A group of co-workers of varying genders having a meeting.
Credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection

The tech industry is renowned for innovation, disruption, and pushing boundaries. But its strength isn’t just in its groundbreaking technologies—it also lies in the diversity and inclusivity of its workforce. LGBTQIA+ professionals have long been integral to the tech sector, contributing their unique perspectives and talents to drive progress and change.

Working to Break the Binary

As society evolves, so does our understanding of gender and sexuality. The tech industry, often a leader in societal change, has played a crucial role in challenging outdated norms and embracing diverse identities. From advocating for inclusive workplaces to leveraging technology in social movements, LGBTQ+ individuals have been instrumental in shaping tech culture.

As Merit America scales to serve tens of thousands of working adults, many of whom are LGBTQIA+, our commitment to creating inclusive work and learning environments is best articulated by our Co-CEO, Connor Diemand-Yauman, in this open letter reflection:

“At Merit America, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all our learners and staff, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed and thrive, and we will continue working towards that goal.”

He further elaborates, “With this scale and reach comes tremendous opportunity and responsibility to ensure our program welcomes and serves those who need us most. In addition to our programmatic initiatives—such as gender-inclusive surveys and forms, outreach to LGBTQ+ potential learners, and affinity groups for learners and staff—I encourage everyone to cultivate deeper levels of welcome and understanding: learn our history, build your skills, and raise your voice in support.”

6 Organizations That Support LGBTQ+ Tech Workers

LGBTQIA+ representation extends beyond corporate boardrooms and office spaces to the broader tech ecosystem. Numerous organizations are dedicated to championing LGBTQIA+ voices, fostering community, and driving change within the industry. Here are six standout tech organizations making a difference:

  • Lesbians Who Tech: This global community of LGBTQIA+ professionals and allies organizes conferences, summits, and events to promote visibility and representation within the tech industry.
  • TransTech Social: Founded by developer and actress Angelica Ross, TransTech Social empowers, educates, and employs the LGBTQIA+ community, with a focus on transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals.
  • LGBTQ in Technology Slack: Providing a safe space for queer individuals in the tech industry, this Slack community offers over 250 channels for engagement and support.
  • Out in Tech: With over 40,000 members, Out in Tech creates opportunities for LGBTQIA+ individuals in tech through resources, job opportunities, and mentorship programs.
  • StartOut: Empowering LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs, StartOut offers resources, support, and networking opportunities, including startup accelerators and educational seminars.
  • TransTech Social: In addition to its empowerment initiatives, TransTech Social provides training and employment opportunities to transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, covering topics such as cybersecurity and project management.

Amplifying Inclusive Resources

Even though queer people exist in every space, not every space is safe for them to thrive. We’ve made strides over the past two decades, but there’s always room for growth to ensure LGBTQIA+ inclusion all year round. So how can we support?

  • Out & Equal’s 2024 Pride Guide offers a simple toolkit to help organizations meet the needs of LGBTQ+ talent and foster an inclusive, welcoming workplace.
  • The Trevor Project’s allyship resource center provides additional resources and educational materials to become a better ally.

At Merit America, our Pride at Merit affinity group has shared valuable resources on using gender-inclusive language in the workplace:

Credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection

Why is this important?

The Deloitte Global 2023 LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work report, which surveyed nearly 5,500 LGBTQIA+ people across various sectors and countries, found that one-third of employees want to switch to more LGBTQ-inclusive employers. Deloitte also discovered that while 6 in 10 LGBTQ+ staff say it’s important to be out at work, less than half are due to concerns about being treated differently (39%), negative career impacts (26%), and personal safety (19%).

The research underscores the power of allyship for LGBTQIA+ employees. Over 60% of those who are out about their sexual orientation and nearly 70% of those who are out about their gender identity state that allyship helps them to be open about their identity.

If we want to be true allies to our learners, peers, and colleagues, we must recognize—and honor—their full identities. This isn’t just essential due to intersectionality—the ways in which various identity-based systems of oppression and privilege intersect—but also because it’s good for business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s report, Better Business: The Benefits of LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion, found that:

  • Organizations that are more LGBTQIA+-inclusive report 3% higher productivity levels than less inclusive ones 
  • Companies with LGBTQIA+-inclusive practices show improved profitability and market valuation 
  • 70% of LGBTQIA+ staff are more prone to stay with their current employer due to its approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion 
  • 72% of LGBTQIA+ allies are more likely to accept a position with an organization that supports LGBTQ+ workers 

Celebrating and continued action

Change is invaluable, but it won’t happen overnight. Intentional, thoughtful action is necessary to develop a culture that enables employees to comfortably bring their whole, authentic selves to work. As we continue the pursuit of creating a tech industry that reflects the diversity of our society, we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ organizations and voices that drive this work forward!

Happy Pride Month!


If you’re inspired to drive innovation in tech like the organizations featured here, explore Merit America’s programs in IT Support, UX Design, Project Management, Cybersecurity, Java Development, and Data Analytics.