“Do you feel passionately about helping spread awareness about tech gender diversity? Do you not fit the ‘cookie-cutter mold’ of what people believe engineers ‘should look like?’ If you answered yes to any of these questions, I invite you to help spread the word and help us redefine ‘what an engineer should look like’ #iLookLikeAnEngineer,” Isis Wenger, a 22-year-old platform engineer in San Francisco wrote on Medium. She also posted a photo of herself and launched the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag on Twitter.
It went viral.
Thousands of female engineers have taken to Twitter to dispel the myth that all engineers are men. Posting under the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag, women (and a few men) working in science, technology, engineering and associated subjects have been posting selfies of themselves and describing what they do.
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It all started when Wenger agreed to be one of a handful of colleagues featured in an ad campaign for her employer, OneLogin, to recruit new developers in San Francisco. After her photo appeared on a recruiting ad in BART and MUNI stations, she received numerous sexist comments about female engineers.
“The negative opinions about this ad that strangers feel so compelled to share illustrate solid examples of the sexism that plagues tech,” she wrote. “…Is it so unheard of that I genuinely care about my teammates? Some people think I’m not making “the right face”. Others think that this is unbelievable as to what “female engineers look like”. News flash: this isn’t by any means an attempt to label “what female engineers look like.” This is literally just ME, an example of ONE engineer at OneLogin. The ad is supposed to be authentic. My words, my face, and as far as I am concerned it is.”
- Read more: How Do We Keep Students in STEM
Here are just a few examples of what people have posted with the hashtag:
FEDP FORUM @FEDPForum
I am a Solutions Engineer!
This is what many of our engineers look like.
I love my job and i love being an inspiration to young women to become engineers @SWEtalk
Monica Ortega @monki82
Meet Pivotal Data Scientist Mariann Micsinai #ILookLikeAnEngineer http://spr.ly/6013B1ZAL
I worked as an engineer at @Intel + @Twitter, now I build features for Windows at @Microsoft #ILookLikeAnEngineer
Physics Girl @thephysicsgirl
Even as a software engineer working at GE, I never stopped hearing “you don’t look like a nerd” #ILookLikeAnEngineer