When software development company OneLogin was creating a quick recruitment campaign, they asked four engineers on their team to be featured in their ads.
One of the engineers is named Isis Anchalee. She’s also a woman.
And once her face was plastered across buses and walls, things went a little differently for her than for the other engineers who were featured. Turned out not everyone was satisfied with the ads.
“I think they want to appeal to women, but are probably just appealing to dudes…” someone wrote on Facebook. “…I’m curious people with brains find this quote remotely plausible and if women in particular buy this image of what a female software engineer looks like.”
“If their intention is to attract more women then it would have been better to choose a picture with a warm, friendly smile rather than a sexy smirk,” another user commented.
Stunned by the backlash and support to her seemingly innocent ad, Anchalee urged engineers who didn’t fit into the “cookie-cutter mold” of what engineers “should look like” to use the hashtag #iLookLikeAnEngineer to help redefine society’s image of the computer scientists, developers and engineers.
Sure enough, within a hours, Twitter was awash with photos of the most diverse and intimidatingly qualified engineering team to ever grace the planet.
— julia ferraioli (@juliaferraioli) August 4, 2015
— Deepa Subramanian (@jumpingdeeps) August 4, 2015
Saying “you don’t look like an engineer” is basically saying is “my model of engineers is poorly-calibrated.” #ilooklikeanengineer
— Malcolm Ocean (@Malcolm_Ocean) August 4, 2015
— Becky Standig (@understandig) August 3, 2015
— Coraline Ada Ehmke (@CoralineAda) August 4, 2015
— kaya (@kthomas901) August 4, 2015
You want qualifications? These women have got binders full.
— __root__ (@roguelynn) August 4, 2015
— ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@EricaJoy) August 4, 2015
— Burću Dogan (@rakyll) August 4, 2015
“So easy, even your mom can do it.” Yeah, she can – because she’s an engineer who was building before you were even born.
— H▲NИ▲H (@herlifeinpixels) August 4, 2015
I am a 53-year old grandmother with over 30 years in information technology. #ILookLikeAnEngineer
— Amy (@AmyStephen) August 4, 2015
— Jolene Hayes (@JCHayes) August 3, 2015