Congratulations on having the courage to write this wonderful article. Considering the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, was born in 1815, you would think the knuckle draggers within my gender would stop getting all hot and bothered. Having said that, I would like to offer a few more thoughts on the subject.

  1. I’ve been in advertising for over 20 years. Crafting a message can conain all kinds of unconscious biases, even in the questions an ad exec asks a client about their company. If I spoke with you for 30 seconds and asked you what you did at the company, you would have said a hell of a lot more than “my team is smart, creative and hilarious.” In addition, the headline next to your quote didn’t have to be “build relationships and grow professionally.” That was just some young ad guy trying to frame the company as being a cool place to work (subliminal messaging: because you geeks will get to hang with nerdy hot chicks). Just the use of the words relationships and grow next to your picture could stir up all kinds of unexpected sexual innuendo. It’s just as easy to write “Advance Your Career as a Valued Team Member” as “Take One for the Team for Career Advancement.”
  2. I have art directed commercials and photo shoots. Every detail is worked out — the falling out of bed hair, the tight t-shirt, the position of your glasses, the tilt of your head, the exact smile I choose out of 20–50 shots that my photographer would take in the span of a few minutes. Bottom line, with a hair and clothing stylist, I could have made you look like the poster girl for a convent or the greeter at a strip club.
  3. As a science nerd, you might be interested in this study about the correlation between testosterone levels and spatial ability aptitude. You’re right in saying that engineers can look like anything. But at the same time, data does point to a smaller percentage of women versus men going into engineering, even if we correct the institutional and cultural biases currently working against young women of ability.

Keep up the good fight!

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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