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STFC takes pride in its diverse community

STFC celebrated our diverse community with a special event combining talks with rainbow cake and a fascinating stand provided by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory library looking at the history of LGBTQ+ issues in science.

STFC aims to make the scientific community at our sites a welcoming, inclusive place for all, and the second international LGBTSTEM day was a chance to stand with our LGBTQ+ colleagues.

HealthTec Cluster Development Manager, Phil Carvil, kicked the day off, speaking about the importance of the Pride in Stem initiative in providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ scientists to speak about their work. He says there is always room for science institutions to think about how to be more inclusive.

“STEM is at its best when it’s inclusive and diverse. That’s when it really represents excellence in the research community. Days like these are great for championing these values,” said Phil.

Other LGBTQ+ role models from the STFC community spoke about their fascinating work in fields as diverse as sex development in mice and humans, and quantum magnetism.

A moving talks came from UK Battery Industrialisation Centre’s Isabel Sheldon, who outlined her journey of transition to becoming a woman in a very male-dominated industry. Her story was far from a sad one, she said, and showed how transition can be positive despite the struggles she and others have faced.

“It’s great to see the scientific community really embracing equality. In our field, it’s all about your talent,” Isobel said afterwards, while tucking into the rainbow cake.

STFC’s Executive Chair, Mark Thomson, attended to show STFC’s commitment to the values of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion with a short speech at the end of the event.

 “I think today’s event is particularly important, both to STFC and to UK Research and Innovation; it’s essential that we value people for who they are, and not the colour of their skin, their gender or their sexuality,” he said.

The day aims to recognise LGBTQ+ people working in science, technology, engineering and maths, raising awareness of challenges they face and increasing support.

Find out more about UKRI’s equality, diversity and inclusion policies.

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Last updated: 08 July 2019


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