Society of Women Engineers – Keeping Women in STEM

The Society of Women Engineers earned two 2017 ASAE Power of A Gold Awards for its STEM Re-entry Task Force, created to meet the needs of women wanting to return to work after a career break while also addressing the challenge encountered by employers in attaining a diverse workforce at all levels of their organizations.

ASAE honored SWE’s initiative which addresses the need to increase the participation and contribution of women in the engineering and technology workforce through innovative programming for women and their employers. Through the Task Force, SWE has established a framework for success that can be replicated across the sector for women as well as men.

SWE partnered with iRelaunch to execute a program that utilizes internships as a vehicle to engage returning technical women and work closely with employers to pilot, implement, and grow a successful re-entry program. SWE has recruited 13 organizations (Caterpillar, Cummins, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ford, GE, GM, IBM, Intel, Johnson Controls, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Schneider Electric) into cohorts for the Task Force. By being grouped and working within the Task Force, organizations take advantage of leveraging the diversity of thought to inspire innovation.

Soroptimist – Supporting Women and Work

Soroptimist earned a 2017 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its signature Education & Training Awards for Women initiative, which provides cash grants to women who are the primary financial support for their families while working toward a college degree or gaining skills through specialized training programs.

ASAE honored Soroptimist’s program which has empowered more than 30,000 women to achieve social and economic independence since its inception. Women selected for the awards have financial need and have overcome significant barriers in their lives, including poverty, domestic violence, homelessness, teen pregnancy, and illness.

Each year, nearly $2 million in cash grants are awarded to over 1,300 women. Award recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare, tuition and transportation.

American Fisheries Society – Stimulating Interest in Industry Careers

The American Fisheries Society earned a 2017 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program, a scholarship program for high school students that matches children from underrepresented minority groups with mentors in marine and freshwater institutions and field stations.

ASAE honored the American Fisheries Society’s program where students gain invaluable experience working in labs and parks to stimulate interest in careers in fisheries science and management among groups underrepresented in the fisheries professions, particularly, minorities and women.

Since its inception, the program has offered scholarships to 572 Hutton Scholars and recruited 270 mentors from 137 host institutions. Fifty-five percent of the program’s recipients have been minorities, and 58 percent of the scholars have been women. At the 10-year mark, program alumni were surveyed, and 64 percent of the Hutton Scholars were still working and/or studying in the fields of fisheries, biology, and environmental science.

Association Spotlight, brought to you by ASAE and The Power of A, was created to showcase how associations create a better America and world.  If you would like to have your organization’s efforts featured in a future Association Spotlight, please email Mary Kate Cunningham at  The next Power of A Awards entry period begins January 2018.