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24

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Nate Micon

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

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET NATE MICON (Yale School of Management)

Raised in Niagara Falls (NY), Nate moved to DC to study Finance and International Business at The George Washington University. Nate has been in management consulting since he graduated, first at IBM and then at Booz Allen Hamilton. Most recently, he worked as a Consultant at Greenwich Strategy where he advised corporate clients on growth strategies and performed due diligence for middle market private equity investor clients. Nate is a political news junkie and in his free time enjoys running, traveling, and (during summers, at least) exploring the beaches of New England with friends.

What made you consider business school?
When I started working, I realized the complexities of navigating large organizations as an LGBTQ individual and the difficulty of bringing one’s true self to the office. I’ve been lucky to meet some inspirational mentors along my way and my time on the Board for Booz Allen Hamilton’s LGBTQ employee diversity group enabled me to work with firm leaders who cultivated inclusive environments and empowered employees to be themselves. I’ve seen how these strong leaders can positively shape organizational culture, and how that culture can be determinative of a range of things, from morale to creativity and innovation. Business school is a way for me to hone my leadership skills so I can develop into one of those effective leaders.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I can’t wait to meet my classmates. I love hearing people’s stories. Each story helps you learn, empathize, and adds nuance to your reply to any question beginning with “Why…?”. I can’t wait to absorb these stories and grow from the collective experiences of my classmates.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
There are so many activists and leaders who I could name—and who have done so much for our community. But on a personal level, one leader is my former co-worker and the President of Booz Allen Hamilton’s LGBTQ employee diversity group (GLOBE) because he constantly pushed me to grow. He unashamedly brings his true self to work every day, and looks fierce doing it. He taught me about the power of advocacy in the workplace, he inspired me to get involved in GLOBE, and he showed me how to educate my colleagues and push an agenda of inclusiveness. He understands the intersectionality of the issues facing many groups and broadened how I defined my community. He lives the mantra of “We’re better together”.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Nothing inspires and energizes me more than being around my family and friends. Except coffee.

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26

May 2015

LGBT MBA Club Focus: Yale SOM’s Discussion of Gender Identity and Business

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

This article was written by by Yale School of Management Out of Office Club 2015-2016 President Ethan Geiling and its out going President Julie Andress.  It was originally published on the Yale SOM Blog.

Beck Bailey, mentioned throughout the blog post, is a Reaching Out alumnus who attended UMass Isenberg and graduated in ’14.

On April 27, Beck Bailey, Deputy Director of Employee Engagement at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, came to Yale SOM to discuss transgender issues in the workplace. The event was hosted by Yale SOM’s Out of Office Club, a forum for the exploration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues within the Yale School of Management community.

Bailey has been out as a transgender man for 20 years. Through his campus and corporate presentations, Bailey gives visibility to the lives of a minority population that is otherwise invisible. Only through this visibility, he mentioned, have transgender individuals asserted their humanity. Bailey emphasized the importance of allies taking steps to self-educate and advocate on behalf of transgender individuals, and he provided attendees with the following foundational information on how to create more transgender inclusive communities.

Gender expression versus identity:

Transgender is a term for people whose gender identity or expression is different from those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. Not all people who consider themselves transgender undergo surgical or medical treatment to change their bodies. Beck discussed the difference between sex (your chromosomes), gender (your attitudes and beliefs), gender identity (your deeply felt psychological identity), gender expression (your external characteristics), and sexual orientation (who you are attracted to). People often get confused between gender identity and sexual orientation. He explained the difference by saying “sexual orientation is who someone goes to bed with while gender identity is who they go to bed as.”

Increased visibility for transgender issues:

We are at the highest level of transgender visibility in U.S. history. The combination of social media, news media, and popular culture has created new awareness of the transgender community. High-profile transgender individuals like Laverne Cox, from ‘Orange is the New Black’, and Bruce Jenner are helping making transgender issues more mainstream. Over 17 million tuned into Bruce Jenner’s recent interview with ABC news to talk about his transition from a man to a woman. Last year, Facebook added over 50 different gender options, further underlining how mainstream gender identity topics have become.

Transgender issues in the workplace:

There is a strong business case for transgender inclusion in the workplace, Bailey noted. Inclusionary policies should be integrated throughout legal documents, health coverage, and employee training, and managers at all levels should demonstrate inclusive behavior. It should not have to take an employee coming out as transgender for fair standards to be adopted.

Being a transgender ally:

People can start by assessing their own biases, which are often unconscious. Effective allies listen, remain open-minded, include trans individuals in activities and social events, and they adopt a zero-tolerance policy for transphobic behavior. In addition, making assumptions about another’s gender can be harmful, and it is important for allies to leave space for others to claim their own gender identity.

Well-attended events like this one underscore the thoughtfulness and good intentions of Yale SOM students and staff. Our Out Of Office Club looks forward to advancing the dialogue on transgender inclusion and making our school a truly inclusive place for every gender identity. Please stay tuned for more Out Of Office events next year!

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