Earlier this summer, we looked at a handful of organizations working to close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math.
In continuing with this trend, I thought it'd also be beneficial to take a look at some organizations and meetup communities that are aiming to provide diversity in the technology sector all across the world.
So throughout this article, I'll be looking at all of the above, in places ranging from the US to the UK and beyond.
Promoting Diversity in Tech
Depending on where you are, this issue may be something with which you're very familiar. On the other hand, it may be something that you've yet to really see.
With that said, a number of articles have provided some in-depth reporting, all of which you can read more about in the quotes below.
Discussions included ways to bridge between short-term training programs and permanent employment, with some participants advocating programs that create freelance or temporary positions for people to “try on” newly gained job skills along with continuing to grow comfortable being in their authentic gender at work.
Also, he points out, the tech community can be one of the least threatening environments in which to come out. It skews young and liberal; its heart beats in San Francisco, the LGBT Mecca of the Western world; and when it comes to the industry’s engineering needs, no one at a tech startup is likely to turn away a qualified candidate.
“From my experience and of the other gay technical developers I know, gay men are seen as not as ‘technical’ as straight men,” Rush said. “The almost underlying assumption is that you have to have a heterosexual male brain to be good at technology and innovation.”
All interesting quotes and articles. But what if you find yourself in this position? What resources and communities do you have available to help you achieve your desired career path and goals?
Below, I list a small portion of what I could find:
StartOut is a national nonprofit organization that aims to create great business leaders among the LGBT communities. It was founded in 2009 and has produced over 200 events.
It approaches the mission through the following:
- creating educational events
- building a community
- combating discrimination
- connecting mentors
To read more about StartOut, be sure to visit its homepage.
Lesbians Who Tech
Lesbians Who Tech is made up of "queer women in and around tech", along with those people who love and support them. Goals of the site include:
- helping to connect like-minded women
- making friends and finding new gigs
- increasing the number of women in technology
- ... and more
You can find more information and connect with the organization on this page.
Queer Coders is an online community for LGBT programmers. The site offers others the ability to hire consultants, allows programmers to communicate and connect with one another on its forums, and facilitates networking with one another via its user groups.
Out for Undergrad
According to the Out for Undergrad website:
At Out for Undergrad, we change lives. We’re a nationwide network of volunteers. Our mission is to help high-achieving LGBT undergraduates reach their full potential.
They provide a number of conferences, too:
All of which you can learn more about by checking out the website.
InterTech is a diversity forum that seeks to support the professional development of its members. It also works to accelerate the progress of members' employee LGBT networks, and engage with the wider tech industry and LGBT communities.
LGBT Technology Partners Institute
From the website:
The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender) Technology Partnership encourages the continued early adoption and use of cutting-edge, new and emerging technologies by providing information, education and strategic outreach for LGBT communities.
The organization is made up of the institute and the partnership. The institute aims to conduct cutting-edge research at the intersection of the LGBT community and technology.
The partnership brings together cutting-edge technology companies, nonprofit organizations, scholars, and more to ensure the safety of its members. It also seeks to empower entrepreneurship for LGBT communities around technology.
Out in Tech
Out in Tech is an organization made up of LGBT tech industry enthusiasts that aims to unite LGBT individuals across various technology-related industries.
Of course, organizations aren't the only ones that exist that promote and facilitate engagements with the LGBT communities. There are also a number of different meetups available across the world.
Perhaps one of these will be near you, and if not, then don't hesitate to read the conclusion to this article.
Gay Tech NYC
Gay Tech NYC is a New York City-based meetup defining itself as "a group for anyone who self-identifies tech... and gay. We won't be checking on either. Come, use acronyms with impunity."
Queer Tech Club
If you live in Chicago, Illinois or are ever passing through that area of the United States, then be sure to check out Queer Tech Club.
From the meetup page:
This monthly happy hour event gets LGBT technology professionals from throughout the Chicago region together for networking, socializing, and exchanging ideas. Each meeting will include a time for members to pitch their startup ideas, talk about recent accomplishments, or share something cool they are working on.
ATL LGBT Tech
If you're working in the south-eastern United States, then you've likely traveled through Atlanta, at the very least. The ATL LGBT Tech group "is where Atlanta's thriving technology startup scene intersects with the city's huge LGBT community."
If you're someone who's working on the West Coast of the United States, perhaps consider the Gay Geeks meetup.
If you're a software developer using (Java, Scala, Ruby, AWS) and interested in learning about cutting-edge mobile development and industry best practices.
Gays Who Tech
Gays Who Tech, previously Gay Entrepreneurs and Achievers, holds events including:
- biweekly networking and social events
- speaker events where people with interesting startups and/or life stories can share their experiences
- group volunteering activities
- outings, road trips, and other similar events
Unicorns in Tech
Unicorns in Tech is the first tech community in Germany for gays, lesbians, straight people, or however you may identify. Though the community is open to all people, the community states:
All our events are dedicated first and foremost to LGBTQ+ individuals and their straight allies. We aim to raise the visibility of LGBTQ+ individuals in the tech world. We provide spaces where they are free to be themselves while fostering connections and building a network.
If you live in Germany, near Germany, or are ever passing through, then this may be a good meetup to check out.
Obviously, listing all of the available organizations and communities that are available worldwide would be a massive task, so this is just a start!
Given the size of our audience and the backgrounds we all have, I'm sure that we'd be able to continue to make this list even longer and more resourceful for fellow readers if we were to offer our own resources in the comments.
So please feel free to link up your preferred organizations and/or communities in the feed below!