International Day of LGBTQ+ People in Science, Technology and Maths (#LGBTSTEMDay)

Today is the first International Day of LGBTQ+ People in Science, Technology and Maths (#LGBTSTEMDay), so I’ve put together this blog post to try and do my bit to draw attention to this initiative. In the past I’ve spoken about my passion for supporting women in STEM, but it’s not only women that are underrepresented and struggle to participate, contribute and thrive in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) environments. The LQBTQ+ community continue to struggle to openly be themselves within our society, and that is unfortunately a situation that bleeds into the world of STEM specifically.

Note: I’m using LGBTQ+ here as an all-encompassing term for people identifying as part of lesbian, day, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual communities. Not sure what these mean? Head to Stonewall for a glossary of definitions.Image result for LGBT

So, why is #LGBTQSTEMDay a thing?

As I said, the LGBTQ+ community are not being supported as they should be in STEM environments. As a straight white cis woman I’m in a pretty privileged situation. The only real battle I might face in terms of discrimination in the workplace is sexism, and while I don’t want to diminish the seriousness of that in any way, the issues encountered and experienced by the LGBTQ+ community are much more complex than that.

  • Studies across Europe indicate that ~20% of LGBTQ+-identifying people felt that they experienced discrimination when job hunting due to their sexual orientation.
  • Many LGBTQ+ employees are closeted at work due to fear of the consequences of them being openly themselves; more than 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ employees lie about their personal lives at work (presumably in an effort to remain closeted).
  • Talented LGBTQ+ employees are known to leave workplaces as a result of unwelcoming environments; 1 in every 10 people identifying as LGBTQ+report this as a reason for leaving a job in the past.

For more evidence see these resources which I found on the LGBT STEM Day website:

Today is all about raising awareness of the issues encountered by the LGBTQ+ community, and more importantly, a day to encourage support to change the landscape of STEM environments to increase diversity and inclusion.

In the spirit of things, here are a few ideas on how you can mark #LGBTSTEMDay yourself:

Image result for being an LGBTQ ally

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2 thoughts on “International Day of LGBTQ+ People in Science, Technology and Maths (#LGBTSTEMDay)

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