Pride Month: Taking Pride in Your Tech Career
In an industry driven by innovation and creativity, it is crucial for LGBTQ+ individuals to feel empowered, supported, and confident as they pursue a career in tech. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as someone working in tech, I wanted to offer the following tips and insights to young LGBTQ+ professionals that are looking to find their place in tech.
1. Find Your People 🤝
Building a strong network of LGBTQ+ peers and mentors can be immensely valuable in navigating a tech career; who better to be your support system than those who were once in your shoes or are currently in them?
There exist many LGBTQ+ affinity groups, professional organizations, and online and offline communities that can provide support, advice, and mentorship opportunities; This can even lead to referrals and jobs! Connecting with others who share similar experiences can help you feel supported and provide a space for your personal and professional growth.
2. Do Your Research 💻
I cannot stress how important it is to research and identify companies that have inclusive policies and actively support LGBTQ+ employees. Nothing is worse than being in an environment that doesn’t want you there so look for organizations that have demonstrated commitment to diversity and equality. Some examples of commitment can come in the form of:
- Employee Resource Groups
- Comprehensive Non-Discrimination Policies
- Benefits catered to LGBTQ+ individuals
Being at a company that values your identity can provide a more inclusive and affirming work environment. Thus leading to a happier and more fulfilling career in the long run.
3. Be a Bestie and Advocate 🗣
As an LGBTQ+ professional in tech, you have the power to be an advocate for inclusivity and equality within your workplace. Encourage conversations about diversity, educate your colleagues on LGBTQ+ issues, and participate in diversity initiatives. I know from experience that this can be uncomfortable and scary but by being an active ally, you can help create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for your fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues.
4. Keep Learning 🧠
Not really specific to those in the LGBTQ+ community… but it’s important!
The tech industry is constantly evolving so it’s necessary to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in order to grow your career. Seek out learning opportunities, whether through formal education, online courses, or industry events; By continually enhancing your skills and knowledge, you'll be able to position yourself as a valuable asset in the tech industry as well as serve as a positive example for other LGBTQ+ professionals.
5. Be true to yourself 🫂
Cliche, I know, but as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table.
These perspectives and experiences can positively contribute to the industry so they should be celebrated. In addition to that, I believe that being authentic (and therefore honest) to yourself in the workplace will, once again, lead to more happiness and success in your career since you’re not under the stress of being someone you’re not. You owe it to yourself to embrace your identity and surround yourself with those who embrace it as well.
Pursuing a career in tech as an LGBTQ+ young professional is an exciting journey filled with endless opportunities but it can also be a little (sometimes very) tough.
I hope that these tips help you thrive in the tech industry while staying true to your identity. Remember, your voice and talents deserve to be heard and celebrated as you make your mark on the ever-evolving world of technology so don’t be afraid to #slay.
All the love,