Hello SWEGrad Friends!
I hope you enjoyed the WE17 conference. I know that I did! I will leave conference wrap up to our GPC Emily Hoffman, who will soon transition out of her role. Thank you again Emily, for your tireless devotion to helping with annual conference programming, and being an advocate for us!
The reason I am blogging today is to discuss something very exciting to our society. At the WE17 senate meeting, the senate voted in favor of allowing collegiate members to have voting rights in the society! Congratulations to you all – you have a right to vote! This means that for this election cycle, you will be able to vote for the last Region senator which can be either a collegiate or a professional, as we have passed all bylaws amendments! (If you would like to get involved in the senate, email me and I’ll tell you how you can run for/ be nominated for a senate seat!). This also means that the FY19 Nominations for the Society that I previously blogged about are something you can vote for. Candidate selection is currently in process, and you will get an email from SWE on February 1st with the slate they provide.
So – why does this matter right now? HOW these leaders are chosen every year, requires YOUR input!
Last week during conference, and email was sent out asking for feedback to the Society Nominating Committee regarding the people that have been nominated for positions this year.
Why does this happen? The nominating committee values the feedback/perspectives from SWE’s members on all the potential candidates so that the best possible slate can be presented. As such, it’s our job as society members to give feedback when it is needed! If you have ever worked with these individuals, then you can submit feedback. I remember last year reaching out and asking – as a collegiate, does my opinion on this nomination matter?
The Answer: IT DOES!
If anything, the collegiate voice here is probably one that matters most, and I say that with complete sincerity. There are few collegiates that participate in the nominating process, and as such collegiate feedback is typically at a minimum. Your input as a collegiate is a unique, and diverse perspective that the society genuinely wants, and incorporates into decision making! Collegiates make up half of our society, and our voice is needed!
So, what will you see if you decide to leave feedback regarding any of the individuals on the list? The first page once you click on the link will bring you to a page asking for your SWE info, followed by the info of the nominee you are choosing to provide feedback for, and then this list of questions that you might answer about the nominee:
In what capacity do you know this nominee, and for how long? Please also indicate if this nominee has served as a direct report (within or outside of SWE) to you.
Business Acumen: Please provide one example of your experience with the candidate’s abilities to develop, execute, and prioritize strategies, goals, or objectives.
Self-Management & Development: What characteristic(s) does this nominee exhibit that demonstrate she or he is self-motivating or a self-starter? Please describe one experience you have had with the candidate where she or he exhibited these characteristic(s).
Leadership Abilities: What makes this candidate an effective leader? Please describe one example or experience you have had with the candidate in an effective leadership role within or outside of SWE.
Communication: Please provide one experience with the candidate’s communications skills, specifically on her or his ability to work as a team, leveraging diversity and building relationships with her or his peers, direct reports, administrative support, and managers.
Coaching, Mentoring & Sponsorship: Please provide one experience you have had with the candidate’s ability to support and/or develop others.
Governance Structure: Given the potential modifications to the Governance Structure of the Society, please provide one experience you have had with the candidate regarding fostering change management.
What unique perspective/value will this candidate add to the SWE position she or he is being nominated for?
Would you recommend this candidate for a Society leadership position? If yes, please describe in one sentence why this candidate should be selected above other potential candidates. If not (and if not detailed in your response to a previous question), please describe why not.
One thing that I have been caught up on in the past is that maybe I can’t answer every question regarding that candidate. Well guess what? You don’t have to! Just fill in the information that you know and are comfortable with, and submit the form. From that point on, the nominating committee will have a record of your submission, and will be able to use that feedback in their evaluation of candidates.
How does the Nominating Committee slate candidates? That’s a complicated process, and one that I hope to gain understanding and insight on this year. From a basic standpoint though, the process includes a few different things:
1) Determine which nominees are eligible based on their service and leadership competencies
2) Solicit the Society for Feedback
3) Interview and record each candidate as the nominating committee chair asks some selected questions depending on where you were nominated
4) Carefully look over all of the data collected as a group, and try to choose a diverse slate of candidates for the positions that they solicited for based on the information provided, and a look going forward of the society’s strategic plan.
You may ask – why am I telling you this? The reason that I’m expressing this to you is because at WE17 I heard over and over that women do not tend to self-nominate or step into positions of leadership unless encouraged by others. By making this process more visible, and saying YES you are eligible and can be part of this process, I am hoping to inspire others with a diverse SWE background to also consider nominating for these positions in the future. One of the things I am passionate about is making sure that the leadership pipeline for collegiates within SWE is preserved, and that collegiates are actively asking to be part of the dialogue, and to assist in creating change in the society. The first step to making sure that the candidates that you want to see on the slate are selected is by giving that information to the nominating committee, and providing feedback that only YOU have, and a fresh perspective! Please exercise the voice you’ve been given – the future of our society depends on your participation and feedback!
You will continue to get posts from me in the upcoming months regarding how to apply for different leadership positions (in the society and in GradSWE), and how to write a SWE resume to help you along in your own leadership journeys. As always, if you have questions or want to discuss, feel free to comment below, or email me! I look forward to hearing from all of you, and I deeply value the connections that I was able to make with many of you at WE17.