Young female engineer launches viral push for acceptance of diversity in her field

Isis Wenger, a 22-year-old platform engineer in San Francisco, is a “passionate self-taught engineer, extreme introvert, science-nerd, anime-lover, college dropout” who is raising awareness for workers in the field of engineering on the ills of stereotyping.  It started when she was featured in a recruiting ad for her company OneLogin, and the ad blew up on the Internet and social media. Some of the responses were heartwarming. But others, focusing on her looks, were shocking. The torrent of feedback prompted her to write a post on Medium about her experience working in the tech industry. In it, she recounted how some men in her own office had taken to throwing dollar bills at her. The problem, she writes, is that the “men responsible for these unfavorable experiences are not bad people. They are … socially-accepted, ‘smart’ and ‘normal’ guys … This industry’s culture fosters an unconscious lack of sensitivity towards those who do not fit a certain mold.” Isis hopes she can use her sudden Internet fame to help change that culture. She asked engineers who feel they don’t conform to the stereotypical engineer mold to send her pictures over Twitter with the hashtag #iLooklikeAnEngineer, and her request unleashed a flood of responses. She equates her desire to be famous with her desire to fall into a porta potty, but acknowledges that “it’s overwhelming and incredibly empowering to feel like I am genuinely helping increase awareness.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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