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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Queer Tech Club reflects growing interest in STEM
by Ashley Collins
2018-10-03

This article shared 1353 times since Wed Oct 3, 2018
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The Queer Tech Club ( QTC ) is a 501( c )( 7 ) organization that brings together LGBTQ professionals who work in technology to share their professionalism, workspace, and interests with one another. One of the many things that sets this organization apart is its members' involvement. Members who work for a company they may feel represents the club's interests and ideas have an opportunity to sponsor and host one of their many monthly events throughout the year.

With almost 3,000 members, according to Meetup, and more than 50 monthly happy-hour events, QTC has been able to broaden its reach through social media, but mainly face-to-face interactions over the last five years. Each month, the organization grows at a steady pace, with about 50 new members and around 100 attendees at their monthly meetings—showing an increasing interest in STEM ( science, technology, engineering and mathematics ).

Sarah Goldberg—one of QTC's coordinators, whose involvement in the organization began in 2017—said her background is in being a "professional nerd." Goldberg's position in the organization is to coordinate with sponsors who potentially want to host one of their monthly events.

"I knew about it as this place that I would go and meet people," said Goldberg. "If you are job hunting, there's nothing quite as great as meeting someone face to face and having that opportunity to put a face to the name."

Since its beginning in 2013, QTC has created a platform that allows them to focus on developing relationships with individuals in the LGBTQ community. According to Goldberg, one of the core missions of the organization is to bring individuals together face to face who share some of the same identities.

"We are LGBTQ, and we want to see the tech industry grow," said Tim Carbonara, another QTC coordinator, who manages the club's social media outlets and web content.

"We definitely have people who approach us at a lot of events and say, "Hey, how can I get more involved?" Goldberg said. "At this point, I think we're at the perfect [number] of co-organizers, where we can all do stuff and get things done."

Something that sets QTC apart from other organizations is that outside announcement announcements are allowed, she added.

"We've had a lot of great events where people will come up and say, "Hey, I'm doing this coding boot camp and I'm getting started and I need a mentor. We also give people the opportunity to say, 'Hey, I'm hiring,' or, 'Hey, I'm looking to be hired,' which takes a lot of guts," Goldberg said.

QTC also ensures it creates a safe place for their members and sponsors. The organization has a code of conduct, and if members have any concerns or doubts they can personally reach out to the organization.

The Queer Tech Club is open to the public and anyone who is looking for a new opportunity to network. The organization uses Meetup for individuals to sign up for its events.

For more information, visit www.queertechclub.com .


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