How many software developers identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community? Stack Overflow recently surveyed tens of thousands of developers about everything from their favorite programming languages to their educational background. One of the questions, answered by 36,939 respondents, asked professional developers for their sexual orientation. Here’s what they said:
Another question asked for developers whether they were transgender. As you can see, slightly less than 1 percent of the 40,911 developers who responded to that question identified that way.
From Alan Turing to Tim Cook and beyond, LGBTQ+ technologists have made extensive strides in helping drive the technology industry forward. A few years ago, a breakdown of Gallup polling data suggested that, in major tech hubs such as San Francisco and Seattle, the LGBTQ+ population is 2-3 times that of the national average. Companies such as Facebook have begun publishing statistics on their LGBTQ+ employees as part of their broader diversity data.
Organizations such as O4U (Out for Undergrad) and oSTEM (a nonprofit association for LGBTQ+ people in the STEM community) are dedicated to broadening the pipeline for LGBTQ+ technologists and developers, which may help further diversify the tech workforce in coming years. In the meantime, there’s still much work to be done to make the tech industry more inclusive in all ways.
The lessons that managers and executives have learned over the past few decades about crafting more diverse workforces are still necessary… and can ultimately help the business’s bottom line. For example, one study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that organizations with diverse leadership (i.e., thinking style, culture, gender, background) are more innovative (which is key in tech) and deliver 19 percent higher revenues than those companies with monolithic workforces.