providing girls with an opportunity to see what it is like to be a real engineer.
Another major event which SWE is preparing for is the Women Engineers conference, WE 19, hosted on 7 November in Anaheim, California. Companies come from across the country to recruit SWE members for engineering positions. Kahn said, “The environment was so empowering… I’ve never felt so empowered to be a woman in engineering than I was when I went there and [was] surrounded by that positivity.”
Yazemin Botas, President of SWE and a senior Biomedical Engineering major, said, “We advertise that [conference] to all of our members and we help sponsor some of them to attend the conference just to help them find those opportunities.”
SWE provides networking and career-building opportunities such as the Resume Review event that happened this past Friday. The Sadie Hawkins Dance, Women’s Day Celebration and Paint ‘n’ Sip are social events for the student body to participate in. While SWE is a professional organization, Botas said that time needs to be made for socializing and bonding as well. “SWE is like family.”
Rajvi Rana, a senior Civil Engineering major, joined SWE because she “felt like it was an easier way to connect more with women engineers…. It’s a support group. We all help each other make it in the industry.” She said that, as a woman, it can be difficult at times to relate to her male counterparts. “It’s hard to work with all these guys, it’s hard to take charge when you’re a woman engineer with male engineers.” But, she believes that just by being in these spaces, you eventually learn how to work and relate together.
Kahn concurred, saying that “Being a female engineer in a male dominated industry makes you a better engineer; you’re always constantly trying to better yourself, trying to improve yourself to show you’re just as capable of doing the same thing.”
General Body meetings for SWE are on Fridays during common hour. More information can be found on their Highlander Hub page. You can also follow them on Instagram at “njit_swe.”