Tech pride: LGBTQIAS2+ allyship in the technology community

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The month of June is recognized around the world as Pride Month: a celebration of and reflection on the civil rights movement for LGBTQIAS2+ communities.

As a rapidly evolving industry, technology appeals to a global world of technologists, and it is this far-reaching, diverse community that is enabling the industry to grow quickly and efficiently. But, despite the growing number of technologists who identify as LGBTQIAS2+, not all members of the community always feel welcome. In order to build an inclusive and welcoming technology community, allyship is key, because Andela is home for all.

According to a 2019 survey, 40% of LGBTQ+ respondents, who are employees at tech companies, described either witnessing gender or sexuality-related discrimination in the workplace.

Similarly, a study conducted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) found that a third of LGBTQIAS2+ people avoid careers in science, technology, and engineering due to worries of discrimination and bullying.

The study also noted that 33% of gay engineers claimed they felt their sexuality was a barrier to the progression of their career, while 53% of LGBTQIAS2+ technologists revealed they have heard jokes about gay and lesbian people at least once while at work.

Even if jokes are not made to intentionally cause harm, they can create hostility or cause bystanders to stay silent. There is a lot more we can do within our communities to create welcoming environments for all technologists including those who identify as LGBTAQIAS2+ or allies in the world of tech.

When it comes to organizations, a more inclusive workplace expands the hiring pool for tech talent and improves job satisfaction, while increasing productivity.

There are a variety of independent groups and organizations devoted to improving policies and practices to support LGBTQIAS2+ employees. Global organizations including Google, Apple, and Microsoft have created welcoming employee resource groups, while groups such as Lesbians Who Tech and the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technology Professionals offer opportunities for professional networking.

The importance of allyship from organizations and community members is growing.

This year, Deloitte conducted a study with 600 members of the LGBTQIAS2+ community across various sectors, in 12 geographies around the globe.

The goal of the study was to “provide a snapshot of the lived experience of LGBT+ people in the workplace across these countries to better understand their daily realities, what organizations are getting right, and what can be done better.”

The study revealed some interesting data, which points to how organizations and community members can become allies.

Allyship is essential to encourage people to be themselves

82% of LGBT+ respondents believe allyship helps them to be ‘out’ at work.

Resource groups are important tools

42% felt that an ally-supported employee resource group was the most critical example of allyship helping them feel comfortable being out at work.

If you see something negative, speak up

40% cite allies speaking up when they have witnessed non-inclusive behaviors as critical.

At Andela, we are proud to be a global organization honoring the countless contributions to the tech industry by members of LGBTQIAS2+ communities through our #AndelaPride365 campaign.

We understand the importance of offering support to our community members. And as Deloitte’s study found, that support is critical: 73% of respondents to Deloitte’s survey feel that their organization displaying external, visible support translates into more inclusive working practices and workplace culture.

Overall, great progress has been made in the technology industry to welcome LGBTQIAS2+ community members into tech. But we can all work together – being allies to those in need, supporting, and speaking up for equality – to ensure our community continues to be diverse and inclusive for all.

Happy Pride Month!

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All you need to do to join the Andela Talent Network is to follow our simple sign-up process.

Submit your details via our online application then…

Complete an English fluency test – 15 minutes.

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Visit the Andela Talent Network sign-up page to find out more.

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