Why Pride Month Matters to Science

June 21, 2022

Why Pride Month matters to science - And how you can ensure inclusivity for all

June is Pride Month. The movement works to achieve equal civil rights and opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals and encourages important conversations within science. For while LGBTQ+ people have always contributed to the discipline; they haven-t always been visible. And you can-t be what you can-t see.

History is saturated with outstanding examples of LGBTQ+ scientists. Many of whom however, spent their entire lives in fear, hiding their gender or sexuality. Mindsets and legislations may have changed, but they have been slow to do so.

In the UK today,28% of LGBTQ+ scientistshave considered leaving their jobs because of discrimination at work, saying they don-t feel represented in the sciences. Thisfigure was even higher for trans scientists, with 50% feeling this way.

A world without LGBTQ+ scientists

Traditionally, notable LGBTQ+ figures have been downplayed by historians. However, the following people contributed significantly to science and offer a small snapshot into the importance of diversity and inclusion, illustrating why visibility and celebration are vital.

Leonardo De Vinci, the great painter, engineer, scientist, architect, theorist and sculptor. The world would undoubtedly have missed out without the significant contributions from the man whom historians say was -almost certainly gay-.

Alan Turingfamously cracked the World War II Enigma Machine code. Yet he was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts with most of his academic work covered up. Forced to undergo a hormonal treatment that made him impotent, he committed suicide only two years later in 1954.

Sally Ridewas the first female American astronaut to travel into space. When the engineer and physicist died in 2012 it was revealed she-d spent the last 27 years in a relationship with her female childhood friend.

Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale and Alan L. Hart are just a few who are also thought to have added to the rich and diverse tapestry of LGBTQ+ scientists that changed the world.

Practicing DE&I mindfulness

Whether as leaders or hiring managers, the annual observance of occasions such as Pride Month, or International Women-s Day, provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our diversity, equity and inclusion practises within business. They teach us that there are still vast gaps between the ideal, and the reality of how many people experience work.

Acknowledging and practicing DE&I mindfulness allows us to create strategies in which we can encourage more scientists into the discipline who might have been overlooked without the right diverse processes in place.This is essential when one considers that in March 2021, the Home Office addedpharmacists to the shortage occupation list.

It is critical for future successes and breakthroughs in science that we do everything possible to guarantee inclusivity for all, and not just for Pride month.

My3 Point Strategy highlights some of the basic things to think about for creating a more diverse hiring environment.


-who has the job description for the Head of Production job- sound familiar? All too often organisations are using outdated job content. This is your window for candidates to understand who and what you are as an organisation. Stop the cycle and really define well what you need. Equally, recognise the language you use will attract different talent.

Harvard business reviewsaid that typically women will not apply for a role unless they are 100% qualified for the role, while men are comfortable with only a 60% fit. All too often organisations will put specific number of years' experience, however with this changing talent market, how relevant is that now?

Sourcing Talent

Most organisations need to go and find talent proactively in this market. Sourcing talent in a very tight market is not easy at the best of times. Therefore you need to work even harder to source diverse talent. Being intentional with your sourcing and engagement plan is one key success criteria. Understanding where and how you will hire is also key. Once the moment has arrived to engage any talent, actions speak louder than words. Does your hiring process reflect a diverse message? Every step of the way before, during and after hiring your organisation needs to be realistic and authentic.

Limit Bias

When I worked for the UK government on resourcing best practices, they started to remove pictures, names, and location on CVs. This was fifteen years ago. Although organisations know this is best practice, they are still slow to remove many biases that shouldn't exist today.

One key element I am passionate about is education and learning in this space.An organisation might have some of the latest tech or tools. However, fundamentally have their recruiters been grounded in talent acquisition best practice? How about the hiring manager who only hires once a year?

Think about this as a maturity curve within your hiring practices. It gradually builds capability in an organisation, whilst proving some guardrails for everyone. The right learning offering and follow up is at the centre of this success.

Looking ahead

This is merely a starting point, and Pride Month offers one point of reflection. However, no matter where you are on your journey or whatever your aspirations are to hire more effectively as an organisation. It is critical that you start with a plan and have a way to assess your progress as an organisation.

This is a path Vector knows well. We are passionate about the impact effective hiring can have for both a diverse workforce, but also retention and business performance.-

For more insights into managing unconscious bias, read our 5 tips that you can implement, now.

Posted by

Neil Kelly

Candidate Experience
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