A coupled finite element formulation is developed to address heterogeneous electro-mechanical plates and shells whose properties vary through the thickness. The goal is to better approximate the through-thickness variation of the mechanical and electrical fields, without incurring the computational burden of a fully layer-wise theory. This formulation uses a special constraint condition, which makes the transverse gradients of the field variables proportional to the gradation of the material properties through the thickness. The formulation is implemented into a commercial finite element code and used to solve simple test cases. Results are compared with other known methods.