Penn Engineering’s Advancing Women in Engineering (AWE) program, dedicated to recruiting, retaining and promoting all female-identified students in the School, participated in the “I Look Like an Engineer” social media movement for the third year in a row. The movement, aimed at promoting diversity around underrepresented groups like women and people of color, was started by software developer Isis Anchalee in 2015.
Francesca Cimino, member of AWE and a rising senior in the Department of Bioengineering, has always been passionate about changing the stereotypes and breaking down the barriers that prevent engineers of diverse backgrounds from thriving. She wanted to continue AWE’s tradition of participating in the movement to showcase the diversity already present within the field and prove that there is no single characteristic that defines an engineer.
“The ‘I Look Like an Engineer’ movement began in 2015, although AWE first participated during the 2018-19 school year. A board member who ran our social media accounts at the time thought it would serve as a good way to promote women in Penn Engineering,” says Cimino. “That year, they took pictures in the Levine Lobby and posted them, and some of them can still be found on our Instagram and Facebook pages. As a current member on our social media committee, I wanted to continue the campaign even though we were not all on campus, so I asked women engineers who were willing to participate to submit pictures of themselves that I could then edit a frame on and post on our social media.
“The goal for AWE has always been to break down the barriers that stereotypes have set for what defines an engineer. Through this campaign, we have been able to empower ourselves as women engineers and others around Penn who may feel like outsiders in their respective fields.”
This story is by Priyanka Pardasani. Read more at Penn Engineering Today.