I should mention why this #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign resonates with me so much.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about an instance where a man approached me and refused to believe I was an engineer, going so far as to ask me to prove my skill set by asking me programming questions outside of a bar at 1 am and concluding with asking for my number. It wasn’t the first time and it definitely wasn’t the last time. I chose to write about the experience because people kept asking me why I was so calm and collected in that interaction rather than responding with anger.
The answer is simple. I’m used to it.
The fact that myself and many other PoC, women, LGBTQ and otherwise minority identities within engineering departments find this interaction to be a part of their career speaks volumes.
I shouldn’t find it normal to be challenged more than my male friends or my white friends. I dont think any one should find it normal to have to prove yourself when your colleagues can breeze by without ever being questioned or met an arched eyebrow when revealing their career.
The second reason I post this picture and why I support this campaign is because when I started as an engineer at my old company, I didn’t see anyone else that resembled my identities in my teams or at the conferences I attended. I was a hat trick (woman, PoC and queer). I am posting this for everyone who thinks they dont see a part of their identity in engineering. For the people who are first in their family to graduate college, for the only girl in their engineering and algorithms class and for the single lesbian in the middle of America looking for someone like themselves. You are or are going to be an engineer. I believe you in you.
Yes, I am a Filipino American. I’m queer. I am a woman. I do not have a CS degree. And yes, I am an engineer.