We LOVE Twitter!
You may be limited to just 140 characters per tweet, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming the platform where breaking news is instantaneously shared, where people the world over are connected… and where celebs post their selfies. Now though, those 140 characters are being utilised in the fight against sexism and to challenge gender stereotypes in the workplace. It all started with an engineer called Isis Wenger, who featured in a recruitment ad campaign for her company. It received a whole host of negative feedback.
Many complained that Ms Wenger ‘doesn’t represent what a female software engineer looks like’
Wenger, bouncing back from the complaints, posted the above pic to Twitter with the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer. Others followed suit, showing the world that ‘appearance has no bearing on levels of skill, ability and professionalism’. Word spread and soon other engineers joined the bandwagon, challenging the conventional image one may have of workers in the industry, and showing the world what an engineer looks like…
Female doctors too, inspired by the viral images, established their own version ‘#ILookLikeASurgeon’. Heather Logghe, a surgeon from North Carolina started, saying that the old stereotype of a surgeon is of ‘an all-knowing arrogant man’, and that although such conceptions are changing, women are still woefully underrepresented in the profession. There have been over 12,000 responses.
The viral twitter campaigns, if nothing else, have surfaced some key female role models in industries where there just aren’t that many; boosting the confidence for others at the start of their career paths! But there’s also a message there for all employers to heed. Sexism is a protected form of discrimination, and is a frighteningly common and extremely damaging accusation in tribunal cases. Make sure you get in touch with The HR Dept to ensure that you, and your business don’t run afoul of such discrimination laws, and maintain good employment practices.