A SWE Global Affiliate is a community of women engineers outside of the United States who wish to expand SWE’s mission. Global Affiliates are local networks that aim to meet the needs of women engineers in their community to help their advancement – whether through organizing professional development events, hosting outreach activities, connecting women with career opportunities, or other activities unique to their area.
“Through the SWE Toronto Affiliate, I have grown my network significantly and learned leadership skills and strategic planning skills. It has given me the confidence to speak up for myself and support other women on my team.”
– Alessandra, Board Member and Past President, SWE Toronto Affiliate
SWE Global Affiliates may be formed by university students on their campus or by professionals within a geographic area (city, region, or province). Global Affiliates may be made up of SWE members and non-members, and their status as an affiliate allows the group to use the name of the Society for group functions.
Once formed, Global Affiliates renew their status and report new leaders annually.
What does a SWE Global Affiliate offer?
- A network of women in similar industries to share insights and experiences, provide support for one another and collaborate on activities.
- Opportunity to organize a group that can articulate and advocate for the specific needs and concerns of women engineers
- Access to resources to conduct outreach activities and encourage young girls to explore STEM.
- Personalized logos and marketing materials, SWE brand guidelines, and access to a free website-building service to bring professionalism to their activities
- Recognition of achievements through SWE awards programs
- Opportunity to develop skills, such as public speaking, event planning, team management, etc., through affiliate leadership roles
- Scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students preparing for careers in engineering, engineering technology, and computer science.
- Grant funding for eligible activities such as events and marketing
Questions? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in starting a Global Affiliate? First, check to see if one already exists on your campus or in your city. If no affiliate exists in your area, review the New Global Affiliate Application Checklist to ensure you have all of the required information. Once you are ready, start the online application for either a professional or university affiliate. You will create an account to save your progress and come back to the application until you are ready to submit.
Questions about the application? Please email us at email@example.com.
Find a Global Affiliate Near You
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit the Global Programs page on the SWE website and expand the section titled “Find a Global Affiliate Near You.” You can also search the Section and Affiliate map. Most affiliates will have an email address and/or a website where you can learn more about the affiliate. If no contact information is listed, contact SWE at firstname.lastname@example.org, and staff will help make an introduction.
Review the affiliate application checklist to ensure you have all of the information and documentation needed to complete the application. The checklist includes links to template letters required on the application, which can be handy when preparing your materials.
Though we encourage it, all affiliate members do not need to be paid SWE members. Professional affiliates must have at least one paid SWE member before submitting their application. University affiliates should have one paid SWE member of Friend of SWE before submitting their application.
Friend of SWE is a designation offered to non-SWE members that aim to introduce them to the Society. Friends of SWE receive access to the following:
- SWE Digital Publications – All Together eNewsletter and SWE Magazine
- SWE Learning Tools – One complimentary professional development webinar, online career center, K-12 outreach training material, and SWE Archives. SWE member pricing for WE Annual Conference, workshops, eBooks, and online courses.
- SWE Networking – Inclusion in SWE’s global online community
We highly recommend that professionals become paid SWE members, rather than a Friend of SWE, to access the full range of SWE member benefits. However, if you are starting a Global Affiliate, any individual on your application that is not already a paid SWE member will be added as a Friend of SWE, so they receive SWE communications. Learn more about Friends of SWE.
Do you ever see posters or receive emails advertising other student clubs or chapters? You can contact that club and find out how they got permission to start on your campus. You might also ask your favorite professor, as they can usually help point you in the right direction.
Most universities have a policy or group that governs social/technical clubs or campus chapters. It is important to learn the rules around establishing a new group and follow them, in addition to the SWE criteria. The governing body (Student Union, etc.) will need to submit a letter with the application as the Global Affiliate’s “advocate/sponsor.” The letter should state that the university is in support of the group and allowed to operate on campus.
If there is no governing body of clubs or chapters on the university campus, we suggest you reach out to the dean or head of the engineering department to learn more about forming a group on campus. This individual can also act as the advocate/sponsor of the affiliate if no governing body of clubs exists.
No. If there is an existing affiliate in your area, we recommend connecting and joining with them.
Once approved, the new Affiliate will receive a digital certificate. Affiliates can also apply to be recognized through SWE’s many awards.
Your affiliate must submit an annual report by 30 June to summarize your activities over the past year and provide the primary point of contact for the upcoming year. This annual report will be sent via email in April/May by SWE Headquarters and is typically sent in the survey form. If an affiliate fails to submit a report for three consecutive years, it will be made inactive.
SWE does not require that affiliates adopt specific, formal leadership roles. However, we encourage affiliates to put leadership, communication, or organizational structure to ensure members are connected and aware of affiliate activities. A leadership structure is beneficial in organizing tasks, distributing workload, and giving opportunities for your members to serve in a leadership position. Find a process or model that works for your needs and considers your country’s volunteer culture.
After your affiliate has been established, you should consider what leadership gaps exist and design roles to fill those gaps. An affiliate board may include positions such as:
- Membership Director
- Outreach Director
- Programs Director
- Administrative Officer
Your affiliate may create additional roles responsible for networking, social media, communications, career development, and more.
Contact SWE at email@example.com to request any changes to the website.
SWE will be launching a new and improved affiliate website template within the summer of 2023. At that time, current affiliate leaders will be able to submit a request for an account for their new website. Leaders will then be responsible for transferring their information into this new template by November 2023, if they used SWE’s previous template functionality – Weebly. Weebly will remain available for affiliates to access their data through November 2023. Stay tuned for more information!
We encourage affiliates to use an email address with the SWE alias for a more professional public image that is not linked to anyone from year to year. There is a request form on the affiliate Teamwork page that should be completed and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fiscal year runs from 1 July through 30 June. For example, FY24 runs from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.
Unlike SWE sections, affiliates do not have by-laws, nor do they complete the SWE section agreement. Each year affiliates must complete their annual renewal form, which is distributed in April/May, to maintain their good standing with SWE.
As an affiliate grows and becomes more established, it may choose to develop written procedures to formalize its operations and maintain consistency in the management of the affiliate from one year to the next.
Starting in FY24, SWE affiliates will use a financial management system, Billhighway, to conduct all financial transactions from SWE HQ. This financial management tool was designed to be user friendly and provide access to key features that will help manage and streamline financial transactions, budgeting, reporting, fundraising, roster data and much more!
The functionality will depend on the country where an affiliate is located. Explore the Billhighway landing page to review resources and key features.
Global affiliates cannot open bank accounts. As affiliates are subsidiaries of SWE, they are not authorized to open or maintain accounts. If your affiliate needs to handle funds to support SWE related activities and expenses, you will need to create a Billhighway account to manage and receive funds. If you have additional questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Affiliates should not register as an independent entity in their country. Affiliates are a part of SWE and covered under SWE’s incorporation.
Each fiscal year (July 1st – June 30th), SWE offers affiliates the opportunity to apply for grant funding in advance of incurring expenses. Affiliates can receive up to USD 750 for activities and promotional materials that help support SWE’s mission. Review the Expense Advance program overview on Teamwork to learn more or contact SWE if you have questions.
Affiliates may also apply for Program Development Grants (PDGs). PDGs are micro-grants designed to support the strategic initiatives of affiliates. Most PDGs are allocated to support advocacy and professional development events. Review the PDG frequently asked questions for more details and see upcoming deadlines on the PDG webpage.
A note on payment processes: All payments to an affiliate will be directly processed through the financial management system Billhighway, in eligible countries. In order for an affiliate to receive funds, they will need to have an account setup in the system. The typical timeline for receiving payment is 1-2 weeks after submission is reviewed. Please review the Billhighway landing page for more information on this new financial management system and how it can benefit your affiliate.
You may need to think creatively. Many affiliates ask local businesses to donate their office space to host affiliate meetings or events. If you’re a university affiliate, ask your institution if they have funds set aside to support your activities. Additionally, you may choose to charge a small fee for events to offset the costs of hosting them.
You can also check out the Advance Learning Center course, Fund Development for Your SWE Section. Though there is some information specific to sections in the United States, not global affiliates, the course provides a great introduction to the fund development cycle and best practices for maintaining strong partner relationships.
Activities and Partners
SWE has partnerships and relationships with several multinational companies. Though we cannot share our partners’ contact information, we can try to facilitate an introduction. Review the list of current companies on SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council and identify those with offices or employees in your area. Contact SWE at firstname.lastname@example.org with the specific companies in your area and your interest in connecting with them.
Yes. Students pursuing studies at institutions outside of the United States may apply for SWE scholarships. Scholarships can only be awarded to students attending ABET-accredited programs, which may limit availability in certain countries, so we recommend reviewing ABET’s website for more information.
SWE has several resources to help you plan an outreach event or program. Review the outreach toolkit for tips on everything from building your team to a post-event assessment.
The Global Affiliate Program offers a model and support system to launch and build a SWE community in cities and universities worldwide. The Global Ambassador Program is a 1-year leadership role for SWE members outside of the United States. Ambassadors promote the SWE brand in their region and provide their diverse perspectives to SWE’s strategic growth.
No, professionals cannot join a university affiliate. University affiliates are for current students only, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Professionals may be invited to participate in a specific activity such as mentoring or speaking at an event that the university hosts.
Affiliates are not allowed to collect membership fees, but they can solicit fees for their activities or events. For example, if you’re hosting a professional development workshop, you might charge a nominal fee to support the cost of a speaker or refreshments served during the program. We encourage affiliates to keep their event costs reasonable in an effort to be accessible to more women in their community.
Men are welcome to join SWE as members and participate in affiliate activities. In many cultures, men traditionally hold a great deal of power, and they must be included as advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion.