CWRU's Society of Women Engineers attend WE23

From Oct. 26 through 28, 12 members from the CWRU Society of Women Engineerings headed to Los Angeles, California for WE23—the world's largest conference for women in engineering and technology. Here's what SWE's communication director and third-year biomedical engineering student, Saloni Baral, shared about the experience. 

What was your biggest takeaway from the event? 

Our speakers left us with many pieces of advice, but two of the biggest ones were to "Be brave, not fearless" and to "be your authentic self in the workplace." First, bravery and fearlessness are often confounded, but it's important to make a distinction between them. Fearlessness is the absence of fear while bravery is not. Bravery is having the courage to do something that is difficult for you or scares you. It is okay if you are afraid of pursuing a certain opportunity at work or giving a speech, but it's what you do to acknowledge and overcome it that truly matters. And it is more than okay to reach out to your network for help in doing so. Second, a lot of women working in male-dominated environments/teams often feel the need to play a role different from who they are to "fit in." However, there is value in being unique and being yourself; the unique perspective you bring to the table is something that can help you provide diverse insights to the team. 

What was your favorite part of the conference? 

My favorite part of the conference was rooted in the connections I made during it. I met so many amazing women in engineering who are incredibly passionate about the work they are doing. I loved getting to know about their roles and their companies' dedication to promoting DE&I within their culture; it further validated my decision to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering. I also felt that I got closer to my fellow peers in CWRU SWE by exploring LA with them as well as doing conference-related activities with them! Lastly, I was able to meet members from other collegiate SWE chapters and speak with them about their experiences and even participated in a dance party with them! 

Have you attended in the past? 

I personally did attend the conference last year in Houston, Texas, but we had several first-time attendees this year. 

How can students get involved with SWE? 

Join our Campus Groups as a member and keep up with our newsletter! We will keep you updated on GB events, speakers & panelists, and internship opportunities! In addition, follow our Instagram @cwru_swe for more information, pictures from our events, exec takeovers, and more!