More than a few women have been game-changers in the engineering profession. Their inventions, discoveries, and patents were highlighted in an earlier blog. Isis Wenger, a San Francisco-based software platform engineer, has taken an innovative, and close-up and personal approach to show the world that not every engineer is a white male wearing a suit and tie, white socks, and a pocket protector, by launching the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer on Twitter to challenge this common misconception.
What is the I Look Like An Engineer Campaign About?
The #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign had its roots in a San Francisco-based engineering firm’s recruiting campaign that received an unexpected backlash. One of the four engineers on its recruiting posters is a woman. There are still those who view engineering as a male-only profession, and who are therefore convinced that the female depicted on the posters, Isis Wenger, isn’t really an engineer at all; but simply a model posing as one.
Women make up roughly half of our country’s present-day workforce, but they fill only 20-25% of the STEM-related positions. Although this is due to a number of factors, this gender gap can be closed by recognizing and rewarding achievements in the STEM fields of study, and encouraging women enter the technical workforce. If the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign convinces more women to enroll in STEM classes, and pursue technical careers, it will have served its purpose
In any event, Wenger’s social media-based campaign, #ILookLikeAnEngineer, instantly went viral, with hundreds of engineers showing their faces to illustrate the true breadth of engineering talent.
How this Campaign Will Help the Industry
Although directed toward women, the real message behind this campaign is that looks don’t matter, and that there is a tremendous need for more “real people”, in engineering.
We at SMC Pneumatics USA/Orange Coast Pneumatics stand squarely behind this campaign. It’s talent and dedication, and not looks or gender, that count. To paraphrase one engineer’s tweet: “I would work with a dog if the dog was good at programming.”
Join the Campaign – Add Your Photo
Isis Wenger’s Facebook entry, along with others, has to date generated over 20,000 Views, Shares, and Likes. You too can appear on social media and proudly hold up your “I Look Like and Engineer” sign. We invite you do so on our Facebook page.
SMC Pneumatics USA, powered by Orange Coast Pneumatics Inc. (ocaire.com), is a National Elite distributor for the SMC Corporation of America. SMC offers 11,300 general pneumatics products, with over 560,000 variations, engineered to meet applications in every sector of the market. From Semiconductor to Automotive, Medical to Petroleum, SMC's products are designed to fit your unique requirements.