The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) held its spring term kick-off event this Tuesday night in the CEID. The group began the event with a clip of a TED talk by Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, an engineering toy geared towards girls. The talk was followed by an exercise in which participants filled in the letters S, W, and E, the group’s acronym, with Stereotypes of women engineers, how they see themselves as Women, and how they see themselves as Engineers in the future. Debbie Sterling of GoldieBlox hopes to attack the problem of these stereotypes by creating a world where women fit in as engineers. By combining reading with a construction toy, she aims to encourage the development of spatial skills boys often get from toys like Legos or Lincoln Logs. In addition to pizza and Insomnia cookies the event featured a panel of upperclassmen from each of the engineering disciplines. These students answered questions about their experiences at Yale and plans for after college. SWE is a national organization which was brought to Yale a few years ago by Brigid Blaksee ’13 and is now headed up by Gabriella Heifetz ’16 and Nimisha Ginesh ’15. “Everone who is a female engineers should be a part of SWE,” says Nimisha. The group’s main goal is to create a community and support system for women engineers at Yale andbeyond.
The group went to the national SWE conference in October of last year and plans to attend the regional conference in April as well. In the future SWE will be hosting faculty dinners and hopes to start up a big sib program with grad students. To get involved with SWE or simply join the panlist, email yaleSWE@gmail.com.