31 March 2022 was Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV), the first since the creation of our Pride specialist group.
We’d have loved to have been able to profile the fantastic work of our trans, non-binary, questioning and gender non-conforming members, what they are doing in industry, academia, civil society and in our wider communities to make IT and our digital worlds better for society.
Unfortunately, at a time of open hostility and harassment towards our trans colleagues, we opted not to do this as we believe singling out individual members could to expose them to harassment and hostility online.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, like many organisations, is on a journey to be more inclusive and diverse, the Pride group is one part of this journey and we want to make sure it is a safer space for our LGBTQIA+ colleagues.
So what are our calls to action here to make the world of IT and Digital an inclusive place for all?
For our LGBTQIA+ colleagues across the BCS membership:
- Join the BCS Pride specialist group and share your passion to help drive a more inclusive culture
- Tell us your ideas and stories to help us build our bank of community role models and case studies of what good inclusion looks like
- Tell us who your trans and non binary role models in IT, digital and tech are so we can build these into our future work making our community more visible in IT and digital
For our friends and allies across the membership:
- Learn about the issues affecting our communities, this resource from Stonewall is great
- Find ways to become a better ally to people like us. Amnesty have a great beginners guide here
- Call out transphobia, challenge friends and family members who make transphobic comments, this guide from the TUC has some great tips
- Ask what your organisation is doing to make sure it’s removing barriers, this Stonewall guide on starting out on trans inclusion in the workplace is a good place to start
We’re looking forward to working with you all.
Best wishes from all at the BCS Pride specialist group.
BCS Pride specialist group Chair, Kavita Kapoor FBCS said:
“LGBTQIA+ people often grow up, are educated, and work with a sense of being outsiders. The community has been invisible in technology leadership. Our stories are not told and often changed. Thankfully, we’ve seen a considerable change in visibility and positive representation in the media and industry of trans, non-binary, gender-queer and LGB people over the past decade.
However, this increased visibility has a dark side; our trans and non-binary colleagues are targets of hate and harassment. The 2021 House of Commons Library Hate Crime Statistics report showed that over the past decade, the UK witnessed a +789% increase in reported hate crimes against trans people; this is more shocking when we see from the same report that 88% of trans people don’t report the most serious type of incident to the police. We also see trans people targeted online in unique and insidious ways, often at scale.
Our questions at BCS Pride is, what does this mean for the technology community? How do we ensure the technology we build is not used for harassment? How do we ensure that the start-ups we create and our companies are truly inclusive spaces to work.
Visibility is fundamental to all our identities, security and ability to thrive in society. We want the hate and harassment to stop.
Communities like BCS Pride specialist group are working to make professional communities safe and welcoming for all. Join us if you’d like to be part of this mission.”
To get in touch with the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org