#ILookLikeAnEngineer Ads Start Going Up in the Bay Area This Week!
[Update September 30th, 2016: I’ve provided a free, downloadable, high-res #ILookLikeAnEngineer poster with some interesting stats about the ad campaign.]
An amazing thing is happening this week: #ILookLikeAnEngineer ads are starting to go up in the Bay Area! This has been the result of many people working together for the last month and half, in response to the stories that caused the #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag (brainchild of Isis Wenger) to resonate with thousands of people in the Bay Area and around the world. Through October, as people wait for BART trains, walk around San Francisco, wait in traffic on the 101 in Santa Clara or Palo Alto or San Jose, drive on the 880 in Oakland, and cross the Bay Bridge, they’ll see “#ILookLikeAnEngineer” next to faces that defy the stereotype of what an engineer should look like.
The ads will also have logos of several generous corporate sponsors: Rackspace, Geekdom, Name.com, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Billups, Beezwax, and Hackbright Academy.
So many people deserve credit and thanks for making this ad campaign a reality (LJW, I’m especially talking about you). People contributed money, event space, personal connections, design and photography, thousands of hours, and so much more. Thank you so much.
Goals of the Ads
- Give visibility to and normalize non-stereotypical engineers.
- Increase awareness of discrimination that non-stereotypical engineers face.
- Encourage an atmosphere of inclusion in tech.
- Inspire people who may not have thought of being engineers before to learn engineering skills.
Where will the ads appear?
- In many places in San Francisco:
2. Alongside the Bay Bridge, the 880 in Oakland, and the 101 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and San Jose:
3. Inside a few Oakland BART stations, including Fruitvale and MacArthur.
Please note that the start and end dates of the locations differ — the earliest ads will go up this week and the latest ads will stay up until the end of October.
Also, to those who have asked if the #ILookLikeAnEngineer ads could replace Dice’s “hottest tech talent” ads: we tried working with Dice to replace or improve their ads, but we were unfortunately unable to come to a satisfactory agreement — Dice did not agree that their ad campaign should permanently remove half-nude people and go without the word “hottest.”
What can we do now?
- Use the ads to start conversations about diversity in tech with co-workers and friends.
- Educate ourselves about discrimination, privilege, and unconscious bias. (I’ve gathered some good resources for you here.)
- Speak up against ableist, ageist, racist, sexist, heterosexist, and other micro-aggressions.
- Encourage your companies to commit to increasing diversity with specific, measurable, assigned, relevant, timed goals.
- Support organizations training diverse engineers.
There are so many great things happening to support underrepresented groups in tech right now. For example, I was able to attend the Tech Inclusion conference this past weekend (read “10 Ways #TechInclusion15 Schooled Us All on Diversity & Inclusion in Tech”), and it was amazingly inspiring! With so many people working towards a culture of inclusion, I believe we can make huge strides. Let’s work together to make our world better!