Tech-front competitors such as Google and Microsoft are putting their differences aside and teaming up together to create the new Intertech Diversity Forum at the London headquarters of Skype; the forum is a LGBT group for London’s tech sector.
Rather than Google and Microsoft being the only two big tech corporations involved, the founding members of the new LGBT group are some of the biggest names in technology: Amazon, Dell, Nokia, BAE Systems, Accenture, Avanade, Ertle Design, Made by Many, Clarity PR, PinkNews and Stonewall are also big influences for Intertech.
The tech companies threw a party to launch Intertech Diversity Forum and several of London’s tech startups also attended the event.
As “the professional network for LGBT+ people in the UK tech sector,” Intertech is free to join, and they are already planning their next event in September, in Google’s SoHo offices.
The name for InterTech was inspired by other pre-existing LGBT organizations such as InterLaw, which brings together legal professionals in the LGBT community.
The co-chairman of InterTech, Andrew MacAlpine, reflected on his experiences at Google in an interview with Tech City News. “Being gay at Google is a non-issue because you are given the freedom to be yourself. I would love for InterTech to empower and enable other LGBT+ people to replicate that type of environment in their own workplace.”
At the event, Andrew Sinclair, the General Manager of Skype told InterTech members, “We have a great history of building diversity within our workforce. In fact in 1989, Microsoft was one of the first big global companies that gave same-sex domestic partners benefits and to have diversity policies around gender identity. It’s something that we’re very proud of and something that we have been driving for such a long time.”
InterTech Diversity Forum’s first event raised nearly $2,687, including a donation by Google for AllOut, the LGBT campaigning charity, of $1,305.