As we get a push further into 2021, it’s important to look back and recognize that despite all the challenges of 2020, some organizations continue to advocate and build community in our new virtual world.
Out in Tech (OIT), the world’s largest nonprofit community of LGBTQ+ tech leaders, strives to create opportunities for its members to advance their careers, grow their networks, and leverage tech for social change. It’s a global community, with active chapters in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Portland, Chicago, D.C., Boston and Austin, and more on the way. The Philadelphia chapter launched in 2020.
Due to the pandemic hitting shortly before any kickoff events were scheduled, growth and outreach from the local chapter have been slower than anticipated. I decided to join Out in Tech last year after hearing about the Philly chapter launching and joined the leadership team beginning this past January. My goal with joining the OIT leadership team is to grow our member base here in Philly and help the local LGBTQ+ community network and grow their careers.
OIT welcomes anyone in the LGBTQ+ community to join, whether you’re a veteran in the technology field, interested in changing careers or looking for help on where to start your journey. My hope is that as the tech sector here in Philly grows, Out in Tech can be integral in helping those in the LGBTQ+ community access those jobs with training, outreach and networking.
OIT is doing amazing work to bring awareness and resources to those in the LGBTQ+ tech community. OIT’s Digital Corps builds WordPress sites for LGBTQ+ global activists to help amplify their voices, fundraise, and advocate for change. And Out in Tech U’s Mentorship Program pairs LGBTQ+ youth ages 17 to 24 with tech professionals from OIT’s membership. Each mentee will learn a mix of technical and professional skills needed for launching a successful career. This program runs twice a year, with a spring and fall cohort.
For the Philly chapter, we’re looking to host a few events this year, including a session on interview preparation, specifically targeted at those members of the community who are trying to break into tech that come from less traditional backgrounds. Since many of us are virtual or working from home these days, all events are available to the entire member base and are not location-specific. Making the events entirely virtual has opened up access to many individuals who would normally not be able to attend.
Check out the full list of upcoming events on OIT’s Events page.
If you’d like to get involved or stay up to date on all things Out in Tech, subscribe to the mailing list or join our Slack channel. The OIT slack currently has ~16,000 members and very active daily chats, including city-specific channels (Philadelphia included!). The “topic of the day” channel is particularly enjoyable to follow along with as well as more career-focused channels like those for jobs, resume advice and engineers/developers. Come join us.-30-