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#ILookLikeAnEngineer Goes Viral, Businesses Get on Board

13 AUG 2015
Career Path : Education News
I_look_like_an_engineer

Earlier this week, electric carmaker Tesla tweeted a photo of its female employees posing in front of the company’s logo. The automaker included a caption with the photo, which reads; “We build cars #ILookLikeAnEngineer.” It seems as though a trend has caught on, since a lot of major companies have begun tweeting their own photos using that same hashtag. In addition to Tesla, others like Snapchat, MIT and The White House Office of Science and Technology have taken part in the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign.

If this hashtag looks familiar, it’s probably because it has gone viral on social media since it was first introduced by Isis Wenger, a 22-year-old engineer at the tech startup OneLogin.

The hashtag has been tweeted more than 75,000 times over the last 30 days, and has grown so popular that it will be getting its very own billboard in Silicon Valley. The billboard has been successfully crowfunded by supporters of the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign and will be put up in support of gender diversity in the tech industry.

Origin of #ILookLikeAnEngineer

The trending #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign originated when Isis Wenger starred in a recruitment ad for OneLogin. The ad featured a photo of Wenger and it read; “My team is great. Everyone is smart, creative and hilarious.”

While the recruitment ad was quite ordinary, it received tons of attention on social media, both positive and negative. Among the negative comments were ones suggesting that Wenger is “too sexy” to be an engineer. In fact, some people even went as far as accusing the company of hiring models for its campaigns in order to appeal to women.

The comments and mass attention prompted Wenger to write a short essay for Medium about her experience as a female engineer working in the tech industry. In her essay, she asks others to help redefine “what an engineer should look like,” by sharing the now-famous hashtag—#ILookLikeAnEngineer.

 

Image: Medium Isis Wenger