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Women in Tech Call Out Sexist Double Beauty Standard

Despite the strides being made to ensure women and PoC are represented throughout the tech industry, it remains a male-dominated (and mostly white) field. According to a recent Deloitte study, women make up 24 percent of the tech industry, which is unfortunate when you consider the fact that women make up 50.8 percent of the United States population. And not only do women face obstacles getting into this fields; sometimes, they’re also seen as less credible or intelligent if they choose to wear makeup while working. 

On April 3, Reddit user hcodes prompted a discussion around this paradox. She created a thread titled, “Software Engineering (and related male-dominated fields) ladies: how do you find the balance?” and continued by asking: “In a field dominated by men who wear usually the same few conference T-shirts for the rest of their lives, and where women are held by double standards on too much make up/being generally overdone, or too little make up – not really caring about appearance, how do you deal with make up? What would you consider too much/too little? What is your usual routine?”

The general consensus is that women do what they want—as they should. Most of the respondents acknowledged their initial apprehension, but eventually realized it’s their right to wear makeup if they want. Since they know they’re good at their job, wearing makeup is about self-expression and staying true to what makes them feel comfortable and confident in the workplace.

Read some of the best responses below and make sure to check out the whole thread to not only feel empowered in your choice to wear makeup, but also to say IDGAF what my male-dominated field thinks.

motherfunctions: I wear a lot of makeup to work tbh. i find no one really cares if it’s eyeshadow but for some reason people comment when i wear lipstick — maybe seems more “formal”? it’s definitely a double standard, and i’m lucky that the guys on my team are nice (enough) and there’s other badass women here — light bro culture, but not tooooo bad.honestly i just say fuck ’em, if they want to look like shlubby zuckerberbgs for their entire lives that’s fine, but i like makeup ¯_(ツ)_/¯

LifestyleWithNikaYTI work as a software developer and we have a very relaxed workplace. I almost always wear lots of makeup because I love it and I also often wear dresses and skirts. It’s great because I can also wear a hoodie and jeans and no makeup and no one will care! I only got bad comments from one or two female coworkers who don’t really take care of themselves but seem to feel bad about it and that’s why they talk bad about others but otherwise I’ve only gotten positive attitude from my colleagues. Bottom line is that I love being “girly” and don’t really care what others think as long as I don’t violate any dress code rules which we don’t have anyway!

hcodes: I did, as well, find it less pressuring, working with badass women, compared to the times I was the only woman in the team, yet even in Silicon Valley I heard casual remarks “I don’t understand why women wear make up” in a conversation with a higher level employee and I had eyeliner on ( I never have it off, it’s like a tattoo at this point), which is when I started to wonder when is the right time to start giving a fu??‍?k.

serephiaI guess, I don’t care about the way people (might) talk about my appearance. Its upsetting and a ton of bullshit, clearly, but it more important for me to dress and look the way I want myself to look, not the way other people expect me to look. I’m also a strange person with a lot of personality quirks and people generally think I’m weird, so at that point my looks is probably the last thing that would stand out to them.

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