Sexist response to ad sparks launch of #ILookLikeAnEngineer

Posted on 5 Aug 2015 by Aiden Burgess

An online response to a recruitment advertisement for a US tech company has reinforced the sexist notions and stereotypes which continue to exist in the 21st century workforce.

The recruiting advertisement for OneLogin features Iris Wegner, a platform engineer for the company, with a positive quote about the team she works with.

The advertisement has been visible throughout transit stations in the San Francisco area, which led to online users commenting about the female engineer featured in the ad.

One Facebook user said: “I’m curious that people with brains find this quote even plausible and if women in particular buy this image of what a female software engineer looks like.”

Iris Wegner responded with a post of her own, writing on her blog: “As for the comments about the ad… Is it so unheard of that I genuinely care about my teammates?

“Some people think I’m not making “the right face”. Others think that this is unbelievable as to what “female engineers look like”.

“News flash: 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. My words, my face, and as far as I am concerned it is.”

Wegner’s response prompted online users to start a hashtag on Twitter,  #ILookLikeAnEngineer, with users posting images to show what engineers do like, even ones that look like Wegner.

In reaction to the criticism of the OneLogin advertisement, research conducted by clothing manufacturer Stormline has accumulated some intriguing information in regards to sexist attitudes in the workplace.

The research states that 1 in 5 women can expect to encounter patronising colleagues in male-dominated industries such as breweries and construction sites, which the research found were the two least appealing work environments for women.

A poll of more than 1,000 women conducted by Stormline found that working in ‘macho’ atmosphere is the characteristic most likely to put a woman off a job min a traditionally male orientated industry.

Of the industries perceived to have the most macho atmosphere amongst the women polled, Brewing (41%), construction (40%) and security (24%) were the highest.

The industries perceived as most likely to force women to endure being patronised by male colleagues, saw aviation (42%), medicine (32%) and agriculture (29%) as being the highest.