Gone are the days of Facebook complicating your life with a new set of relationship labels—this time, they’re coming for your degree! That’s right, the Silicon Valley giant is hosting the second annual Out for Undergraduate Technology Conference this weekend, an event that will bring almost 200 eligible LGBT college students to the company’s Menlo Park, CA campus for an intense career fair that encourages other tech-based companies to act on their gay-friendly hiring policies.
Future gay moguls attending the exclusive event are offered educational sessions on LGBT issues in the workplace, networking and surviving job interviews throughout the weekend, which will culminate in a career fair that hosts recruiters from LGBT workplace champions like Yahoo, Twitter, Netfix, eBay, and Pandora, just to name a few. Getting an invite isn’t easy, though—hopefuls had to submit resumes, transcripts, and extensive questionnaires about their personal lives before being considered for a highly-revered spot at the conference. “These are students who come from traditional STEM backgrounds who also happen to share a bond when it comes to their gender and sexual identity,” says Dale Dwelle, Associate Director of the conference. “We need to think about letting these students know that they’re not alone. There are others out there who have been able to navigate these channels.”
The conference not only aims to hire LGBT hopefuls at major tech companies, but advocates a safer and more productive working environment for all. “It might really be scary to consider being as open in a corporate setting as you are at your university,” Michael Ruderman, Executive Director of OUTC adds, citing a 2011 Harvard Business Review study showing closeted LGBT employees are less likely to be promoted, more likely to feel isolated, and more likely to leave their jobs early. “Our hope for these students is that they realize they can be their true selves everywhere in their lives.”