Stanford University launches LGBT business program

Apple's Tim Cook, the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO

Apple’s Tim Cook, the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO

One of the world’s leading universities has launched a program specifically for LGBT business leaders.

News of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business’ LGBT leadership program was reported by the Wall Street Journal, which called it a “boot camp for gay business leaders.”

The exclusive week-long programme will run at the California institution from 31 July to 5 August and will accept no more than 50 people.

“The LGBT Executive Leadership Program gives you the strategic insights, personal leadership skills, and powerful network to accelerate your career,” says Stanford on its website.

“This is the only Executive Education program of its kind offered by a leading business school to address the significant gap in leadership for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people in the C-suite.”

The C-suite describes those who hold business management positions with the word “chief” in the titles.

“The program combines personal leadership assessments and insights with hands-on design thinking innovation to teach executives to lead with strength and impact,” said Program Co-director Sarah Soule. “These are invaluable insights that will advance the potential for many promising individuals in our program.”

The ideal candidate is the LGBT executive with a minimum of 10 years professional experience and five years of management experience who is preparing to take on more significant leadership roles

It’s a pricey undertaking, at a cost of $12,000 (R197,000) per person, although it does include private accommodation, all meals, and course materials. Applications close on 24 June.

In the US, leading corporations have become increasingly open in their support of LGBT equality. In the latest Corporate Equality Index released in November by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, nearly half of the 851 US companies surveyed received perfect scores for employment policies that achieve equality for LGBT employees.  

Despite this, few openly-LGBT business people hold top leadership positions in global companies today. In October 2014, the head of Apple, Tim Cook, became the first Fortune 500 CEO to come out as gay, writing: “I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend