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Policy Factsheet

More Inclusive Data Collection: Improving Research and Policy

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Reintroduce and support the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act. This bill requires federal population surveys to include voluntary questions on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Without data on LGBTQI+ representation in STEM, we cannot create strategic interventions to fix discrimination and exclusion in our community.

  • LGBTQI+ people continue to face inequitable treatment. These experiences can dampen educational attainment and workforce participation.
  • In STEM fields, preliminary evidence shows that LGBTQI+ professionals face persistent disadvantages compared to their non-LGBTQI+ counterparts.

Much of Our Current Understanding is Anecdotal Rather Than Data-Driven

*Quotes from 2016 APS LGBT Climate in Physics Report peers have consistently left me out of social events and frequently talked about me behind my back with disrespectful language relating to my gender identity/expression.

In the last lab I worked with, I was afraid to even mention that I might be gay.

To inform policy decisions, federal agencies regularly conduct national population studies. However, these surveys rarely include LGBTQI+ demographic questions.

The current lack of standardized, reliable LGBTQI+ population data impedes the physics community’s ability to effectively assess and address issues like we have for race or gender.

Logos for APS Bridge Program and Conferences for Undergraduate Women and Physics

Demographic data on gender and race inspired successful APS initiatives like the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics and the APS Physics Bridge Program.

Limited Preliminary Studies Indicate Negative LGBTQI+ Experience in STEM

Three donut charts: Chart 1: LGBT physicists who have experienced recent exclusion, 22%, Chart 2: Have considered leaving their workplace, 36%, Chart 3: Transgender physicists reported experiencing exclusionary behavior, 49%

Demographic Data is a First Step Towards a More Inclusive STEM Workforce

U.S. competitiveness depends on welcoming the full participation of all groups in STEM. By requiring all federal agencies to include voluntary LGBTQI+ survey questions, we can better work toward this goal.

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