Diversity and inclusion in the workplace continue to be an ongoing challenge within the tech industry, specifically as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community. Authentic inclusion plays an important role in supporting fast-growing tech hubs looking to maintain or enhance their tech economies and attract or retain talent.

For aspiring tech hubs, the case for LGBTQ+ inclusion is made clear by a report from Open for Business. There are three main areas where a city’s competitive edge can be boosted through inclusion:


1. Innovation

Reports from the Brookings Institute, The World Bank, OECD, and others demonstrate that the capacity for innovation is a key element in boosting cities’ overall competitiveness. Inclusion plays into this because when Open for Business analyzed data on LGBTQ+ inclusion and potential for innovation for 100 cities, they found higher levels of LGBTQ+ inclusion positively correlated with the innovation potential.


2. Talent and skills

Growing tech hubs’ competitiveness in the global economy requires having enough people with advanced education and high-level skills. Evidence from 123 cities shows that almost every top-performing city in terms of talent is also seen as highly LGBTQ+ inclusive, partly due to tolerance attracting skilled workers.


3. Quality of living

When thinking not only of competitive cities that attract talent, but retain it, quality of living becomes important and goes hand-in-hand with LGBTQ+ inclusion. Cities that rank at the top for quality of living are all LGBTQ+ inclusive environments according to Open for Business criteria.


Read more about the tech industry’s efforts and successes for diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging in this edition of The Midpoint.

Inside this issue

  • Pride: Bringing your whole self to work in tech
  • 13 LGBTQ+ Owned, Founded, and Supportive Companies
  • More Than a Parade: How to Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Inclusion All Year Long
  • Inclusivity succeeds when founders are held accountable
  • Save the Date! OAW’s Next Virtual Recruitment Event

Many tech leaders acknowledge the imperative to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to ensure a workforce capable of future success, but a cisgendered White male “bro culture” is still dominant in many tech companies nationwide and in Indiana. “I look at it as my responsibility to walk alongside people sometimes, whether it’s through work or just in life, and listen to the maybe-not-so-sensitive comment and reframe it for them rather than just be offended. Because then the walls go up and nothing changes. It does take more time and effort and sometimes it can be exhausting, but it’s more effective as well, I think.” Read More

In celebration of Pride Month, we’re highlighting companies that are founded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community or are LGBTQ+ friendly. Highlighting these organizations helps in the effort of bringing to light the environments that are safe for LGBTQ+ professionals and their allies. It’s important to have inclusivity within and outside of an organization. Supporting employees will only help them support customers. Allowing people to bring their authentic selves to work makes a world of difference. Read More

Pride is a reminder that this progress has been and continues to be the work of activists building a more inclusive and equitable Chicago for their communities across the city, whether at home, at work or at play. Built In Chicago spoke with six area companies about how their inclusion work honors the legacy of Pride while continuing to promote greater equity at work and within their communities. Read More.

Fahteema Parrish doesn’t mind putting forward extra work to make sure her employees feel included, she shared, embracing an environment that supports individuals of all backgrounds. “Parrish & Sons Construction is an example of what intentional execution of equitable work within an organization actually looks like. Equality and inclusivity are key focal points as my team consists of individuals who know what it feels like to continually be left out or not feel welcome when entering an organization or industry,” said Parrish, the owner and president of Parrish & Sons Construction. Read More

Robotics & Automotive Recruiting Event

One America Works is hosting a Robotics and Automotive Virtual Recruiting Fair throughout the month of July! Click here for more information or to register.