Why pride is more relevant than ever in STEM businesses
In 2018 research showed that almost 30% of LGBT+ young people choose to avoid a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career because of fears that they would be discriminated against. This is a huge problem and it is key that we continue to visibly address this image for two key reasons. Firstly, the technology and telecoms industries thrive on the basis of innovation and diversity is a crucial part delivering that. By drawing on different experiences and perspectives, we ensure that we are achieving the very best, meaning commitment to encouraging the most diverse workplaces is a must. Secondly, there is a significant skills shortage across STEM industries, and we simply cannot afford to shut off talent. It is estimated that STEM industries have lost up to 120,000 viable candidates due to the effect of anti-LGBTQ+ bias and it is a problem that simply has to be addressed. As a STEM company it is crucial to focus on creating a positive image and stamping out discrimination. By building inclusive workplaces we not only ensure a business with a positive ethos, but one that will be enhanced as a result of the setting that is created.
How can we build a better future?
Creating that positive environment and ensuring that STEM businesses are workplaces that allow everyone to thrive should be a priority for every organization. There will be various approaches to tackling this but the UN Global Business Standards for LGBTQ+ employees provides a good starting point.
At RFS, we are proud to have a hugely diverse workforce with colleagues all over the world and are working to ensure we are a business that does not discriminate. That said, there is no room for complacency. We view our role as an LGBTQ+ ally and an employer looking to offer an inclusive work environment as a constant journey, and it is key that we, along with our entire industry, continue to look for how we can to better. With this in mind, we hope our employees, partners, customers, and friends have had a very happy pride month.
President & CEO