Martijn van den Tillaart leads the way

When I started my job I did not feel comfortable to come out. Luckily, I discovered that another person in my department was gay. Once I found the courage to come out to him, he was very happy and told me: “I thought I was the only gay person in the company”. Because I found someone like me, I also felt comfortable coming out to other people. Having found this role model, it inspired me to become a role model as well to ensure everybody who joins my company will also feel comfortable being themselves. That’s why I helped start up the LGBTIQ+ chapter in my organization and worked for my company to join Workplace Pride. Soon after, the Tech@WP community started. Within our community, we reach out to connect with LGBTIQ+ people in our industry. This allows us to share knowledge and best practices on diversity and inclusion between our organizations.

Tech@WP indicates that technology is all around us: our houses, our pockets, and our bags are full of hardware and software that is made by us in the tech sector. When you are on the street, at an airport, or in the hospital, you see more and more technical solutions supporting our daily lives. Our sector is a very diverse sector, though the public view is that the tech sector is mostly a masculine and straight environment. This is not the case. For example, the CEO of Apple and Dow Chemical, the CoFounder of Facebook, the intellectual property Vice President at IBM, and of course the members of Tech@WP are part of the LGBTIQ+ community and part of the tech sector.
The technology that you are using in your daily life, like your phone, your car, tv, or medication is designed and made by people working in the tech sector. By showing how diverse our community is we can attract and retain diverse talent. Tech companies do need a diverse workforce to ensure that we will keep getting diverse technical solutions around us that are made for all of us and work in favour of all of us.

Mission/Vision of Tech@WP

  • Outreach, cooperation & networking among LGBTIQ+ people in Tech Industries
  • Information & knowledge exchange within the Tech industry on LGBTIQ+ – D&I 
  • Increase visibility about how diverse and inclusive Tech industries are

Tech@WP Goals 2022:

  • Visit LGBTIQ+ communities in tech companies to discuss their best D&I practices
  • Show how diverse and inclusive the tech industry is
  • Highlight underrepresented groups in the tech world e.g. women and students
  • Strengthen our community by organizing a joint webinar or live session

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