Australia-first diversity initiative, Intertech Australia, has launched a new remote mentoring program to support LGBTQI employees across Australia’s tech startup community.
Founded in 2017 by tech giants such as Atlassian, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft, Intertech supports and fosters inclusivity for LGBTQI employees in the tech industry.
Salesforce and Telstra also joined as partners this year, with Intertech now calling for more LGBTQI mentees to join the program in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While COVID-19 restrictions continue, work from home policies and requirements are still necessary for many. As Australia is increasingly becoming connected through virtual means, Intertech aims to keep supporting the LGBTQI community even while we are physically distanced.
Director of Public Policy for Twitter Australia and New Zealand, Kara Hinesley said that as the dependency for virtual connectivity becomes more apparent, remote alternatives to support LGBTQI employees in the tech industry must join suit.
“Diversity and inclusion are non-compete areas. With the Australian workforce moving to remote environments, our tech companies have come together to continue building strong networks while we evolve the way we work in response to COVID-19,” she said.
As 46 per cent of LGBTQI professionals are still not out at work, Intertech Australia needs Aussie LGBTQI professionals in the tech industry who are looking to make a difference in their organisation.
Mentees will have the opportunity to learn how to increase their impact, accelerate their careers, and encourage a diverse culture across the tech industry in Australia.
Luke Swetman from Intertech Australia iterated the importance of creating safe and inclusive working environments for LGBTQI people, especially in an industry that has long been dominated by cisgender, straight men.
“The new mentorship is an opportunity to expand our support of the LGTBQI community working in tech startups to help them embed diversity and inclusion into their company culture, much like we have done with our global tech partners,” he said.
“In light of the new way of working due to COVID-19, the program will be done virtually, and we look forward to running face to face mentoring sessions in the future as well.”
The program will consist of mentors from across the tech industry who are then paired with mentees to connect and learn from those who have a wealth of knowledge of the industry.
Participants are also encouraged to use their knowledge to advocate for LGBTQI professionals in their respective organisations, in the hopes of paying forward the programs community support.
Agency Measurement Lead for Facebook, Carl McLean, said that workplace inclusivity was still of the utmost importance even as working practices now take a virtual-shift.
“Our platform has always been about giving people the power to form community and foster a sense of belonging. With the current unprecedented shift to virtual working practices, Diversity and inclusion remains of core importance and it’s why we’re proud to support Intertech Australia’s new mentoring program,” he said.
If you’re an LGBTQI community-member in the tech industry and interested in developing remote-skills to promote inclusivity in your workplace, visit here to find out more!