The hashtag "#ilooklikeanengineer" has gone viral in response to technology-industry sexism.
Diversity has a new hashtag. A female engineer in California has started a viral trend of female scientists identifying themselves on the Internet.
As Fortune reports, 22-year-old Isis Wenger was asked to participate in an ad campaign for her company, OneLogin, which helps users manage their online passwords. Her picture and ad arrived as a series of four in the San Francisco subway. Wenger’s ad sparked a outpouring of comments about how she must have been a plant to up the campaign’s sexiness.
In response, Wenger posted a blog affirming her very real job at the company and admitting that even in the best technology companies sexism is not only alive but rampant. She called on fellow female engineers and scientists to take to social media, asking, “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.”
Wenger’s hashtag, “#Ilooklikeanengineer” has now spread nationwide, with women all of all different ages, ethnicities, and appearances proudly claiming their place in the world.
The Guardian reports that Google’s technology division is only 18% female, while Facebook’s tech staff is only 16% female. In her blog, Wenger states that, “this industry’s culture fosters an unconscious lack of sensitivity towards those who do not fit a certain mold…there are certain patterns of behavior that no one should have to tolerate while in a professional environment.”
The ads continue to run on the BART subway.