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Lyndsey Scott may be best known as a fashion model, particularly for Victoria’s Secret, but she is also an accomplished programmer. Her various successes have made her an inspiration for many girls and young women. So much so, the Instagram account Coding Engineer tried to harness that inspiration last weekend, posting a photo of Scott that listed her coding proficiencies. They captioned the picture, “CODING IS FOR ANYONE!”
However, many of the commenters seemed to disagree. Some questioned the quality of her coding, others said she must only actually know how to use Hello World, a very beginner program. Others lamented that Scott’s beauty was being wasted by her working as a programmer, or made comments about how they would (or wouldn’t) want someone as sexy as her to be their coworker.
Scott, who works to make coding more accessible for women and minorities, did not let those comments go without a response. She listed some of her coding accomplishments, from being one of the top people on the coding question site Stack Overflow to her position as Lead iOS software engineer for rally bound. “Looking at these comments I wonder why 41% of women in technical careers drop out because of a hostile work environment,” Scott wrote.
Looking forward to the day when women in tech don’t have to go above and beyond to prove themselves. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/MFe3RcKWKx— Lyndsey Scott (@Lyndsey360) September 8, 2018
Others who have dealt with sexism in science and technology were inspired by Scott’s call-out, and shared their stories of sexism in the workplace and in school.
I work in the production of InfoSec webinars. Our main lead is kick ass lady.— Kat | #ThePariah (@CassAnnYel) September 10, 2018
One day she was wearing hot, short sleeve blouse and the expert next to her a faded t-shirt.
Guess who got the "if you wore something smarter people would take you more seriously" comment???
This is so real. I truly love what I do. I don’t know of that many female network engineers but I am so tired of defending, explaining, and having to prove myself to my all male coworkers and clients while trying to dodge sexist ass remarks. https://t.co/OmHgXs9lcb— .:::Eden:::. (@FelishaEden) September 9, 2018
Some men in the replies pointed out the hypocrisy of male expectations, as well as the key signs of male fragility.
Geek dudes: We want a beautiful, intelligent geek.— Jason (@Supermarket_Ape) September 9, 2018
Lyndsey: I can code in 5 languages & am a Victoria Secret model.
dudes: Lol, I meant one who doesn't threaten my fragile ego.
Seriously... If you're not prepared to lift up women smarter than you, don't say you like smart women.
Outside of exposing trolls and sexist attitudes, Scott advocates for women in tech in many other ways. She is a mentor for Girls Who Code, helping to teach teenage girls programming skills. She has also taught programming with Girl Scouts and made an application to help girls learn the basics of programming. With women like Scott around, it’s possible that today’s girls will have a much easier time when it’s their turn to enter the workplace.
H/T the Mary Sue
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.