Out to Innovate™ is a career summit presented by National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP) , a non-profit organization that educates and advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students and professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
When President Obama announced his “Educating for Innovation” campaign, NOGLSTP made the decision to embark on a new and exciting pilot project to engage the LGBTQ+ communities’ involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career paths and opportunities.
Our challenges are many: An increasing body of evidence shows the unique challenges that young LGBTQ+ individuals inclined toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) face.* Students may be socially marginalized or even abandoned by family, friends and society because of their sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. Feeling the isolation and the pressure to succeed, many students may choose not to stay the course in their career track. Visibility and accessibility of out role models for these individuals to reach their career goals is crucial.
Fortunately, through the activism of groups such as NOGLSTP, LGBTQ+ science and technology professionals have made substantial strides in achieving workplace visibility and equality.** To further this mission, Out to Innovate Summits bring together LGBTQ+ and Ally high school, college, and post-doctoral students with LGBTQ+ career professionals, academics, and employers in the STEM community to explore educational, diversity, mentoring, and career development opportunities.
With initial support from leading academic institutions such as University of Southern California, California Institute of Technology, and Harvey Mudd College, on October 9, 2010 Out to Innovate™ welcomed LGBTQ+ students in the best of academic traditions. Likewise, LGBTQ+ supportive corporate sponsors in aerospace, engineering, biotechnology, information technology, petroleum and chemical engineering, and strategic technological consulting provided workshop speakers and employment resource contacts.
Download the white paper, “Out to Innovate™: Furthering LGBT Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics”.
*Chech, E. and Waidzunas, T., “Engineers Who Happen to Be Gay: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students’ Experiences in Engineering” (2009). Proceedings of the 2009 Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education.
** National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. “Career Opportunities for LGBT Science, Engineering, and Technology Graduates: Brighter Than Ever” (2014).