History of the LCR AG

Late Career and Retiree Affinity Group

How did the SWE Late Career and Retiree Affinity Group (LCR AG) come into existence? Here is our history written by LCR Co-Lead Charlotte Wagner.

White papers submitted, 2017

As the Society proposed moving away from regions, a group of long-time SWE members voiced their concerns. Working together, groups of them submitted two white papers:

  •  What did we miss? SWE Governance Concerns, June 6, 2017, by Virginia Counts, Debra Kimberling, and Gloria Montano.
  • We have the knowledge and experience, Dare we use it?, July 15, 2017, by Virginia Counts, Debra Kimberling, Gloria Montano, and Sandra Pettit.

The SWE BOD (Board of Directors) considered these proposals, and they showed their support of the Society’s long-term members by chartering the Senior Member Engagement Task Force.

Task Force, 2017 – 2019
The Senior Member Engagement Task Force (“Task Force”) was chartered September 12, 2017, approved by the BOD with motion B1814. Its members were chosen through a competitive selection process. The Task Force was established to provide recommendations on how the Society can better engage long-time SWE members and ensure their perspectives are included in Society goals, plans, and activities. 

Operating in FY18 and FY19, the Task Force developed and sent a survey in the fall of 2018 to all senior members (>40 years of age, ~2300 members at that time) receiving  293 responses. Top themes from senior members included:

  • not a lot of programming relevant to “this age demographic, including retirement planning, seasoned leader programs and more technical pathways” (Cindy Hoover, January 2, 2019)
  • time commitment for SWE involvement conflicting with work and family commitments,
  • deep commitment to giving back, and
  • wanting more local programming.

Along with survey results, personal interviews with senior members, and feedback gathered at WE17, the Task Force finalized its objectives and recommendations were delivered to the SWE BOD at FY19 BOD 2 in Minneapolis. A key recommendation was to create an affinity group for senior members. This group could have a pulse on the needs, recommendations, and concerns of these members. It would also be a pathway for communication to the BOD, via the Director of Diversity.

An article summarizing the task force findings, written by Cindy Hoover, was published on the SWE All Together blog on January 2, 2019. 

Original Task Force Members

  • Renée Eddy – Chair
  • Bernice Brody – Member
  • Charlotte Wagner – Member
  • Kathleen Buse – Member
  • Sue Parsons – LCC Representative
  • Larissa Schelkin –  Membership Committee Representative
  • Fran Stuart – Senate Representative
  • Karen Horting – Headquarters Representative
  • Cindy Hoover – Board of Directors, President-Elect

Affinity Group
SWE affinity groups are selected through an application process. Charlotte Wagner prepared and submitted the application on March 6, 2019. We were notified of our acceptance on May 9, 2019.  The affinity group was originally called the Senior Member Engagement Affinity Group, to follow the name of the task force. Confusion arose about the word “senior” as it also indicated a SWE member grade. Throughout FY20 the name was discussed, and a survey of the members was taken. The name “Late Career and Retiree AG” was chosen, which the group is known by today. This is fitting, as the group truly consists of those members that are late in their careers, members who are transitioning to retirement, and members who have retired.

The new affinity group was announced in the SWE All Together blog on August 7, 2019, with a call for participants. Charlotte Wagner and Debra Kimberling were the co-leads, and made a great pair, leading the affinity group from its beginnings to 263 members and 13 people on the leadership team as of September 2020.