Queer Tech MTL kicks off 2017 with diversity at workplace event

Naoufel Testaouni told us in the summer that many companies might not know how to start the process of becoming more diverse-friendly. Now the founder of Queer Tech MTL is offering those companies a start.

Montreal’s first tech meetup devoted to the LGBTQ+ community, Queer Tech MTL, is kicking off the new year with their first event, a panel on “Creating the Authentic Self at Work”.

The event will happen Wednesday, January 18 at 6 PM at Keatext, 5605 avenue de Gaspé, Suite 108.

The panel will consist of three speakers focusing on “creating the authentic self at work”:

Marie Isabelle Gendron – Transgender woman – Technical Engine Specialist at Pratt & Whitney Canada

Carlos A. Godoy – Regional Manager, LGBTA Business Development at TD Bank Group

Elodie Palluet – Vice-President of the LGBT chamber of commerce of Quebec

Founded last October by Moroccan native Testaouni, the group aims to bring together diverse individuals that traditionally find themselves in the minority in the tech startup world.

“No one says ‘don’t come to our event,’ and there’s no discrimination happening, but because it’s a very heavily-white, male, straight dominated space, they’re just not attracting those other communities. I think we have a bit of work to do with these minority communities, to try to talk about diversity,” Testaouni previously told MTLinTECH.

The creation of Queer TECH MTL seems to indicate a growing positive momentum, especially as it comes on the heels of an article last August by Les Affaires reporter, Matheiu Charest; he wrote a feature story about the “LGBT Connection,” featuring Lightspeed’s successful (and gay) CEO, Dax Dasilva. Tim Cook, Peter Thiel and the list goes on.

“I’m convinced that the vast majority of tech people are open-minded, but sometimes there’s still a stigma associated with being LGBT, a woman or of a different origin,” Charest previously told MTLinTECH. “Group, blogs and meetups like URelles at Metro, Ladies Learning Code or Queer Tech MTL all do something incredible: they allow people to be who they are. To be the majority for once. Homophobia, biphobia, etc. are often internalized and I think these groups are a great way to show that you can achieve what you want, whoever you are.”

Since its creation, Queer TECH MTL has hosted two meetups and grown to over 365 members. The upcoming event is focusing on a subject that is key to creating diversity in the Montreal startup ecosystem: Being your authentic self in the workplace.


RSVP here.

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