Class of 2021 BEQ Pride LGBTQ Leader Under 40
(They, Their) is 28
The year 2020 feels like a worldwide wake-up call in so many ways. As a leader, I realize the most important thing I have learned and will take forward is…
The value in centering the voices and lived experiences of individuals who are diverse in race, gender identity, expression, sexual orientation, age, and experience. Seek out the most marginalized, provide them a seat at the table, and listen to them; I know I will.
Matthew Welmers is an analytical chemist for INX International Ink Co — their day job. Welmers’ gay job is with oSTEM, a non-profit professional association for LGBTQ+ people in the STEM community. Welmers is also on the DEI Committee of Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional chemistry fraternity. Through their oSTEM and Alpha Chi Sigma service, they are working towards their dream of LG embracing the BTQ. Welmers holds both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Matthew Welmers says they don’t have an employee resource group at their company and they are hopeful they can be instrumental in developing the infrastructure needed to create one soon. Having a professional community matters. Welmers leads by being, “unabashedly myself”; their office is decorated with pride flags and they wear their pride on their wrist in the form of rainbow bands — visible.
Welmer’s colleagues say they are “a cross-functional queer rockstar”. Welmers has been a team leader behind the annual Out in STEM (oSTEM) national conference since 2015. That means Welmers has been continuously working more than two jobs for more than five years.
By day they are a chemist at INX International Ink Co and by night a conference chair, a mouthful for sure. oSTEM on-location attendees included over 1,000 students and professionals who experience top-notch programming, logistics, sponsors and technology due in large part to Welmers.
Despite going virtual for 2020 oSTEM enjoyed record registration with 1,600 registered for the 10th annual event. There were 40+ hours of programming content, two keynotes and many networking opportunities in a virtual setting.
Their efforts do not go unnoticed and the impact of the momentum experienced during the conference is felt by the oSTEM community throughout the year.
As a leader, Welmers is described as patient, understanding of team dynamics and dedicated to bringing ideas to life. To play a lead role in the planning and execution of a conference experience can be challenging, but the reward of seeing the community thrive is sweet. oSTEM students graduate and most go on to become the next generation of queer leaders in the workforce. This is possible in part because of the leadership of Matthew Welmers.