We’re Allison Mattheis, Professor of Applied and Advanced Studies in Education in the Charter College of Education at California State University, Los Angeles; Joey Nelson, a scientist with Exponent in Bellevue, Washington; Daniel Cruz-Ramirez de Arellano, an instructor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Florida; and Jeremy Yoder, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at California State University, Northridge. We are also grateful for the support of Out to Innovate (formerly NOGLSTP) and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM).
Jeremy and Allison’s experiences as queer academics led them to develop and conduct a systematic, nationwide survey of LGBTQ folks in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). More than 1,400 people from across the U.S., Canada, and around the world answered the original Queer in STEM online survey, and 120 volunteered to answer in-depth follow-up questions. The results of that original online survey have now been reported in many seminar presentations, peer-reviewed research articles, and an upcoming book chapter, and have received substantial news coverage. We found that
- LGBTQ-identified people work in STEM fields from evolutionary biology to particle physics;
- More than 40% have not disclosed their LGBTQ identity to colleagues, coworkers, or students, even if they are totally “out of the closet” at home;
- LGBTQ-identified people are more likely to be open about their identities if they know their colleagues and employers support them, and if they work in STEM fields with more even representation of men and women.
In 2016, with Joey and Daniel, we launched Queer in STEM 2.0, a new survey that builds on the results of the first survey to answer new questions about LGBTQ experiences in scientific and technical careers. Keep an eye on our blog for updates as we continue this new chapter of the project.