Seen in STEMM is a University of Oxford network for staff and students that aims to promote visibility of LGBTI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) people in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medical Sciences (STEMM) community who are typically under represented. We welcome anyone across the university who is involved in a STEMM field and identifies as LGBTI+ or is an ally. The network will bring together a diverse set of role models who can support peers, share best practice and be a force for positive intersectional change.
We wish to:
- promote visibility of LGBTI+ staff and students in STEMM subjects
- increase awareness of LGBTI+ issues to our peers and the wider public
- form a supportive community for those staff and students and their allies in STEMM subjects.
Yoder and Mattheis (2015) reported that people in STEM fields were “more likely to report that none of their professional colleagues knew their LGBTQA identity than they were to report not being “out” in personal contexts. Participants working in STEM fields with better representation of women reported a higher degree of openness". A follow up paper is expected shortly.
Hughes (2018) showed that the retention of LGB+ researchers are less likely to stay in the field: “sexual minority students were 7% less likely to be retained in STEM compared to switching into a non-STEM program.”
The members of our network can choose to be visible by setting up a profile on our members page. Simply being seen is one way to be a positive role model to other members of staff and students. However, it is important that you come out in a way and at a pace that you are comfortable with.
Studying or working in STEMM fields can feel isolating if you are not heteronormative, cisgender, white and male. SiSTEMM will allow members to network across the University and meet peers that may be lacking in their specialist field of study. This will also provide a way to connect them with informal mentors. We will signpost members to both internal networks and external organisations that may be of benefit. For example, we will promote initiatives such as the LGBT+ STEMinar to give our members more opportunity to network and be visible while still having a successful career.
By holding events open to all, it is possible to relate personal stories of LGBTI+ people and the issues and discrimination they face in STEMM subjects.
- 3 months: Have promoted network to relevant networks/groups within the University, and collated a list on our website of such groups.
- 6 months: Have at least 30 members and host an in person networking event
- 12 months: Host at least one series of short lectures by LGBTI+ role models