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Apr 2016

Out Women in Business 2016 Recap

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Thank you for joining us for #OWiB2016 - Friday was a blast! 320 registrants spent the day learning from and connecting with one another at the Out Women in Business Conference in New York. We couldn’t have pulled off this great conference without our presenting sponsors: AccentureEYLiberty Mutual, our reception sponsor: Citi, and our airline sponsor: United Airlines.
As a recap, beginning around 9:00am, we heard from some incredible speakers and thinkers who broadened our minds and challenged what it means to be an out woman at work.
Arwa Mahdawi gave us a view into the complexities of diversity at work today. She spoke about how to avoid tokenism and combat institutional inequality. Taking on the adage of “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” Arwa uses humor to combat inequality. In fact, she created the satirical website Rent-A-Minority to shine a spotlight on systemic inequality!
global panel
After Arwa’s talk, we learned from five incredible people about being out women across the world. Representing Europe, Asia, and South America, Milena Otasevic (one of our steering committee members from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University) spoke withMaria Sjödin (OutRight Action International), Karen Potter (Citi), Maital Dar (EY), and Bachul Koul (A.T. Kearney) at length. They each talked about their experiences, particularly speaking to how difficult it can be to be out in regions of the world where homosexuality is either still a crime or not widely accepted in society.
design workshop
After a brief break, we dug into design thinking with Lotus Child from Arson Agency. Lotus led us in a workshop to push our boundaries and keep our creativity flowing when we approach problems and design solutions. Jacob Tobia, a genderqueer activist, taught us about how problematic the gender binary is for gender justice. They encouraged us to open our minds when we think about what an “out woman” is.
other industries panel
Jennifer Brown facilitated a discussion across industries between  Annise Parker,  Roberta Kaplan, and Nevin Caple. Each of them gave lessons from their own experiences — in politics, law and sports, respectively — about how being an LBT woman has affected their professional lives and where they think the moment for equality is headed. Finally, we learned from  Vivienne Ming‘s time in the tech industry and her research on the unexpected tax on LGBT people due to recruiting in the job market. She gave us great insights into how to combat the stigma from the work she’s doing. We closed off Friday with a networking reception at the end of the day, sponsored by Citi.
SCAN NYC photo
Then on Saturday a small group of OWiB attendees came together to meet with a dozen inner-city at-risk LBT youth for a mentor program with SCAN NY (facilitated by United).  Those who were able to attend walked away inspired by their experience.
Thanks to everyone who came to learn, speak, and support Out Women in Business! We hope to see all of you again at the conference next Spring.

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Mar 2016

NCAA, It’s Time to #GiveBackIX

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Reaching Out is proud to join a coalition of over 70 LGBTQ, sports, religious, and youth advocacy groups calling on the NCAA to divest from all religious-based institutions who have made Title IX requests to discriminate against LGBTQ youth. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education decided to include protection for transgender students under Title IX, triggering these religious exemption requests from 59 NCAA member institutions on Campus Pride’s #ShameList.

We stand with Campus Pride reminding the NCAA of its core values of integrity, inclusive culture, and sportsmanship. The NCAA should continue its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion of all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Transgender people already face systemic discrimination and disproportionate rates of poverty, suicide, and murder. Schools that are affiliated with the NCAA should be dedicated to fostering a campus that allows all students to flourish both academically and in co-curricular activities such as athletics.

Along with Campus Pride and the other signatories on the letter to the NCAA President, NCAA Executive Team, and NCAA Board of Governors, Reaching Out is committed to the students at all of our LGBT Club Affiliate schools, and we hope to see movement from the NCAA on this matter soon. It’s time to #GiveBackIX.


Mar 2016

Class of 2017 Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows Retreat Recap

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Reaching Out had the pleasure of spending last weekend in the City by the Bay with 22 of our incredible LGBT MBA Fellows, each of whom is a business student in this scholarship & leadership development program.

Representing 17 top MBA programs from across the United States and Canada, these Fellows brought their enthusiasm for business and LGBTQ leadership to San Francisco for a weekend retreat filled with learning, professional development, and bonding.

Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), spoke about her 20-year career working for equal civil rights for LGBT people. In conversation with ROMBA’s Executive Director Matt Kidd, Kate spoke frankly about the triumphs and setbacks she’s seen from the passage of California’s Proposition 8 to nationwide marriage equality and more. “Be more ferocious than you think you are,” Kate challenged the group. From her, the Fellows got the chance to think about the kind of leaders they can become.

After Kate, the Fellows learned about “Leading Out Loud” from Stanford Graduate School of Business Lecturer J.D. Schramm. J.D. spoke to the Fellows and encouraged them to find an authentic communication platform to share their their LGBTQ identities. As J.D. instructed them to engage levers, explore actions, and embrace their communication tools, each Fellow got strategic guidance on how they share stories. From Kate and J.D.’s lessons, our Fellows came together as a cohort, learning from and with each other.

But the weekend wasn’t all work, no play. In the afternoon, we set out to the Castro to learn about San Francisco’s storied LGBTQ history from Kathy Amendola at Cruisin’ the Castro Walking Tours. As we trekked through Harvey Milk’s old stomping grounds under a 20’ x 30’ rainbow flag, we listened to tales of triumph and sorrow that deepened our understanding of what it meant to be LGBTQ in the past, and how our community’s past can inform its future. From Pink Triangle Park to Twin Peaks — the first gay bar in the country to have windows after homosexuality was decriminalized — we learned about the Castro’s legacy.

People describe San Francisco as a foodie’s paradise, and our Fellows got to experience this first-hand. We ate at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar on Friday, a truly one-of-a-kind tiki restaurant serving Asian cuisine and tropical drinks. On Saturday, we went to the movies…for dinner at Foreign Cinema. We feasted on food surrounded by the sights and sounds of film — a particularly fitting dinner the night before the Academy Awards. All in all, the Fellows came to San Francisco as individuals, but left as peers, colleagues, and friends. Reaching Out MBA’s Class of 2017 Fellows are an impressive cohort. We know that we’ll see more great things from them soon.

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