Forest City Gear, an industry-leading manufacturer of fine- and medium-pitch custom gears, is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Northern Illinois University Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). This student-led organization is open to women in engineering and STEM majors and aims to provide members with connections and training to help them in their post-grad careers.
“Our goal is to help women achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders,” says Courtney Shimp, NIU SWE President and senior mechanical engineering major. “We hope to expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force by demonstrating the value of diversity.”
On campus, NIU SWE hosts professional development workshops, technical training courses, and social events. Members can collaborate to diversify skills outside of their own major or classes, connect with alumni and national SWE members, and gain access to valuable and exclusive internship apprenticeship opportunities.
“As a first-generation student, SWE has significantly impacted my career goals within engineering and professional development,” says Ashley Caracheo, NIU SWE Alumni Relations Chair and senior industrial management & technology major. “I gained confidence in my experience as a woman in industry by getting opportunities from SWE sponsors that support our mission!”
According to Shimp, NIU SWE’s sponsors support most of the chapter’s expenses. This extends to members’ travel to SWE national and local conferences; Shimp shares that eight of the chapter’s women will be attending the SWE national conference in Los Angeles, completely funded by sponsorships. “NIU SWE is truly grateful for our sponsorship with Forest City Gear and their commitment to supporting our mission to promote and encourage women in the field of engineering,” says Shimp.
“The lack of gender diversity is a problem across all engineering and machining landscapes. As a gear manufacturing company led by three women, Forest City Gear cannot stand idly by,” said Kika Young, President of Forest City Gear. “Our mother helped pave the way for increased inclusivity in our industry, and my sisters and I plan on continuing that legacy.”