More than 7,000 engineers from around the world gathered in Baltimore last month for the annual Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conference. SWE is a professional organization dedicated to helping women achieve their full potential in engineering and leadership careers. The annual conference offers networking sessions, professional development workshops and the largest career fair for women in engineering and technology, with 260 employers represented.
Caterpillar first established a presence at the SWE conference in 1996, and our involvement has grown exponentially since then. More than 80 employees from 20 business units represented the company at this year's event, serving as recruiters and speakers. Group President Jim Umpleby participated in a "Men as Diversity Partners" panel discussion. Senior Vice President Dave Bozeman, Vice President Gwenne Henricks and Director Latasha Gillespie were also in attendance at the event.
Natalie Vanderspiegel, materials manager at Solar Turbines, received SWE's Distinguished New Engineer Award at the conference. She was selected for this award for her active engagement in engineering during the first 10 years of her career. Vanderspiegel currently serves as president of SWE's San Diego Section, as well as chair of the Program Development Grant Committee. She is a noted inventor with three patents.
The conference was hosted by Caterpillar employee Stacey DelVecchio, an engineering talent manager within the Product Development & Global Technology Division and current SWE president. Through this leadership role, DelVecchio is working to create a sustainable strategic partnership between SWE and Caterpillar, leverage SWE's access to diverse talent, promote professional development among Caterpillar employees and provide learning opportunities for company leadership.
"Caterpillar is a company that truly values diversity and understands that diverse teams are more innovative," said DelVecchio. "Our significant presence at this year's conference and longstanding support of organizations like SWE further demonstrate our commitment to building a more inclusive culture. I'm proud to work for an employer that is an advocate for women in engineering and technology, and look forward to our continued participation in SWE's annual conference."
Next year's conference will take place October 23-25 in Los Angeles.