“If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it.
It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”
I dressed up in a leather suit jacket and put on my heels to speak to girls visiting Facebook office to show that #ILookLikeAnEngineer.
The Girls Advancing in STEM (GAINS) Initiative supports high school girls’ interest in STEM topics. On April 3, 2017, I was invited to talk to about 50 high school girls that were visiting the Facebook HQ office.
On a panel with Delfina Eberly, Nivedita Chopra, Hema Budaraju, and myself, we talked about life at WhatsApp and Facebook as female engineers.
Here is a photo of us ↓
See @gainsinstem on Instagram.
I dressed up in a leather suit jacket and put on my heels. I also put on a red lipstick and make up. Why did I dress up like this?
I wanted the girls to see that being an engineer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to forgo your feminine style. One of the participants for a GAINS T-shirt she got from last year, which is also awesome. One person wore a flowy summer dress. I hope the girls were able to see that there is no set ‘engineer look’. Anyone in any form or background can look like an engineer.
Everyone on the panel come from very different backgrounds and at various stages in their career. Delfina is a VP of Infrastructure at FB. I think she's one of the very few female leaders at FB. Hema, with 20+ years of experience in Technology is a Product Management Lead, who talked about her support for her children studying STEM. Nevedita shared her experience of working at FB as a recent college graduate.
Speaker profiles posted on Greenwich Academy.
After the event, the Director of Duff Center for the STEM Initiatives wrote to the hosts of the panel:
“I think you changed some lives yesterday. Their eyes were opened to the true potential of working in a STEM field.”
Connie Chang, Member Engagement Lead, Women@ Facebook, who hosting the event at FB wrote to me,
"Thank you for taking the time to be a panelist for the GAINS conference! Your powerful story inspired so many of the young women. We’re lucky to have you as a woman leader here at WhatsApp &FB!"
Learn more about GAINS.