The Bay Area is full of billboards like this one, ad campaigns that only serve to reinforce stereotypes that Silicon Valley engineers are all pretty much nerdy white dudes:
But after the #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag campaign took off earlier this week, shattering stereotypes of who exactly looks like an engineer, a group of female engineers have started an Indiegogo campaign to erect their own billboard in San Francisco.
The billboard will counter that image of the bespectacled programmer in boxer briefs with something a little like this:
The #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign took off after a female engineer for the tech company OneLogin received criticism when the company featured her in an ad campaign that ran in BART stations throughout the Bay Area. People derailed the ad on social media as a bad attempt at ensnaring male engineers with an attractive woman. One Facebook user wondered whether “women in particular buy this image of what a female software engineer looks like.”
The engineer in the ad, Isis Wenger, wrote about the experience on Medium and asked others who don’t fit the “cookie-cutter mold” to speak up using the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer.
Within 17 hours, the billboard campaign had nearly doubled its $3,500 goal. The group is also hosting a fundraising later this month.
Next time you're stuck in traffic on the 101, instead of a pasty Ruby developer in his underwear, you might just see this: