Techstars London day 30: #ILookLikeAnEngineer

I just got home from the office (~22:35). Today was a long loooooong day. But it was soooooo good! Tons of things achieved. But tonight, let me go off topic for a bit…

Look at me, looking like an engineer... Wonder why... Maybe cause I am!
Look at me, looking like an engineer… Wonder why… Maybe cause I am!

Today it was brought to my attention the new trending hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer. I saw it yesterday coming up on my feed but I must admit I didn’t pay much attention to it – I had no idea what it was all about. But after Danny Ghilea pointed it out I decided to read on it.

My reaction when I read the news about Isis Wenger not being believed an engineer because she is too pretty!
My reaction when I read the news about Isis Wenger not being believed an engineer because she is too pretty!

I tend not to get publicly involved in controversial/political issues on the Internet. It can come and bite you in the butt if you are not careful. However, this one is too close to home to let it go.

It saddened me to no end that in this day and age, there are still people out there that cannot see beyond their own stupidity. That we keep falling trap of stereotypes.

When I was studying Computer Engineering at the University of Seville I was at times the only woman in a classroom of 100 people. That is intimidating. And while some people would feel weirded out that there was a woman among them, most of the people were cool with it. I was another peer, like the rest.

We were very few, but we were there standing – working hard and getting shit done. I was lucky enough to meet other women in engineering during my time at Uni. One of my best friends, Patricia, is currently leading a SAP team in Seville in one of the biggest multinational telecom corporations from Spain. And Laura, another good friend of mine is the CEO of a super cool and successful company in SF.

Another thing to note, I finished my degree in 3 years, which was rare at the time, since it is a very hard degree (this was almost 10 years ago, not sure how hard it is now, but I am guessing is similar). #JustSaying.

We need to break the stereotypes people – it is 2015. A well prepared and experienced person is and will keep being so regardless of their sex, their race, their religion, their appearance, [insert here any other stupid reason unsuccessful people use to make themselves feel better by bringing successful people down]. We need to recognise effort and hard work.

I am not gonna lie about not having been a victim of sexism at the workplace. Unfortunately I have; though it only made me stronger. However, I can honestly say that it has been a rare thing. I have always been respected and my ideas taken on board. It took years to build my confidence up; not because I was not good, but because of these stupid stereotypes.

To this day, after a lot of hard work and effort, I am very proud of all I have achieved. Of having had the courage to start my own company with two wonderful people(*). Proud of being the first female CTO in Techstars London (and I really hope, not the last one!). Of being asked for advice. Of being able to help in technical matter. Of having an opinion.

I decided to take part in the campaign because we need to raise awareness and challenge these stereotypes. Because I want a fair world where, again, people are taken seriously for their effort and not their background or past. Because I want to make the community better.

Thanks Isis Wenger for starting this.

Kudos to all other women engineers and all those men that support us and make us feel welcome in a still male dominated world. Together we can change this!

And to all haters out there: please get over yourselves and deal with it.

Haters, get over yourselves, and deal with it!

And finally, just because I know you all love it, here’s the summary of the day:

Time I went to bed last night: 00:39
Total hours of sleep: 6:20
Mood: Motivated, empowered, proud. Happy. Also tired.
Soundtrack of the day: Respect

(*) And our company is majority women! How many tech companies can say that?!

PS: A retweet of this is highly encouraged 🙂


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