Female Software Engineer ‘Too Pretty’? Isis Wenger Faces Heavy Criticism

According to some social media users, female software engineer Isis Wenger is “too pretty” to be a real engineer. It all started with an advertisement by OneLogin, a company responsible for creating the software of the same name that allows users to safely enter all web applications from a smartphone or tablet, where we see an attractive engineer, Isis Wenger, sporting a smile alongside the caption: “My team is great. Everyone is smart, creative and hilarious.”

According to a report from Yahoo!, the ad was met with heavy criticism and negative comments from social media users.

“I’m curious people with brains find this ad remotely plausible and if women in particular buy this image of what a female software engineer looks like.” one person wrote. “What does a female software engineer look like?” another said.”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,” a Facebook user posted in the comments section.

After receiving negative comments about her appearance, the Platform Engineer aims to spread awareness about diversity in the technology industry through a hashtag on Twitter, #ILookLikeAnEngineer.

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“As a genuine introvert I have never cared much about gaining public attention and I really wasn’t prepared for how much everything blew up,” Wenger told Techcrunch via email. “Honestly when I see ads, I don’t think much of them and I certainly don’t try to read deeply into them. It was surprising to me to see that other people did.”

In today’s society, you’d think there would be no problem regarding this seemingly innocent ad. However, it garnered a negative reaction with some saying Wenger was simply a model that does not represent how a software engineer should look.

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This caused many engineers in the world to unite on social networks and create the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer, which is accompanied by photographs of themselves, all in order to end the stereotype that society has regarding the appearance of engineers.

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With this campaign, Isis Wenger joined other women who have public protested against the lack of diversity and gender-based culture that prevails in new technologies. Large companies now recognize the problem, but still haven’t found a solution. At Google, for example, 18 percent of engineers are women, according to a study conducted over several years by a researcher from the University of Wisconsin. What’s troubling is that nearly 40 percent of women engineers in the United States end up leaving the field due to the work culture.

[Image via Twitter]