Pride Month: 5 LGBTQ-friendly business schools
Many of today’s MBA programmes are slowly seeing an uptick in women and minority students being represented. Despite this accomplishment, business schools still have a long way to go towards championing diversity and inclusion in graduate business education, especially when it comes to the LGBTQ community.
Not unlike the workforce, which is seeing recruiters placing increasing emphasis on diversity in hiring practices, business schools today are also working towards becoming more inclusive for LGBTQ students by creating policies and supportive environments that meet the needs of students with a broad spectrum of gender and sexual identities.
These safe places are being provided through clubs, resources, and gender inclusive spaces such as LGBTQ housing.
A survey by Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) confirms this. Of 3,000 students from 23 elite MBA programmes, 88% agreed or strongly agreed that their campuses were aware of LGBTQ issues and current events; 39% have witnessed these issues being voiced out on campus on several occasions.
In honour of Pride Month – which takes place every June across the globe to commemorate a tipping point in queer history – here are five business schools around the world that are LGBTQ-friendly:
Harvard University, Harvard Business School
Every year, Harvard Business School (HBS) hosts an open house food LGBTQ+ applicants.
Upon arriving, the admissions team will conduct class tours, a round table discussion with current students and an admissions presentation. Additionally, the LGBTQ Conference at Harvard is held every year to serve as a platform for diverse voices within the community and allies to come together.
HBS is also home to PRIDE, an organisation of LGBTQ+ students and their partners.
New York University, Stern School of Business
In New York City – regarded as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the US – lies New York University’s Stern School of Business, an equally LGBTQ-friendly place for aspiring MBA candidates.
The OutClass is the school’s LGBTQ Community Club. Out Women in Business brings together lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students to inspire LBT women to infiltrate the business world. Students also have access to ROMBA, an organisation that connects members of the LGBTQ community at US Business Schools.
What’s more, the NYU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center creates a welcoming environment for students and faculty interested in understanding LGBTQ issues.
Columbia University, Columbia Business School
Cluster Q is Columbia Business School’s LGBT Business Association, open to all lesbian, gay, queer, transgender, and queer students, faculty members, and administrators.
Its membership is one of the world’s largest and most diverse among business schools. Cluster Q also boasts the largest representation of straight allies in the world. Together, they focus on creating a robust network to provide extensive resources and opportunities to the community.
London Business School
For years, London Business School has done everything they can to foster an inclusive environment for those within the LGBTQ community by empowering students and staff with access to a strong network of like-minded leaders and campus-wide events enabled by the support of allies.
This includes being home to the Out in Business (OiB), one of the most active clubs on campus for both LGBTQ+ students and allies. OiB hosts dozens of inclusion and social events from monthly mixers to hosting the year’s biggest party, White Party, at London’s iconic Heaven nightclub.
There’s also The EUROUT Conference, delivered by the OiB club. The EUROUT conference is held annually and brings over 350 delegates, employers and activists together from around the world to connect, grow, and discuss current issues at the intersection of business and LGBTQ+ rights.
OUTSEAD represents the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and others) community at INSEAD. The club’s purpose is to foster an inclusive atmosphere for everyone on campus, and provide a social network for community members and allies alike, notes its website.
Here, students can find bi-weekly events that boost awareness of INSEAD’s LGBTQ+ community, mentorship programmes for existing LGBTQ+-identifying students to meet OUTSEAD alumni, in addition to peer support, among other activities, for the LGBTQ+ community.