Thursday 5 July marked the world's first International Day of LGBT+ People in STEM. The event was organised worldwide by Pride in STEM, a charitable trust that works to support LGBT+ scientists, engineers, mathematicians and others working in STEM fields. The day aims to raise awareness of the issues and challenges that still face LGBT+ people in STEM fields despite the progress that has already been made - for example, studies showing that many scientists who are members of gender and sexual minorities report feeling uncomfortable at work, and lower rates of retention on-course for some groups of LGBT+ science students. However, it also aims to celebrate LGBT+ role models in STEM, and to look to the future by encouraging STEM departments and employers to think about how they can support diversity.
At EP, we marked the day with a celebratory lunch (including a truly impressive layer cake by Kate Watkins, see above!) attended by more than 50 members of the Department. We listened to a short talk from guest speaker Helen Charlesworth about the progress that has been made for diversity in the city and the university and the resources available from the LGBT + Staff Network, and then broke into teams to test our knowledge of LGBT+ history, politics and trivia with a quiz. We also celebrated throughout the week with a Twitter campaign highlighting the contributions of LGBT+ scientists to psychology, neuroscience and neurobiology.
Special thanks are due to Kate Watkins, Nikhil Sengupta and Anna Caughey for their hard work in co-ordinating activities in the lead-up to the event and on the day itself.