Exploring the workplace for LGBT+ Physical Scientists

Had things gone to plan, today I would have been at the premises of the Royal Society of Chemistry in Burlington House in London for the launch of Exploring the workplace for LGBT+ physical scientists a report by the Institute of Physics, Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry resulting from a survey that I blogged about last year. Unfortunately I’ve been too busy here in Maynooth to fly to London and back for the launch so I’ll have to restrict myself to thanking these organizations for undertaking this project and pointing out that you can download, and perhaps even read, the resulting report here.

This report demonstrates that, while we have come a long way, we still have to do a lot more to make sure that LBGT+ people feel welcome and valued in the physical sciences.

A majority (70%) of the survey respondents believed that the working environment was improving for LBGT+ members of the physical science community but as many as 25% had at some point considered leaving the physical sciences due to discrimination.

I have also taken the liberty of including below a few infographics summarizing some of the main findings of the report.

One of the responses to the survey reads

I doubt this view is uncommon among heterosexual scientists but I disagree with it. The idea that no scientist has any identity at all in the workplace other than `scientist’ is quite ridiculous. Scientists are human beings, and humans are extremely diverse. I doubt if anyone likes to be defined by a single characteristic – we are all complex individuals subject to a whole host of different influences – but, to create an inclusive environment where the best scientists can flourish and the best science can be done, we need to make sure everyone feels comfortable. If we can do that it won’t just benefit our LGBT+ colleagues, but everyone in our workplaces.

Do read the report!

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3 Responses to “Exploring the workplace for LGBT+ Physical Scientists”

  1. I’m not sure if the respondent was as negative as you paint him to be. Perhaps he meant merely that a person’s sexuality shouldn’t matter in the workplace. Actually, this is the goal that many LGBTQWERTY folks have been campaigning for for decades. There are also probably a fair number of homosexual scientists who agree with him. Of course most of us have aspects of our personality besides “scientist”, but should they matter in the workplace?

  2. Is it a coincidence that tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots?

    • telescoper Says:

      The launch of the report was originally planned for April but was delayed for technical reasons. It was then pushed back to Pride Week, which is an appropriate time to do it. Pride week commemorates the Stonewall riots.

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