The SWE Senate is the strategic body of the society that advises the Board of Directors and the membership on strategic issues that advance the mission and vision of SWE. The members of the Senate participate in future- focused work through the strategic planning process and research on prospective initiatives. The Senate is responsible for managing the Societies strategic plan and amendments to the Society Bylaws. Guiding the future of SWE is important work that necessitates diverse representation from all of SWE!

To reach the Senate, please email

About the Senate

The Senate is responsible for:

  1. Charting the strategic direction of SWE by developing and adopting the Society Strategic Plan (every 3-5 years)
  2. Developing, deliberating, and adopting proposed changes to the Society bylaws, policies, and procedures that are in line with the strategic plan
  3. Conducting essential dialogue on long-term trends and issues of common interest

The Senate is made up of voting and non-voting members. The voting members of the Senate are elected by members of the Society to serve a three-year term. Seven new Senators are elected in each fiscal year. There are 21 elected Senators. The non-voting members of the Senate include the Board of Directors, the Speaker of the Senate, Deputy Speaker of the Senate, the Senate Secretary, and a Parliamentarian.

  1. Attend and contribute to all Senate meetings, conference calls, and training sessions. Virtual Senate meetings are held monthly, typically for 60-90 minutes each. Additionally, up to three in-person meetings are scheduled for 4-8 hours in conjunction with SWE Installation, WE annual conference and in the second half of each Fiscal Year.
  2. Participate actively in any sub-team assignments to research and provide guidance on strategic questions for the Society (approximately 1 hour per week). Additional time may be required from sub-team leads. This is a great opportunity to build your leadership skills!
  3. Prepare for all Senate meetings by reviewing all provided materials or requested pre-work in advance (approximately 1 hour per week). This may require (as needed):
    1. Review senate procedures and SWE Bylaws to have adequate knowledge for making decisions 
    2. Review parliamentary procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order for official Senate business meetings
  4. Review drafts, contribute discussion on, and vote promptly on Senate motions presented electronically (time commitment dependent on motion submission cadence)
  5. Regularly participate in Senate discussions on Teamwork, SWE’s online collaborative tool (approximately 1 hour per week)
  6. Offer and respond to questions and/or differing viewpoints from other Senators and SWE leaders
  7. Respectfully listen to others

Leadership Competency Model elements that are important for Senators: Communication, Self-Management & Development, Business Acumen and Diversity & Inclusion.

In the role of SWE Senator, volunteers gain insights into the Society’s operations, member feedback, and have the opportunity to grow lasting connections with SWE members from a variety of backgrounds from around the globe. Additionally, SWE Senators have access to discounted registration and, if needed, financial assistance for travel for the WE annual conference to support SWE business.
As an entity primarily focused on strategy, the Senate is tasked with providing forward-looking direction for the Society and is expected to defer operational and tactical activity to other bodies in SWE such as HQ staff, the Board of Directors or SWE Committees. As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, SWE Senators are expected to adhere to the Society’s Code of Conduct, Code of Service, Policy Against Harassment and Disclose or avoid any conflicts of interest.