19 March 2012

changing stereotypes...

Source: via Phuong on Pinterest

I previously posted about women in the workplace and this article is a great first hand account about a female software engineer at Facebook working in the tech industry doing her part to change stereotypes...

Some highlights from the article:

"I immediately felt like an outsider in the programming class. I drew even more unwelcome attention to myself when I wore my cheerleading uniform to class. The first time I did this, the teacher laughed unapologetically at the sight of a cheerleader in his class. According to him, cheerleaders don't program.  My self-consciousness quickly faded when the first test of the term came back, and the top score came to me. As he handed back the test scribbled with "100%" on the top, he looked me once over in my cheerleading uniform and gave me a nod of surprise and approval. I said nothing at that moment, but I knew I had silently screamed a disruptive message to him: Cheerleaders CAN program. And they can program damn well...
Ever since high school, I've thrived on breaking the stereotypes of what it means to be a software engineer. I remember getting advice before starting my first job about dressing professionally, so people would take me seriously. The rules were:
1). No high heels. 
2). No skirts. 
3). Nothing "girly."
Apparently, to be taken seriously meant blending in as best I could. But I didn't want to compromise my self-expression. I love wearing nail polish. And four-inch heels. That doesn't mean I'm sacrificing any part of being an engineer."

Yay for being yourself!

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