Club Spotlight: Society of Women Engineers

Cal Poly Pomona’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a national organization of empowered individuals who share the same ambitions of pursuing careers in engineering. 

In the past, there has been a small percentage of women representation in the engineering workforce. Every year, the percentage increases and SWE continues to strengthen and take pride in the number of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. 

“SWE embodies the idea of breaking boundaries and constantly challenging yourself to grow in all aspects of your life,” SWE President Nicole Bacarse said.

Through the organization, members not only gain professional connections and leadership opportunities, but they gain a strong support system. Members work with a team of people who they can also call their closest friends. 

“As a freshman, I was looking for a place where I could grow as a student, but also a place where I could come out of my shell and have friends who are proud to call themselves nerds,” said Tiffany Benavides, SWE vice president of external affairs.

The Society of Women Engineers 2019-2020 executive board posing for a group photo shoot.
(Courtesy of Nicole Bacarse)

The CPP chapter has been established for more than two decades. Today, the active body has grown to over 40 active members. 

They encourage students to volunteer, participate and attend events to be a part of their organization. SWE is always looking to welcome new members and is open to all CPP students. 

The organization is divided into three major components: internal, external and corporate. Internal events are events that bind their collegiate members with the university. They host mentorship programs, study sessions and alumni relations events on campus. 

The external events are geared toward building strong relationships with the community. They host multiple major events every year such as ACCESS (Advancing Community Colleges by Empowering STEM Students), YES! (Youth Engineering Success) and WiSTEM (Women in STEM). 

These outreach events provide insight to elementary, high school and community college students interested in pursuing a career in STEM fields, with professional panels, interactive activities and constructive workshops. 

The corporate events expand professional growth. Their biggest event they host is EWI (Evening with Industry) where students have the opportunity to network and discuss potential job/internship positions with corporate professionals. 

During general meetings, they hold resume workshops and bring in guest speakers. 

SWE believes that whether you are looking to land an internship or simply make new friends on campus, SWE will have something for you.

“SWE is a place that is for everyone. Every person who wants to join is always welcomed with a smile, and being a part of it these last few years has been a privilege because now I get to be one of those smiling faces for the new students on campus,” Benavides said. 

For free food and a chance to be a part of a successful organization, stop by SWE’s meetings every first and third Thursday of the month during U-hour in Building 9, room 247. 

Follow SWE’s Instagram @swecpp for more information on its events and how to become an active member. 

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