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Why we need Out Women in Business
Can you name a woman at the top of her field? We’ll give you a few seconds. While you think, here’s some Wonder Woman.
Got one in your mind? Good. Here’s just a few guesses on where your brain wandered. Maybe you went political and thought of Hillary Clinton or Angela Merkel. Perhaps your mind went to the business world and thought of Mary Barra or Indra Nooyi – the CEOs of GM and PepsiCo, respectively. Maybe you even thought about music, and Katy Perry or Beyoncé came to mind. These women are admirable and accomplished, breaking glass ceilings whenever they face them. In addition to all being women, they have something else in common: they’re all straight (at least as far as we know).
Lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LBTQ) women are woefully underrepresented in business. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have no doubt that LBTQ women are well-represented; they’re just not out at work. That’s understandable given the well-established evidence that women and LGBTQ people both face potential discrimination in the workplace. The data on LGBTQ people of color and employment is even more stark. But none of this will change unless we work together, as a community, to make sure that people can be out at work. Non-discrimination protection is key, but so is creating a strong network of LBTQ women to lean on for support, guidance, and development on how to be out at work. That’s where the Out Women in Business (OWIB) Conference comes in.
On April 1, we’ll meet in New York at OWIB to create a more united and visible community of out women in different industries. Together, we can form a strong, visible network of professionals that will inspire future generations of LBTQ women. Come and learn from some incredible speakers as they share their experiences of being out at work. Let’s change those statistics about LBTQ women and unemployment. Let’s work as a community to be more out, more present at work. Let’s turn the “double glass ceiling” narrative on its head. Register here for OWIB and build the world we want to live and work in.
ROMBA Student Organizer Profile: Roxanna Solorzano
n addition to Reaching Out’s staff, each year the Reaching Out LGBT MBA & Business Graduate Conference’s content is developed and produced by MBA & graduate students from schools across the world. These core group of the students working on the ROMBA Conference are known as the “Student Organizing Committee.” The Organizing Committee comes up with the conference’s theme, ideates all breakout sessions, and is seen prominently on the ground at the conference!
Over the next few weeks we’ll highlight each of this year’s 8 organizers and share some of their tips for those planning to attend this year’s LGBT MBA & Business Graduate Conference! Not only will they tell you what they are most excited about for this year’s conference, but they’ll also give readers tips on the summer internship search & experience!
Name: Roxana Solorzano
School (Program/Concentration): Johnson at Cornell University (Strategic Management)
Summer Internship: Summer Associate at Bain & Company in Mexico City
What you’re most excited about for ROMBA 2015?
I love Chicago and I´m looking forward to being surrounded by so many interesting people in such an amazing city. The sessions and keynotes will be absolutely inspiring.
What advice do you have for students, particularly those recruiting, going to ROMBA 2015 in Chicago?
The first time I went to ROMBA I was a bit intimidated but I soon learned that everyone was there to help, make connections and have fun. The atmosphere is great, everyone has so many things in common and at the same time such unique experiences that spending the weekend talking to people is, in itself, a great plan. Be yourself and have clear goals for the conference; don´t forget to include having fun among those goals.
What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship?
My goal is to understand what being a consultant actually means. I´m very excited to work with so many talented people from around the world and to be back in my home country after several years.
How did your first year as a graduate student prepare you for your summer?
The first year of business school was quite intense and full of new experiences. I had to adapt to a new country and get used to being a student again. I wanted to get involved in as many things as possible and build relationships with my classmates and faculty. I learned how to manage my time more effectively and to prioritize activities to make the most out of every day. Coming from a “non traditional” background I expected to feel a little overwhelmed but I was pleasantly surprised by how many transferable skills applied to my new career choice. Year 1 definitely taught me how to focus on the most important things and to be more effective in my internship.
What valuable piece of advice can you offer readers going into their summer internship?
“Our recruiting process works and you’re here for a good reason. Don´t be afraid to ask for help and think twice if you don´t have questions, you should.”