The Southern Automotive Women's Forum is committed to being stewards of future generations of young women. As an active professional foundation dedicated to the advancement of women automotive professionals, SAWF strives to serve as strong, active role models for young women, starting as early as grade school. The association is deeply rooted in cultivating the confidence, drive, and skills-set within current and future female students necessary for them to develop ambitions and proficiencies within science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. SAWF believe these strong attributes can steer these young women towards automotive related occupations as they make their way into the workforce, be it automotive service technicians in dealerships or CEO of an influential company.
Research has found that girls assess their mathematical abilities as being lower than that of boys. At the same time, girls hold themselves to higher standards than boys do in the same subjects, such as math, believing that they have to be exceptional to succeed in "male" dominated fields. Whether or not they choose occupations in the automotive industry, SAWF members will undertake the role of encouraging young women through guidance, informal mentoring, and in infusion of our own passion for STEM to help female students develop professionally and become masters of their own economic futures.
Because of this, SAWF has started the scholarship fund, awarding scholarships to deserving female students.
The SAWF Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to women enrolled or who plan to enroll in a STEM related field, such as science, technology, engineering, or math. Qualifications for scholarship applications are for women to be enrolled or enrolling in a STEM field at an accredited two-year technical program, four-year undergraduate program, or graduate program that can be used for a career in the automotive industry. Since the introduction of the Scholarship Program in August 2011, SAWF has provided over $200,000 in scholarship awards of increments ranging from $500 to $5,000. SAWF expects to exceed this amount in the future through industry fundraising, society soirees and professional development events.