US: Facebook headquarters to host LGBT undergrad tech conference

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Out for Undergraduate Technology Conference (OUTC), an organisation supporting LGBT students interested in high tech careers, will hold their second annual meeting this weekend at Facebook’s headquarters in California.

The conference promises to be the largest of its kind, with 200 students representing 50 colleges and universities, and representatives from 27 top tech firms, including Microsoft, Ebay, and Twitter, attending.

Students will be able to form networks, and will also be offered sessions on how to deal with LGBT issues in the workplace.

“The mission of the OUTC goes beyond connecting undergraduates with positions at some of the world’s elite tech firms,” said Michael Ruderman, a Stanford Graduate School of Business student who founded and serves as Executive Director of the conference.  “We also want our students to bring their full authentic selves to work, wherever that may be.  They shouldn’t check their sexuality at the door.  Instead, we teach them how to best leverage their sexual and gender identities to succeed in the workplace.”

Computer science student John Espinosa said of a previous conference, “My parents warned me that being gay could hurt me when I looked for a job. But the OUTC has allowed me to feel comfortable with my sexuality in a professional setting, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.”

The conference is run by Out for Undergrad, a not-for profit organisation which supports high-potential LGBT undergraduate students.