Written by Danielle Agugliaro For the original article click here.
10 LGBTQ-focused professional organizations who deserve recognition for their great work.
When Pride Month arrives every June, it’s a reminder of the importance of supporting and uplifting the LGBTQ community. So for Pride we wanted to recognize 10 organizations who are doing just that – these organizations hold conferences, offer scholarships, and create a space where professionals in the LGBTQ community can talk openly about the unique challenges they face in the working world and how to overcome them. Not only are these organizations a great support system for professionals in the LGBTQ community, but they can also serve as a great resource for companies to find and connect with talented LGBTQ candidates.
During Pride Month and every month, here are 10 LGBTQ-focused professional organizations who deserve recognition for their great work year-round:
1. Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM)
Reach: National and abroad
oSTEM has over 75 collegiate and professional chapters made for anyone pursuing a future in a STEM field. As a member, students have access to a mentorship program, career center, affinity groups, and different events both professional and social. Every year they also host a conference in a different major U.S. city where they provide activities like workshops, speakers, and a hackathon. oSTEM’s main focus is to build confidence and opportunities for young professionals in the LGBTQ community to help them start their careers.
2. Pride Foundation
Type: Open to any industry
The Pride Foundation specifically supports LGBTQ organizations and students in the northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Originally, they formed during the HIV & AIDS crisis in 1985 to support those in the local area, but now they use their organization to help raise funds for community organizations and students while advocating for further equality. Students are able to apply for one of their many scholarships that are given out every year. They put a focus on helping students facing multiple barriers like students of color, students with disabilities, and students who have faced homelessness.
3. National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
Reach: National and abroad
NGLCC advocates for the LGBTQ community in the business world. They certify LGBTQ-owned businesses and work to expand economic opportunities for LGBTQ people. They also hold a conference every year that’s globally recognized as the largest LGBTQ business event in the world. At this International Business & Leadership Conference they provide keynote speakers, networking opportunities, leadership programming, and more. Young LGBTQ professionals in the business world not only have this organization as an advocacy group, but as young entrepreneurs and businesspeople they can use the group’s resources and attend the conference to further their success.
Type: Business, Design, and Tech-Focused
Reach: National, based in Chicago
TransTech is an incubator for LGBTQ talent, with a specific focus on economically empowering transgender and gender non-conforming people. They provide a safe space, both online and a physical office in Chicago, for individuals to learn skills that can be used for freelance or employment opportunities through TransTech. Some skills they focus on are graphics, web development, and multimedia production, with workshops available for free right from the website. They also offer a professional mentorship program where those who have trained at TransTech can then become mentors to help new members grow and succeed.
5. Out for Undergrad
Type: Focused on Business, Engineering, Marketing, and Tech industries
Every year O4U holds four major conferences in Business, Engineering, Marketing, and Tech to bring together LGBTQ professionals and students. At these conferences students are able to network, learn from professionals with more experience, and participate in a career fair. In order to attend, students must apply, and then O4U puts emphasis on selecting a diverse group. Plus, because each conference is funded by sponsors, students are able to have their travel costs and lodging paid for.
6. Lesbians Who Tech
With over 50,000 members from the LGBTQ community as well as allies, Lesbians Who Tech is an organization that aims to shape the tech sector into a more inclusive space. Most notably they hold a summit every year that brings in impressive guest speakers where they cover topics like what’s new in tech, how technology will impact the future, and career advice. Over 80% of the speakers are queer women and 50% are women of color. They also fund a scholarship for LGBTQ women in coding that covers 50% of tuition for a coding school program.
7. Young Professionals With Pride
Type: Open to any industry
YPP is an organization aimed toward LGBTQ professionals ages 21-39 who are looking to gain a community and advance their career. They hold social, educational, and philanthropic events all around the area including mixers where students and professionals can network in a casual environment to make real connections. They also partner with local nonprofits to help give back to the community and continue to advocate for LGBTQ causes.
8. Out in Tech
Reach: National + London
With 11 chapters and over 25,000 members, Out in Tech focuses on supporting LGBTQ individuals in the tech industry by mentoring them early on and holding events across the country. Their program called Out in Tech U is an eight-week workshop where students can work on projects, be mentored, and visit tech companies. Mentors and mentees meet for two hours a week while another hour is spent going over professional skills like resume writing, interviewing skills, and more. The program, which is available in NYC and remotely, is completely free thanks to sponsors, and aims to prepare students with the career building skills needed for a successful job in tech.
9. The Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA)
This organization mainly works on supporting journalists, media professionals, educators, and students in their path to ensure fair coverage of LGBTQ issues in the media as well as providing professional development opportunities. They award multiple scholarships every year to LGBTQ students pursuing journalism, and have student chapters at universities across the country. NLGJA also holds an annual conference where they feature speakers and panels on topics pertaining to LGBTQ challenges in media.
10. National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP)
Type: Science and Tech-focused
NOGLSTP focuses on building careers for LGBTQ youth interested in the science and tech industries. Every year they hold an ‘Out to Innovate Summit’ where students and career professionals come together for networking, learning, mentoring, and building their careers. At this summit students are able to hear speakers from the industry, meet with mentors, attend career-based workshops, and even speak with recruiters. NOGLSTP also offers scholarships for students in STEM fields which helps support diversity in the industry.
All of these organizations are providing a space that uplifts LGBTQ students and professionals, helping them to pursue successful careers in any field they choose. Whether you’re an LGBTQ professional looking to join a new community or an employer looking to connect with talented LGBTQ candidates, keep these organizations on your radar moving forward.