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    Representation is incredibly important, not just in pop culture and what we see online, but in the professional world, too. Although the Life Science industry is working hard to implement better D&I initiatives and hold itself accountable to becoming a more inclusive industry, we still have a long way to go. Biases (whether they’re unconscious or conscious) still exist, and to create true change we need to work together to ensure better representation to inspire the next generation of talent.

    ASCB produced an interesting article on the need for data representation for LGBTQIA+ folk in Life Sciences, stating:

    “The LGBTQ+ community has also been historically marginalized, but it is more difficult to assess LGBTQ+ representation in science because very little data exists. The data that does exist suggest that members of the LGBTQ+ community experience more harassment and bullying in the scientific workplace than their non-LGBTQ+ peers and are more likely to leave science.”

    Unfortunately, bullying and harassment of LGBTQIA+ doesn’t just happen within our industry, it’s rife regardless of location or industry even with strong policies in place. Achieving true inclusivity is very difficult – even more so in industries that already struggle to attract diverse talent let alone retain it.

    “In 2019, a survey was conducted in the UK with 1,000 scientists, and nearly 30% of the LGBTQ+ members considered leaving due to a hostile environment” – [source]

    However, we wanted to shine a positive light on Life Sciences and the incredible LGBTQIA+ organisations within Life Sciences, as well as the individuals within them.

     

    500 Queer Scientists

    500 Queer Scientists is a visibility campaign dedicated to LGBTQIA+ folk as well as their allies working in STEM. 

    “We want to: ensure the next STEM generation has LGBTQ+ role models; help the current generation recognize they’re not alone; create opportunities for community connections and greater visibility within STEM.”

    From botanists, to interdisciplinary scientists, to phytopathologists, 500 Queer Scientists gives a necessary voice to the community to share their stories as well as show the diversity of career opportunities available within the world of science. 

    With 1,726 stories and counting, 500 Queer Scientists continues to grow (and are always accepting story contributions!).

     

    Pride In Stem

    Pride in STEM is a charity run by an independent group of LGBTQIA+ scientists & engineers from around the world. Proud of who we are and what we do. We aim to showcase and support all LGBTQIA+ people in STEM fields.

    To date, we have run events with the Science Museum, the Francis Crick Institute, Stonewall, The British Science Association, Imperial College London, Monzo, the University of Cambridge, The Royal Maritime Museum, and the European Space Agency.

    Pride In Stem is also a hub for useful resources which can be used in academic spaces as well as the workplace. You can access them here

     

    And finally, we wanted to talk about an incredible piece produced by Timmermann which highlights 19 industry leaders in the biotech space who identify as LGBTQIA+!

    The article showcases just how diverse the Life Sciences industry can be, as well as how important it is to have representation to ensure that we continue to attract and retain incredible diverse talent. 

    The global Biotech market had an estimated global value in 2022 of 1.37 trillion, and is set to continue growing exponential amounts over the coming years. With over 10% growth in 2023 alone, now more than ever it’s crucial to continuously push for more inclusivity in one of the biggest industries in the world.

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