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Diversität in der Technik

Vielfalt, die nicht auf Einheit zurückgeht, ist Wirrwarr; Einheit, die nicht auf Vielfalt gründet, ist Tyrannei.

Blaise Pascal

Vielfalt macht klug

In vielen Bereichen unseres Lebens werden zunehmend Gleichstellungs- und Diversitätsprogramme für LGBTIQ Menschen entworfen und umgesetzt. Die großen Akteure in Wirtschaft, Politik und Rechtswesen verzeichnen alle erhebliche Fortschritte bei der  Förderung der Vielfalt in ihren Unternehmen. Die Gleichstellung der LGBTIQ-Personen ist vielerorts nicht mehr nur die Ausnahme, sondern die Norm!

Das Ingenieurswesen befindet sich auf einem ähnlichen Weg, wenngleich es immer noch deutlich hinter anderen Bereichen zurückliegt. Eine Branche, die lange Zeit als reine Männerdomäne galt, hat die Notwendigkeit erkannt, das breites Interesse und Begeisterung für Ingenieurberufe zu fördern.

Diversität in der Forschung

Die Beiträge und Bedeutung von LGBTQ+-Menschen in der Wissenschaft haben weltweit eine lange und reiche Geschichte. Der Philosoph Sir Francis Bacon, der Astrophysiker Neil Divine, der Gründer der Informatik Alan Turing und der Universalgelehrte Leonardo da Vinci sind Beispiele von Menschen aus der LGBTQ+-Community, deren wissenschaftliche Errungenschaften den Lauf der Welt für immer verändert haben.

Es wird allgemein angenommen, dass Wissenschaft und Technik streng objektiv und sachlich sind. Die Identität einer Person prägt aber dennoch zweifellos ihre Sichtweise auf die Welt und auf die Wissenschaft. Durch die bewusste Wahrnehmung von Minderheiten wie etwa Mitgliedern der LGBTQ+-Gemeinschaft können gerade die MINT-Fächer ihre Perspektiven und ihr Potenzial zur Problemlösung vervielfachen! Es ist deshalb von entscheidender Bedeutung, die Diversität in Forschungsteams zu unterstützen und ein integratives Arbeitsumfeld zu fördern, um den hohen Anforderungen der Wissenschaft auch zukünftig gerecht zu werden.

Diversität in der Bildung

Diversity is vital to many aspects of life. Higher education is no different. When you look at the statistics in higher education, it’s easy to see that many groups are being underrepresented or excluded.

1. Bringing in a range of perspectives

Both students and faculty bring their lived experience, background, and perspectives to school with them. This is important for helping students to cultivate broader minds, empathy, and tolerance for differing opinions. A diverse teaching staff means a broader curriculum for students to experience, as well as different teaching styles, learning topics, and ways of looking at the world. Diversity within the student body provides new opportunities for young people to understand different ways of thinking and living. Without these diverse perspectives, students leave college with their view of the world affirmed, but poorly equipped to function in a diverse, global society.

2. Building innovative thinkers

Being exposed to different perspectives and ideas challenges people and helps them come up with more creative solutions to problems. By studying under and alongside a diverse group of people, students have more opportunities to become innovative thinkers. This is a huge asset in today’s knowledge economy and will be critical in the coming decades.

3. Providing role models

Many students never get the opportunity to have a teacher who has similar lived experiences to them. Students of different racial or ethnic backgrounds, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students often don’t have role models to look up to as they work toward a degree program, due to a lack of faculty diversity.

Bekannte LGBT-Persönlichkeiten aus der Wissenschaft

Sally Ride (1951 – 2012)

American physicist, Sally Ride was the THIRD woman in space and a multi-award winning ‘hero of aviation.’ Her bisexual identity was a closely guarded secret until her death in 2012. Then, in November 2013, Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously, which is the highest civilian award available in the United States. Her life partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy received the award in her honour in a ceremony in the White House.

Alan Turing (1912 – 1954)

Alan Turing is one of the most notable and tragic gay figures of all time. A mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist, he is considered the father of computer science and AI. However, due to his homosexuality and the Official Secrets Acts, his achievements weren’t recognised until long after his death.

Furthermore, his help in cracking the Enigma Code (thus winning the war), shorting the war in Europe by more than two years and saving over 14 million lives wasn’t enough to save him from prosecution for ‘gross indecency’ in 1952. This conviction led him to accept a chemical castration treatment as punishment. Sadly, in 1954, he died from cyanide poisoning, which was determined as a suicide despite evidence that suggests it was an ‘accidental’ poisoning. Tragically, he will never know how the UK went on to honour him, with Gordon Brown making an official public apology on behalf of the British government for the way he was treated, the posthumous pardon he received from the Queen in 2013, the law passed in 2017 that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed male homosexual acts, and the Bank of England £50 note that depicts his likeness.

Jürgen Maier

Former CEO of Siemens UK, Jürgen Maier is a British-Austrian businessman who now works as a UK Industrialist and Business Advisor. Graduating from Trent Polytechnic (Now Nottingham Trent University) with a degree in Production Engineering, Maier has gone on to be awarded the title of honorary professor of Engineering at the University of Manchester in 2014, later becoming a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2017.

Jürgen is Chair of Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading innovation centre for advanced digital technologies. Working alongside Innovate UK, part of the UK Research and Innovation national funding agency, Digital Catapult aims to collaborate with organisations on designing and delivering specialised programmes to integrate new technologies into businesses, from start-ups to established companies. Recently, in 2019, Jürgen was awarded the CBE in the New Years Honours list. He has previously spoken out about his fears of coming out as a gay man early in his career, hiding his sexuality from colleagues for over 15 years. However, he has gone on to comment that coming out allowed him to truly be himself and become a stronger individual as a result.

Sofia Kovalevskaya, Russian Mathematician (1850-1891)

Born in Moscow, Sofia Kovalevskaya, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster was the first major Russian female mathematician, the first woman to work as an editor for a scientific journal, and a contributor to the development of the Cauchy–Kovalevskaya theorem, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster. Women at that time were not allowed to formally attend university, but Kovalevskaya was allowed to audit mathematics classes at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 1874 she presented papers on topics such as partial differential equations, the dynamics of the rings of Saturn, and elliptic integrals, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster. Kovalevskaya became the first woman in Europe to earn a doctorate in mathematics. She later secured a position at Stockholm University with the help of Swedish mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster, whom she met through his sister, a woman with whom she had an intimate “romantic friendship” that lasted until Kovalevskaya’s death from influenza at the age of 41.

Robert Mark Goresky

Mark Goresky is a mathematician who invented intersection homology with Robert MacPherson. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1976. His thesis, titled Geometric Cohomology and Homology of Stratified Objects, was written under the direction of MacPherson. Robert MacPherson and his mathematics collaborator-and life partner-Mark Goresky now reside in Princeton, N.J. His first Ph.D. student, Mark Goresky, eventually became his life partner-a rare arrangement in math (but not so rare as either gays or mathematicians would think).

LGBTIQ im Ingenieurswesen

There are many opportunities to increase LGBTIQ visibility, but perhaps most importantly, LGBTIQ role models are necessary to really raise awareness of the challenges they face. Personal stories are incredibly powerful and having those from the community share their own experiences may be crucial to providing this visibility.

Unter diesen Links findet man zahlreiche Videoblogs von LGBT engineers, die von ihren Erfahrungen berichten: