Dr. Jovan Dragelj

“Breaking the Wall of LGBTQ+ invisibility in STEM”

The visibility of LGBTQ+  individuals in “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professions is relatively low, which leads to lack of diversity. Neutrality of identity is encouraged, but it can also create a negative environment of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, where members of LGBTQ+  community are torn between how are they perceived at work and who they truly are. Studies show that 40% of professionals in STEM have reported not being out at work, leading to more than 20% less representation. At LGBTQ STEM Berlin, we aim to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ people in STEM through events connecting the community and activism. In this talk, the aforementioned issues of LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM will be discussed and how we, LGBTQ+ or an ally, can help visibility and therefore achieve more equity and diversity. Additionally, some of my own personal and professional path as an out and open LGBTQ+ individual from STEM will be shown.

Jovan Dragelj finished his Bachelor and Master studies in chemistry in Belgrade, Serbia. Following that, he worked as a chemistry teacher and did research at University of Belgrade. In 2019, he obtained a PhD in (computational) chemistry at Freie Universitaet Berlin. Currently, he works as a postdoc at Technische Universität Berlin. His scientific focus is on biomolecules, exploring their functions in the virtual setting and finding possible applications within the excellence cluster UniSySCat. Besides his research LGBTQ+ rights are important to him. In addition to giving talks on this topic, in 2019, with a group of likely minded individuals, he founded LGBTQ STEM Berlin, an initiative with the focus on visibility of LGBTQ+ people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields

Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @jdragelj