What does an engineer look like?
Thousands of female engineers, coders, self-described science nerds and other tech superstars have joined a Twitter campaign. They want to break down stereotypes. Their issue is about what engineers should look like.
As of Aug. 6, more than 75,000 people used the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer to post photos of themselves and promote gender diversity in technology. This is according to analytics firm Topsy. The campaign started when Isis Anchalee, an engineer at tech startup OneLogin, got an avalanche of attention. It came after her photo appeared in a recruitment ad for her company.
The ad features Anchalee. She has long, wavy hair and glasses. She is seen smiling in a black T-shirt bearing her company logo. Many people could not believe that an attractive woman could also be an engineer at a tech company. Some assumed that the company had hired a model for its recruiting efforts.
"I didn't want or ask for any of this attention. But if I can use this to put a spotlight on gender issues in tech I consider that to be at least one win," she wrote in an essay on Medium. As such, she suggested people use #ILookLikeAnEngineer to post photos of themselves and redefine perceptions of what engineers should look like.
From the look of the photos, it's working. And it's not only women. Other traditionally underrepresented groups in tech, such as African-American men, have joined in too. The campaign is growing bigger each minute.
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is it important to separate how a person looks and what a person does?
Write your answers in the comments section below