Northwest Section, she talks to members about
ideas for SWE events.
“I met so many people I would have not met
otherwise,” she said, who are members of SWE.
They may work at Boeing or another industry.
“What would they want to learn? I have no
idea,” she said, “so I’m networking, talking and
Prior to committing to mechanical engineering
in college, Lefebure also considered studying pre-law and journalism. “I had a hard time choosing
but my favorite class in high school was physics
– the mechanics side of physics.” She studied biomedical engineering for her minor area of study
at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. She
started at Boeing in Philadelphia, where she initially was an intern, and transferred to work at
Boeing Everett about four years ago.
Her interest in a broad range of subjects is one
reason why she stepped up to serve as VP of
professional development. “I’m always interested
in learning new things – it’s exhilarating to plan
exciting events for members. With so many in
the group (about 600), we offer a lot of diverse
events for different industries.”
wouldn’t normally work
closely with a program
director for Boeing’s
and Technology in her ‘day’
job as a product review
engineer in Frederickson.
Through her involvement
with Society of Women
Engineers (SWE), she is
not only acquainted, they work closely together
as co-coordinators of the Boeing-sponsored
Team Tech Student Competition at SWE conferences.
“I would have never worked with her otherwise,”
11 SPEEA SPOTLITEAPRIL 2016
Women engineers increasing
SPEEA compared the numbers for women in the Prof and Tech bargaining units between a
10-year period and found the ratio of women in the Prof unit grew – by more than 700 compared to the total population of both bargaining units.
“That’s phenomenal growth,” noted Michelle Cooper, vice chair of the SPEEA Northwest
Women’s Advocacy Committee (WAC) and an engineer. “I’m encouraged by that.”
Lynn Burow, co-vice chair of WAC, pointed out WAC’s efforts to focus on issues important to
women. “It’s another place to work on leadership for women.”
In Wichita, members recently started the Midwest Women’s Advocacy Committee. Both committees welcome men as well as women and engineers as well as Techs. Both committees meet
on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 4:30 p.m., local time, (at SPEEA halls).
Winton earned a degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico Institute of Mining and
Technology, where she served as vice president of
the school’s SWE collegiate section. Now she belongs
to South Puget Sound SWE Section and has served
as newsletter editor, president, judge, conference
committee chair, as well as several other leadership
positions, and is currently a Region J senator.
She became an Ed Wells Ambassador because she
enjoyed the training opportunities provided and
wanted to help spread the word about this contract
benefit. Her role as an Area Rep is similar – sharing information about SPEEA. “As an Area Rep,
I’m learning about the union and what we do – the
contract and how unions work behind the scenes
through Council Reps.”
In addition to the networking and professional
development through SWE, Winton values the
opportunity to learn from others who might
have similar experiences working as a minority.
“It’s good for dealing with stereotypes. If you are
treated differently, it’s a way to get tips on how
they deal with it,” she said.
She also finds classes through Ed Wells
Partnership helpful, such as a course on how to
handle difficult conversations. “Being able to talk
about these situations is very helpful.”
SPEEA Council officers Theryl Johnson (left) and Nikki
Wagener are shown here at a SPEEA information table
during the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conference
in Seattle. Other members who helped at the information
table included NW Regional Vice President Shannon
(Moriarty) Deacon and Area Rep Dennis Davaz. Ed
Wells Partnership sponsored 122 to attend through Local
Learning Event grants. SPEEA also advertised in the SWE
Regions A, B, J conference program.
WAC seminar on
self-defense a hit
EVERETT – About 25 members, family and guests learned tips for thwarting an attack during a SPEEA self-defense seminar in Everett March 5. The Northwest Women’s
Advocacy Committee (WAC) organized the free
training for women and men. The same training seminar was also held at SPEEA Tukwila.
The WAC meets on the fourth Tuesday of every
month at 4:30 p.m. (local time) in the Puget
Sound and Wichita. Members are welcome to
attend (men, too).
Percentage of Women in the Prof and Tech bargaining units