Why is LGBTSTEMDay important to the technology industry?
LGBT+ people working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) continue to face hardship and discrimination in their fields.
More than 40 percent of LGBTQ people in STEM are not out, and gay and bisexual students are less likely to pursue an academic career in STEM than their heterosexual peers.
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Today (July 5th) marks the second International Day of LGBTQ+ People in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (#LGBTSTEMDay)
“To solve the many diverse challenges humanity is facing in the twenty-first century we cannot afford losing people from minority backgrounds,” said Dr. Alfredo Carpineti, chair and founder of the British charity Pride in STEM—one of the main organisers of the initiative.
“LGBTSTEMDay won’t fix all the issues, but it will shine a big light on them. We are sure it will start conversations, and that’s so important.”
Ivan Kovynyov, Manager at Kobaltblau Management Consultants AG in Zurich, is also keen to underline the importance of LGBT+ visibility.
He founded the LGBTQ Business Club at Imperial College Business School, London, as a means to connect business students from Imperial’s LGBTQ community with leading companies and employers (such as McKinsey, Bain, Amazon, Google, Goldman, JPMorgan, PwC) who are making positive steps to hire inclusively.
“Diversity is an ongoing discussion in tech. Whether you are a woman, an ethnical minority or queer, finding a community that understands you and supports your career development can be a source of motivation and empowerment,” he said.
“And there’s a benefit to businesses too; recent research suggests that tech businesses with diverse teams build solutions that customers really love. Luckily, there is s number of initiatives supporting the LGBTQ STEM tech community, but still there is a lot of work to do.”