Isis Wenger is a full-stack engineer at OneLogin who has kick-started the social media movement #ILookLikeAnEngineer after a photo of her used in the company’s recruitment campaign received an online backlash.
In her blog post Isis claims “The negative opinions about this ad that strangers feel so compelled to share solid examples of the sexism that plagues tech”. What are software engineers meant to look like? I’m sure we all have a cliché idea of what one is meant to look like and that is why the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign is so important. While there are have been macro advances for women in tech it’s occurrences like these that bring the topic back to reality, showing how everyday sexism occurs.
There’s a rule of thumb I like to use to identify if something is sexist or not: if a man was in this position would it be a problem. If the answer is no then it’s probably sexist. In this case, if an attractive man with a “sexy smirk” (like Isis, according to one commenter) advertised a tech job I doubt anyone would bat an eyelid. Maybe I’m becoming cynical but I wouldn’t be surprised if such an advert was celebrated for breaking the mould for traditional males in technology. Perhaps that’s overzealous.
Isis continues…”Others think that this is unbelievable as to what “female engineers look like”. Newsflash: 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.” The great thing about #ILookLikeAnEngineer is it highlights gender and racial stereotypes, something that is sometimes overlooked in popular feminism. The hashtag has encouraged those who don’t fit the “cookie cutter mould” to illustrate the diversity in the technology industry.
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) August 4, 2015
— lotterleben (@Lotterleben) August 4, 2015
— Iheanyi Ekechukwu (@kwuchu) August 4, 2015
— sailor mercury (@sailorhg) August 3, 2015