My sexuality never influenced what career path I chose and I do not believe it will negatively impact my progression. I am driven to take on challenges – however scary – and deliver great results; engineering provides opportunities to do this.
I don’t like to define people by their jobs, and as such I don’t see any boundaries between my life as a ‘gay man’ and life as a ‘gay engineer’. I bring my whole self to work and I expect my workplace to value that – it’s what I’m paid for after all!
The most common challenge that I find at work is the use of language – I often hear unconscious bias, however I don’t believe this is specific to engineering; I’m sure if you asked a doctor or a banker you’d hear a similar story.
I do see a disconnection between my work place and professional bodies. Conservative by nature, professional bodies have been slow to recognise LGBT equality as a challenge that they should get involved with. As the face of our industry (and recipient of our membership fees!) I believe we need to influence them to be much more progressive.