The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the largest global organisation in support of the advancement of women in engineering, organised its fourth annual conference and career fair in Bengaluru. The three-day event was held at the Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center.

Karen Horting Executive Director & CEO SWE at the Society of Women Engineers Conference
Karen Horting Executive Director & CEO SWE at the Society of Women Engineers Conference

WE Local India, Bengaluru, the localised version of SWE’s annual conference and career fair, was conducted with the aim to provide the opportunity for women in engineering to advance in their careers, connect with like-minded professionals, learn life and work skills, and network with job recruiters.

The conference commenced on 11th April with a keynote address from Sabina Nawaz (Nawaz Consulting, LLC.) on dealing with negativity and achieving goals, and concluded on 12th April with an interactive session / closing keynote from Smita Tharoor (Tharoor Associates) on understanding unconscious bias and emotional resilience, and building personal strategies to enhance and empower oneself in the workplace. On 13th April, there was a free and open-to-the-public career fair with 20+ major engineering and technology companies exhibiting and recruiters interviewing job candidates onsite. Some of these names included Caterpillar, GM, IBM, Intel, Shell, Tata Communications, John Deere and Honeywell.

Smita Tharoor CEO & Founder MnA Genome Tharoor Associates at the The Society of Women Engineers Conference
Smita Tharoor CEO & Founder MnA Genome Tharoor Associates at the The Society of Women Engineers Conference

The event also comprised plenary panel discussions, educational sessions, and workshops on strategic leadership, self-management, and career management, to cater to women in all stages of their careers, from collegiate to entry-level, seasoned and retired, to help them sharpen their engineering skills while enhancing their careers.

“WE Local is a platform to provide an opportunity for women in engineering to meet with like-minded individuals and become part of a growing network. The core objective is to inspire and prepare them to take the next step in their professional journeys. These events aim to bring together women in all stages of their collegiate and professional journey to experience the excitement, energy and learning environment of SWE’s professional and personal development events,” said Karen Horting, executive director and CEO of SWE.

Society of Women Engineers Conference Left to Right -  Seema Chopra (Boeing), Venkatesh Ramachandra (Honeywell), Penny Wirsing (SWE), Sumathi Chutkay (Medtronic), Ameya Divekar (John Deere)
Society of Women Engineers Conference – Left to Right – Seema Chopra (Boeing), Venkatesh Ramachandra (Honeywell), Penny Wirsing (SWE), Sumathi Chutkay (Medtronic), Ameya Divekar (John Deere)

WE Local Bengaluru was the sixth of seven local SWE conferences across the globe this year, including events in the United States and Europe. SWE is a non-profit membership organisation with more than 40,000 members across the world. SWE has 437 members in India, including 124 in Bengaluru where WE Local took place this year.

Plenary (L-R) Khushboo Shrivastava (GM), Anshuma Singh (Applied Materials), Penny Wirsing (SWE), Jamuna Ravi (Shell), Mousumi Kapoor (Continual Engine) at the Society of Women Engineers Conference
Society of Women Engineers Conference – Left to Right – Khushboo Shrivastava (GM), Anshuma Singh (Applied Materials), Penny Wirsing (SWE), Jamuna Ravi (Shell), Mousumi Kapoor (Continual Engine)

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organisation is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives.

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