LGBT+ History Month: BCS calls for organisations to develop a culture for diversity

1 February 2017

IT departments / organisations need to develop a culture that supports diversity to help increase the number of LGBT+ people in the profession - according to BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Doing so improves the lives of those from the LGBT community immeasurably and research shows that those organisations with a diverse workforce are more profitable, innovative and productive.

The call for action comes during LGBT+ History month and coincides with the launch of the Institute’s online campaign showcasing role models talking about their experiences of being LGBT+ and working in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professions. The individuals who have been selected will be featured throughout February in a bid to celebrate diversity across all the disciplines. Those who have signed up to support the campaign include Dan Perlet, Director of Communications at Amazon, Daniel Pheysey, UK Sports Partner Manager at YouTube and Joanne Legge, IT&S Manager at BP.

Joanne Legge says: “Organisations must not shy away from having conversations about LGBT topics - being seen to be open to that conversation sets the right tone in your organisation, and will also attract talent.”

Karen Tuck, Head of Policy and Campaigns at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT explains: “BCS is supporting LGBT+ History month by featuring individuals on its website in a move to encourage LGBT+ diversity and inclusion in the UK technology sector. It’s vital that we show more LGBT+ people the amazing careers IT offers. The people taking part in our campaign share this view and through their blogs and video interviews we hope they will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

Organisations within the STEM professions need to reach out to more LGBT+ people to encourage them to see what a broad range of exciting careers are on offer and to build the pipeline of skills in these areas. It is crucial that the talent of all individuals in our professions is nurtured and valued, and that everyone has access to equality of opportunity regardless of their protected characteristics, ability and background.”

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock says:

“For the UK to fill its skills gap in technology, be a competitive, global nation and continue to be a leader in innovation, we need to encourage all businesses to develop a culture that supports diversity in their IT departments. I back this call for more diversity in the workplace and encourage employers to consider how they recruit and retain people from underrepresented communities as well as their recruitment practices, unconscious bias and pay gaps.”

From 1 February, interviews and blogs from those involved in the BCS LGBT+ campaign will feature on www.bcs.org/lgbt

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