Episode 136: SWE Celebrates Pride Month: A Conversation With oSTEM
In our second Pride Month episode of Diverse, SWE CEO and Executive Director Karen Horting speaks with Lilian Martinez, CEO and Executive Director of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM). Listen as Karen and Lilian discuss the importance of giving visibility to LGBTQ+ leaders in STEM, issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, and how we can all work to improve inclusiveness in our lives, teams and organizations.
Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit professional association for LGBTQ+ people in the STEM community. With over 100 student chapters at colleges/universities and professional chapters in cities across the United States and abroad, oSTEM is the largest chapter-based organization focused on LGBTQ+ people in STEM.
oSTEM Vision: We envision a world where LGBTQ+ people in the STEM community are empowered to achieve success in a safe and supportive environment that celebrates their diversity and unique contributions.
oSTEM Mission: oSTEM empowers LGBTQ+ people in STEM to succeed personally, academically, and professionally by cultivating environments and communities that nurture innovation, leadership, and advocacy.
History of oSTEM: In October 2005, IBM sponsored a focus group where students convened at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington D.C. as part of the Out for Work conference. These students discussed topics relevant to LGBTQ+ communities at their own colleges and universities and debated how to form an organization that serves students in the STEM community.
oSTEM emerged from that meeting as a new national technical student society for LGBT communities.
Before oSTEM, there was no inclusive organization dedicated to serving LGBTQ+ students in STEM, though other organizations had celebrated and supported diversity in science and engineering through other professional societies, such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and others.
In order to advance LGBTQ+ STEM students, five chapters collaborated to found oSTEM Inc. in 2009 with 501(c)(3) status by December 2010. In 2017, oSTEM, Inc. expanded its mission to be inclusive of professionals, serving all LGBTQ+ people in the STEM community.
Check out more SWE podcasts:
- SWE Celebrates Pride Month: Experiences of Nonbinary Students in Engineering
- APAHM 2021 – SASE CEO Khánh Vu on Allyship for the AAPI Community
- APAHM 2021 – Past SWE President Gloria Montano on Assimilation and Self-Acceptance
- Smita Tharoor on Addressing Unconscious Bias in Our Professional and Personal Lives
- Åsa Cervone on Embracing Curiosity to Encourage Inclusion
- WE20 Mega Session- How To Be A Fierce Self-Advocate