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May 2017

2017 Brazil Conference

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

On May 6th, the third annual Reaching Out Brazil Conference was held in São Paolo, Brazil. A record number of attendants were at this year’s conference with nearly 400 students and young professionals registered.

The mission of the conference is to give LGBTQ students & young professionals in Brazil and surrounding countries the opportunity to discover the value and importance of being out as an LGBTQ person in the workplace. The event is structured to encourage participants to form connections with their peers, gain inspiration from the experiences shared by professional LGBT speakers, and learn about career opportunities with top-tier employers in consulting, finance, technology and marketing, which are looking to recruit LGBTQ talent.

The morning began with a Welcome Address from Reaching Out’s Executive Director, Matt Kidd and led into a panel titled Generational Diversity in Organizations. A large part of today’s workforce is comprised of Generation Y employees who come with their own expectations of the workplace, as part of the LGBTQ community and otherwise. This topic discussed the current trends that millennials find most important in the workplace by drawing on the experiences of young employees and senior industry leaders.

Three breakout sessions followed the panel and allowed the participants to spend time learning about specialized areas according to their career interests and level.

What is it like working in your industry brought representatives from the conference sponsors to talk about their experiences in their company and industry as an employee and an LGBTQ employee.
CV Analysis invited participants to have their resume reviewed to aid their job searches and to understand what employees look during the application phase.
Consideration of Graduate Programs analyzed the benefits of pursuing additional diplomas, addressed the question of “What is it like to be a Brazilian student in an international school?” and highlighted industry areas that are proving to be the most popular choices for continuing education.

The morning ended with a session titled Ability To Expose Yourself As an LGBTQ Leader. Professionals shared personal stories about the first time they felt empowered to expose themselves and be seen as LGBTQ leaders. Special emphasis was placed on lesbians, bisexual women, and the transgender community as these parts of the community have been under represented in the workplace. Afterwards, a moderated Q&A was held to allow the speakers to advise individual questions.

After lunch, McKinsey & Company Partner & Global Recruitment Leader, Brian Rolfes delivered an address about the LGBTQ vision and how it has changed over time and in global settings. As a supporting founder of GLAM, McKinsey’s gay and lesbian affinity group, he has been with the company for 19 years and has seen many changes come to inclusion in the workplace.

Following Brian were two speakers who are heavily involved in the Brazilian LGBTQ community, Reinaldo Bulgarelli and Márcia Rocha. Reinaldo serves as the Executive Secretary of the LGBT Business and Rights Forum and teaches courses on human rights and corporate social responsibility in three separate schools. Márcia holds a seat on the Sexual Rights Committee of the World Association for Sexual Health and also works as a lawyer. They both shared their how they have combined their business careers with LGBTQ activism and education.

The day ended with a career fair with the conference sponsors and a reception hosted by AmBev.

Obrigado por participar!




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Apr 2016

Standing with Duke Fuqua and UNC Kenan-Flagler Against HB2

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Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua's 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua’s 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

We at Reaching Out MBA want to express our support and solidarity for our schools in North Carolina  in the wake of the passage of House Bill 2. We know that the passage of HB2 is damaging, but we want to stand in strength with our students, leaders, and clubs at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 "Ask A Queer" event.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 “Ask A Queer” event.

Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club have each spoken out against the anti-LGBT legislation, noting that #WeAreBetterThanThis. We know, and our students know, that laws like this are not what North Carolina is about. Below are the public statements from Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club.


Statement from FuquaPride and its Allies at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business:

FuquaPride, the Duke MBA LGBT network, in conjunction with Fuqua’s student government, the MBA Association, as well with our allies in the MBA Association of Women in Business and the Black and Latino MBA Association, is deeply troubled by North Carolina’s regressive HB2 law. Today, we publicly reconfirm our commitment to growing and maintaining the Fuqua value of Collective Diversity that keeps “Team Fuqua” special and a transformative experience for its members. The installation of a gender neutral bathroom, the success of all FuquaPride events (including the sold-out annual drag show), and the prioritizing of LGBT admissions efforts are proof to the inclusive and thriving environment for LGBT students at Fuqua and of our school’s support. This law will not change that.

We can’t change this legislation tomorrow, but we do have the power – through our hearts and our actions – to send a signal today to North Carolina that as members of Team Fuqua and other leading MBA programs #WeAreBetterThanThis.


As student representatives at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we condemn the actions taken by the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory to pass House Bill 2 into law. HB2 intentionally excludes the LGBT community and veterans from statewide anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation, and prohibits and nullifies any local law or ordinance that provides such protections. Passing this law egregiously erodes civil rights protections, endangers some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and harms the reputations and cohesion of our state, local governments, and valued institutions.

The proponents of this bill invented a moral panic out of whole cloth, depicting transgender individuals as predators intent on accessing bathrooms to assault women and children. Not only is there no record of any such thing ever occurring, but transgender people are often put in serious danger when forced to use facilities conflicting with their gender identity.

We applaud the major employers in our state that have staked out clear positions against HB2. However, we have severe concerns that the law will make it impossible for our top-ranked school to continue attracting the best students, faculty, and staff. HB2 is rapidly wearing away our state’s global reputation as a beacon of growth and innovation. As a public institution of North Carolina, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s reputation will likewise suffer among prospective students, the companies that recruit our graduates, and the international business community.

Our leaders’ actions place North Carolina wholly on the wrong side of history. We choose to stand by the core values of our school: excellence, leadership, integrity, community, and teamwork, and so we implore the General Assembly and Governor McCrory to reconvene and cooperate to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination act that respects, values, and protects all of North Carolina and our people.

Susan Lawrence Hedglin, President of the MBA Student Association

Jonathan Aronoff, Vice President for Diversity

on behalf of:

MBA Student Association Executive Council

Association of Minority Business Students

MBA@UNC LGBTQ Interest Group

Pride Club

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Feb 2015

Transgender Inclusion in Business School

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UMass alumnus & HRC employee Beck Bailey at ROMBA 2014 in San Francisco

Today’s New York Times has a great article that focuses on transgender inclusion, its progress, challenges, and how ultimately business school and graduate degrees may be the key to more transgender inclusion in the workplace.

The article includes interviews with Reaching Out’s Executive Director Matt Kidd, MBA alumni including Beck Bailey (UMass Amherst alumnus now at The Human Rights Campaign) and Danielle Piergallini (Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management alumnus now at American Airlines).

Read the full article at the New York Times

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