ST. LOUIS, Mo. - LaunchCode is starting the "Code With Pride" networking group to engage and support members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies who work in the tech industry in the St. Louis area.
A "Code With Pride" Kickoff event will be held on Friday, June 15, at 6:00 p.m. at LaunchCode's Mentor Center (4811 Delmar) to invite people into the group and gain feedback on what members would like to gain from participating. The free event will feature drinks provided by Center Ice Brewery and snacks provided by Piccione Pastry.
Kickoff attendees will hear from LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies who will be speaking on the importance of inclusivity in the workplace, and all attendees will be invited to provide ideas for future meet ups. Free, limited parking is available at the Mentor Center and meter parking is also available.
The purpose of the group is to build a supportive and like-minded community and give members tools and resources to succeed in their careers or future careers. Through "Code With Pride", organizers are hoping to host social networking events as well as career development activities such as resume workshops, guest speakers and a chance to work on interview skills.
"I've been “out” in my personal life for the past 15 years, but it is only now that I work at LaunchCode that I feel comfortable being “out” at work," explained Rosanna Speller, Software Engineer at LaunchCode and event organizer. "I am fortunate enough to be a queer individual who has navigated my way into a tech career, but I know the path is still difficult to navigate for individuals from underrepresented groups in tech -- specifically LGBTQ+ folks, women, people of color and those from low-income households."
"Any kind of job search can be scary for LGBTQ+ individuals, as we may not know how a company or individual may react to discovering our sexual orientation or gender identity," said Speller. "We're excited for "Code With Pride" to help break down those barriers and bring like-minded individuals together in a fun environment."