The LGBTQ+ Individuals Who Have Revolutionised Tech
LGBTQ+ inclusion still has a long way to go, especially in the technology industry where LGBTQ+ identifying employees make up less than 3% of the global technology sector workforce. However diversity and inclusion laws are taking up more space on the agenda for most businesses and we’re taking steps in the right direction in order to shape the community for the better.
We believe that diversity and inclusion starts early. Role models and idols for young people who wish to enter into the technology industry are dominated by the faces of white, cis gendered, heterosexual males, that make it increasingly difficult for aspiring LGBTQ+ youngsters to picture themselves in a technology role or place of authority within a tech company. This simply has to change, so we’ve put together a list of the most influential people in the technology sector who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ and are making waves in the industry.
Chris is one of the original founders of Facebook and part of Obama’s first presidential campaign. The tech giant has been married to his partner Sean Eldridge since 2012. The pair have been involved in multiple LGBTQ+ support campaigns and have donated millions of dollars over the years to the research and development of AIDS & HIV.
The CEO of one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Apple, came out as gay in 2014 and has since become the first openly gay CEO to feature on the Fortune 500 list.
Having helped design the first iPhone, Ana Arriola has climbed her way up the ranks in the technology space and has more recently been portrayed as a featured character in show ‘The Dropout’. Ana has earned her place as one of the most influential transgender people in technology and today has a net worth of $2.5 million.
An American businesswoman who served as the vice president of HR at Microsoft until her retirement in 2014. She has introduced incredible practices throughout the tech industry ensuring the safety and inclusion of LGBT individuals throughout her career.
Maier is the former CEO of Siemens UK and now the chair of Digital Catapult and vice chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. He was not open about his sexuality for a number of years, fearing that it would cause problems with his career. However in recent years, the former CEO has spoken out and shared his story and advice for dealing with homophobia in the workplace.
Dr Alfredo Carpineti
Dr Carpineti is the chair and co-founder of Pride in STEM, an organisation dedicated to creating space and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community within STEM careers.
Once again, Leanne Pittsford is yet another LGBTQ+ woman who is using her platform in order to create a space for the community within the tech industry. Leanne is the current chair and founder of ‘Lesbians Who Tech’.
Serving under the Obama presidency, Smith came to light as the Chief Technology Officer of the USA, the first woman to hold this position and the first member of the LGBTQ+ community also. She was also one of the key minds between many of Google’s greatest tech breakthroughs and advancements.
These people are key examples and role models to all of the LGBTQ+ people in the world who seek a career in the technology industry. Without diversity and inclusion in the workspace, we are allowing hundreds of brilliant minds to potentially slip through the cracks and miss out on the opportunity to make huge technological advancements. Which is why it is more important than ever to ensure that all workspaces, within the tech industry and beyond, are a safe and comfortable space for the LGBTQ+ community.