Last week we wrote an article about the Internet of Things. The focus was on the law of unintended consequences — specifically, how hackers can take control of everyday objects around us once they become internet-enabled. Meanwhile, around the Internet, there was a different conversation underway. Isis Wenger, a 22-year-old platform engineer had become a focal point of the conversation about women working as engineers in industry.
What happened? It started out as a friendly campaign to promote the software company onelogin.com and help them attract more developers (an ongoing problem for Silicon Valley startups). Like many of her fellow employees, Wenger was photographed and her image appeared on promotional materials, including posters at BART subway train stations. A quote from Wenger appeared next to her photo: “My team is great. Everyone is smart, creative and hilarious.” Well, as it turns out, the world would be a better place if some of the commentators who reacted negatively to her photograph were as smart, creative and hilarious as Wenger’s team. We don’t need to repeat the details of the comments Wenger received here, but the gist of it was that some claimed that she couldn’t be an engineer because she was too attractive. Plus some worse things as well, as it turns out.
Wenger, whose Twitter ID is @IsisAnchalee, responded with three points:
- “Do you feel passionately about helping spread awareness about tech gender diversity?
- “Do you not fit the ‘cookie-cutter mold’ of what people believe engineers ‘should look like?’
- “If you answered yes to any of these questions, I invite you to help spread the word and help us redefine ‘what an engineer should look like’ #iLookLikeAnEngineer.”
The #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag campaign follows some earlier ones including:
- The #distractinglysexy social media campaign, which was set in motion in response to Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt, who famously said he found women in the laboratory distracting because of their looks. This launched a flood of twitter images by women scientists doing field experiments in muddy boots and laboratory researchers donning full face masks, showing how ‘sexy’ they were at work.
- Before that we had a social media campaign “This Is What a Scientist Looks Like” (which, by the way, has its own tumbler page http://lookslikescience.tumblr.com/).
Jennifer Doudna, Professor of the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at U of C
In the spirit of these campaigns, we like to highlight some of the important women in laboratory science, manufacturing and sales and distribution. First up is Patricia Doudna, the professor at the University of California at Berkeley who has made incredible discoveries in genomics. We’ve written about Professor Doudna earlier, as part of our look at the radical new CRISPR/CAS9 genome editing discoveries. We feel the importance of Doudna’s scientific research will only increase in time, and she serves as a role model not only for women, but for all of us interested in scientific discovery.
Phebe Novakovic, CEO of General Dynamics
Aerospace is another area of great interest to us. We celebrate Phebe Novakovic, the CEO of General Dynamics, which is one of the world’s largest defense contractors and the owner of Gulfstream business jets. General Dynamics had profits of over $2.5 billion last year, with revenues close to $31 billion.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, did not have an easy start to the beginning of her leadership role over the American car manufacturing giant. But GM has turned a corner and the new initiatives are beginning to pay off, including transforming Cadillac once again into a global luxury brand, introducing popularly-priced Chevy all-electric vehicles like the upcoming Bolt, growing the business in China and taking a role as a technology leader.
Renee James, CEO of Intel
Renee James led semiconductor manufacturing giant Intel for the past two years as President (she stepped down last month). In her role, she helped shape Intel’s strategy of pursuing cloud-based computing, advances in smart phones and acquisitions into both proprietary and open source software, as well as security software.
Ginny Rometty, CEO of IBM
Ginny Rometty has been CEO of IBM the last three years. Rometty is focused on improving profit margins and growth by changing the focus of IBM toward new growth opportunities in cloud computing and data analysis software. You may have noticed IBM is now actively marketing their Watson artificial intelligence technology to help manage big data analysis and insights.
Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Sam’s Club
In the world of consumer retail and high-tech distribution and warehousing, we celebrate Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Sam’s Club. Brewer joined Walmart in 2006 from Kimberly-Clark. She now oversees more than 100,000 employees at nearly 650 locations, with revenue of nearly $60 billion annually.
Formaspace is Ready for What’s Next
We invite you to join the roster of satisfied Formaspace technical, manufacturing and laboratory furniture clients — including Apple Computer, Boeing, Dell, Eli Lilly, Exxon Mobile, Ford, General Electric, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Medtronic, NASA, Novartis, Stanford University, Toyota and more.
Give us a call today at 800.251.1505 to find out more about the Formaspace line of built-to-order computer workstations, industrial workbenches, laboratory furniture, lab benches and dry lab/wet labs — as well as our design / furniture consulting services. Like all Formaspace furniture, it’s backed by our famous 12 year, three shift guarantee.