Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business has announced that it is launching a new course for LGBT mid-career professionals who want to achieve executive-level positions.
The first week-long course at the Californian instate will take place at the end of July. Fifty slots are available on the course, which has a fee of $12,000.
According to Wall Street Journal individuals can directly apply to join the LGBT Executive Leadership Program, or candidates with at least a decade of professional experience and five years of management experience can be nominated by their employers.
The program’s directors, professor Sarah Soule and lecturer Thomas Wurster, say that the course will address topics like authentic leadership and being open about sexuality at work – as well as exploring the psychology of power and offering participants the opportunity to build their own network of LGBT peers.
‘The LGBT Executive Leadership Program gives you the strategic insights, personal leadership skills, and powerful network to accelerate your career,’ says a statement about the course on the Stanford University 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.’
Although many Fortune500 companies now invest money in promoting their diversity and inclusion practices and participate in initiatives such as Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index – in which they are scored according to their LGBT-friendly policies – the number of openly LGBT senior executives and CEOs has been slow to rise.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is probably the most famous gay person to head a global brand. Martine Rothblatt, founder of United Therapeutics, made headlines as a trans business leader recently when it was revealed that she is now one of the highest-paid women in America.
Inga Beale, who is bisexual and the CEO of Lloyds of London, recently topped a global ranking of LGBT executives produced by OUTstanding. Others to figure high in its ranking include Alan Joyce, the gay CEO of Qantas Airlines, and Antonio Simoes, Chief Executive of HSBC Bank plc.
News of the Stanford program was welcomed by Selisse Berry, President of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, who told Gay Star Business, ‘LGBT employee leadership training and LGBT executive networking have been integral parts of Out & Equal’s mission for the past 20 years and we applaud Stanford for also recognizing the critical need for greater LGBT representation in the C-suite, starting with tomorrow’s workforce leaders.
‘We are delighted to see one of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions work toward fostering LGBT leadership advancement and look forward to seeing others join us in this vitally important engagement.’