The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC) hosted an event where they spoke about the barriers individuals within the LGTBQ+ community face in STEM and research on April 20. The event was hosted by UROC scholar Charles Scrivner and emcee Ingrid Martinson.
Scrivner started the event by detailing the history of people within the LGBTQ+ community and how they have made a difference within STEM and research. After this, they began talking about the different gender identities and what they mean.
“While STEM historically is exclusive to a number of different minority groups, not just the LGBTQ+ community, what sets this community apart is that there is a profound lack of demographic data on these issues for a number of reasons; for one, there is a lack of funding to carry out said research,” Scrivner said.
Although STEM is said to accept all minority groups, there are certain obstacles LGBTQ+ individuals experience that others don’t, and there are barriers many individuals have to overcome.
“The goals of this workshop are to address these disparities by first providing a brief introduction of various sexual gender identities,” Scrviner said. “Specifically, we want to highlight identities that are less celebrated and less discussed in common discourse; we also want to then raise awareness of the problems they face and equip allies who don’t identify with the community to help them create more STEM working environments for their colleagues.”
Hopefully, this workshop acted as an eye-opener for students who attended, helping them gain knowledge on what issues there are within STEM and research and how to overcome them so our systems can be better for everyone in the future.