twitter chatter

This is Isis Wenger.


Wenger, 22, is an engineer for OneLogin, a tech company in San Francisco. Wenger was recently featured in an ad campaign for the company along with four others.

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According to an essay Wenger published on Medium Saturday, many people’s responses immediately brought her looks into the equation.

According to Facebook screenshots Wenger posted on Medium, several people wondered why OneLogin chose someone who looks like Wenger to represent female engineers, highlighting the sexism many women face in the science and technology fields.

“I think they want to appeal to women, but they are probably just appealing to dudes,” one post reads. “I’m curious [if] people find this quote remotely plausible and if women in particular buy this image of what a female software engineer looks like.”

Another comment pulled from the screenshot reads: “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.”

Wenger emphasized in her essay that there was no real pre-planning of the photo shoot, which took less than a day. Furthermore, she said the comments about whether she appealed to males or females or represented a typical female engineer were missing the point.

“News flash: this isn’t by any means an attempt to label ‘what female engineers look like,’ Wenger wrote. “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.”

After publishing the essay, Wenger turned to Twitter, asking female engineers to prove that no single face represents a female engineer.

So far, the response has been incredible.

Someone made a website that catalogs every time someone uses the hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. New photos are added every minute.

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Someone even made T-shirts.

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This isn’t the first time women in engineering have spoken up about appearance-based discrimination.

In January, MIT student Alice Zielinski published an essay on Medium detailing her struggle to be taken seriously as a blonde female engineer.

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As for Wenger, she’s been floored by the response so far.

“WOW! This is so overwhelmingly inspiring,” she wrote on Twitter. “I have so much gratitude for all of the support I have been receiving.”

this is me the engineer