LGBTQWERTY: Starting the Conversation

As an ‘agency of the future’, diversity within tech hiring has been a topic of increasing interest to us at Third Republic- in fact, you may already know us from our upcoming virtual Women in Tech week, or from our WiTQA blogs that we’ve been running for the last 2 years.

However, this year more than ever, it has become clear to everyone that there is more to diversity in hiring than the male/female question, and thus we’re starting a new conversation at Third Republic, and we’re calling it LGBTQWERTY.

When it comes to gender or race, hiring managers often know the demographics of their applicants not only by the time they meet them, but most likely by the time they’ve read their CV.

When we discuss barriers to employment and discriminatory hiring practices, we often talk about what can be seen from a CV – removing names, pictures etc. But what of those backgrounds that may not be necessarily immediately obvious, but nonetheless deeply affect the individual’s comfort and confidence in the workplace?

I’m not saying LGBT+ in Tech is a new topic by any means – anyone tuned into British news will be well aware of what Alan Turing gave today’s tech community, and what he sacrificed for it under homophobic law. Perhaps those with an interest could name famous faces such as Lynn Conway, or Jon Hall (well, you might know him as ‘Maddog’).

Organisations such as LGBTTech, Lesbians Who Tech and Out in Tech have already been exploring this conversation in detail and supporting the community to connect to each other. But is the conversation being had in the wider tech community, outside of specialist organisations formed to encourage it, and during Pride month once per year? That part, I’m not so sure about.

It strikes me that LinkedIn, my main platform for chatting to contacts in the tech community, is the only place I could still be considered ‘in the closet’ (or was until this post!) and there’s certainly an awareness there of how being openly lesbian could affect my networks and my ability to keep having great conversations with some of the finest automation and cloud nerds in Germany. 

It’s impossible to reflect on this myself without wondering what similar inhibitions other LGBT+ people in the markets I work with may be facing in their career choices.

Consider this an introduction, and a ‘watch this space’- we, and some seriously impressive LGBT+ influencers within Digital Transformation, have so much more to share with you.

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