This event is made possible thanks to Mr. Richard A. Chicotel and Shorenstein Properties. Mr. Richard A. Chicotel was the chief financial officer of Shorenstein Properties, one of the country’s oldest real estate organizations, and a past Reaching Out LGBT MBA attendee who died unexpectedly on January 10, 2012 at the age of 52. Mr. Chicotel was an active fundraiser and advocate for causes in the LGBT community and was particularly moved by the passion and energy of our attendees. Thanks to the generosity of his estate and Shorenstein Properties, Reaching Out MBA is able to continue to offer no-cost attendance for students and provide travel for speakers to the annual LGBTQ School Leadership Summit.
Reaching Out held its annual Leadership Summit this April in Chicago at the Booth School of Business. This one-day summit invited leaders of LGBTQ MBA clubs to build their network, share ideas, and raise visibility on their campus. Topics covered outreach on campus, building awareness, and growing LGBT MBA student club organizations. Club Leaders from over 35 business schools were in attendance, including representatives from Canada and Europe.
A brief summary of what the event looked like below:
The event started off with a Welcome Address from Executive Director, Matt Kidd during which an overview of new plans for the 2017-2018 year and the history of the relationship with club leaders was presented. Afterwards, each club was given the floor to present their top priorities, challenges, and achievements. This serves the purpose of allowing staff to understand what types of resources the clubs need and also helps to match skill sets among the schools and allow them to share their best practices.
Engaging Allies through the Corporate Equality Index
A presentation on the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index explained the statistics and criteria that make up the index survey. As the US doesn’t have uniformly protect LGBTQ rights, the CEI can help to be a measure of that for larger corporations. Attendants were walked through what they should examine in a CEI score for a potential employer. An interesting note was made that the index only determines what policies and measures are in place. It cannot measure the culture or day-to-day experience. This led to a discussion about corporate culture and the ways that it can be quantified.
Promoting allyship on campus can be much more effective when connected to other campus clubs. Club leaders with successful campaigns in co-sponsored events led this interactive workshop. Split into groups by geographic location, students brainstormed potential ideas, discussed procedures for cross-promotion, and set tentative schedules for the year.
Over lunch, three breakout sessions were held to cover specialized topics:
• Bridging The Gap Across LGBTQs addressed how to close the gap among race, social-economic background, and international students who tend to be left out within the main-stream LGBTQI movement.
• Spotlight on Effective Professional Development, Recruitment and Alumni Relations presented what current trends across LGBTQ+ recruiting and placement exist, and how to use that knowledge to build professional development training and resources.
• Impacting the Greater LGBT Community explored ways to leverage the LGBTQ Clubs and MBA community to have a positive impact on LGBTQ communities outside of business school.
The Steering Committee for the 20th Year ROMBA Conference and Gala provided updates for this year’s conference and discussed ways that clubs can engage alumni leading up to and at the event. They also had the honor of notifying the students that Anderson Cooper would be the keynote speaker this year.
Enhancing LGBTQ Admissions
The day ended with talking about how to recruit LGBTQ students to business schools. An Admissions representative from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business spoke on what these teams do to recruit and invited students to discuss ways that clubs can become involved in that process. Using prompts, groups were challenged to come up with ways to recruit LGBTQ talent. From being situated in the South, to being a small campus or having no LGBTQ presence, tactics were created to recruit different populations within the LGBTQ community.
The relationship between Reaching Out and its club affiliates is critical to the success of the organization. We thank all of you who were able to attend and look forward to next year’s summit!