In his New York Times opinion piece, Manil Suri, a professor of Mathematics at University of Maryland, brings some light to a question that has been a topic of interest within Hutch United: Can we identify data that demonstrate that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are underrepresented in the sciences? In addition to talking about some of the existing data, Suri also discusses some of the STEM cultural and environmental reasons why LGBT scientists may choose to not come out to their straight colleagues. He warns that the invisibility of LGBT scientists may lead younger LGBT individuals to view certain academic or career goals as beyond their reach and, as a consequence, may not pursue them. He also makes a strong case for why diversity (including sexual orientation) is beneficial to the work environment.
Suri urges that:
‘More critically, STEM culture must rein in the pressure to separate professional and personal identities. It should view its workers more holistically, welcoming their interests and differences as sources of enhanced resourcefulness.’