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    Society of Women Engineers

    Leadership Competency Model

    Leadership Competency Model

    Leadership Competencies
    Background: SWE’s Leadership Competency Model was created and launched in 2010 to serve as the backbone for all of SWE's leadership development programming for current and future SWE leaders.
    Purpose: SWE’s Leadership Competency Model identifies the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) required of current and future SWE leaders.

    Who: Leadership at SWE includes the following positions:

    • Committee Members
    • Committee Leaders
    • Coordinators
    • Affinity Group Leaders
    • Senators
    • Senate Leadership
    • Board of Trustees
    • Board of Directors
    What: SWE's Leadership Competency Model, as it currently stands, consists of the following six competencies.

    Business Acumen

    • Strategic planning through the development of effective strategies. Sees the big picture and understands how to determine organizational objectives and set priorities.
    • Manage finances to meet organizational needs.
    • Apply effective management skills (e.g., problem solving, interpersonal skills, delegation and supervision).
    • Professional knowledge and skills by being aware of industry changes, developments and emerging issues affecting women in STEM.


    • Conflict resolution and management by skillfully settling differences in a positive and constructive manner.
    • Leverages diversity and differences by leading and supporting an inclusive environment. Seeks new perspectives to achieve the vision and mission of SWE.
    • Influencing others through coalition building, inviting new perspectives, and clearly articulating the goals of SWE.
    • Apply effective communication and interpersonal skills through actively listening to the needs of colleagues, sharing relevant information and expectations, and treating colleagues with respect.

    Coaching, Mentoring, & Sponsorship

    • Identifies strategies for career development, self-awareness, and self-knowledge
    • Demonstrates clear and effective communication skills
    • Seeks specific character attributes of a career coach, mentor, and/or sponsor for personal/professional gain. 
    • Exhibits ability in becoming or mastering unique attributes of a career coach, mentor, and/or sponsor. 

    Diversity & Inclusion

    • Values differences, experiences, and perspectives.
    • Promotes a sense of belonging and respect. 
    • Demonstrates inclusive leadership through influence and model behavior.
    • Fosters, supports, and drives diversity and inclusion best practices. 

    Leadership Abilities

    • Developing and empowering others.
    • Visioning by taking the long view of the organization, building a shared vision for SWE members' role, acting as a catalyst for organizational change, and inspiring others to succeed within SWE.
    • Maintain a high standard of professionalism and ethics.
    • Be an advocate for the role of women in STEM.
    • Knowledgeable of change management strategies and processes.
    • Leverages diversity and differences by leading and supporting an inclusive environment.

    Self-Management & Development

    • The pursuit of lifelong learning through the mastery of new knowledge, embracing new ideas, and shares new ideas.
    • Self-reflection and assessment through recognizing strengths and weaknesses, seek feedback from others and learns from failure.
    • Tolerates ambiguity by taking priority changes and unforeseen developments in stride as well as leads with a firm sense of purpose in an environment of uncertainty.
    • Flexibility by being open to change and new information/perspectives.


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