Inclusion and Advancement of LGBTQ+ People in STEM Fields

The Inclusion and Advancement of LGBTQ+ People in STEM Fields symposium took place on May 30th. It was the first convening to bring together the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), federal funding agencies, and researchers examining how LGBTQ+ people navigate education and employment in STEM fields.  The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH, Northwestern University), and the American Educational Research Association hosted the event with the goals to educate attendees about the current status and experiences of LGBTQ+ people in the STEM field and to explore initiatives to address any disparities.

Dr. Brian Mustanski, director of ISGMH, welcomed attendees and underscored the importance of a diverse scientific workforce, to increase productivity.

The four panels — Evidence of LGBTQ+ Challenges and Disparities in STEM, Leading the Way: LGBTQ+ Mentorship in STEM Fields, Navigating Identity and Career: LGBTQ+ Perspectives in STEM, and Federal Policy for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in STEM: Opportunities & Challenges — highlighted the experience and disparities among LGBTQ+ people in the stem workforce. Key points reflected the need for collecting SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) data to better foster inclusivity, the need to foster a sense of belonging in STEM learning environments, and the crucial role of mentorship for supporting LGBTQ+ individuals in the field.

[Video Recording]

By fostering supportive environments, promoting intersectionality, and amplifying diverse voices, we can work towards a future where LGBTQ+ individuals thrive in STEM fields.

The symposium was followed by an invite only, two-day think tank.