Out Leadership, a global business advisory organization, today announced the launch of OutWOMEN, an initiative that champions the success of senior LGBT women in business. Beth Brooke-Marciniak, global vice chair of public policy, EY and a member of Out Leadership’s Global Advisory Board, and Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, will co-chair the inaugural OutWOMEN event in March.
OutWOMEN is an important new platform Out Leadership will build to bring together senior LGBT executives to create business opportunities and cultivate talent – and thereby drive equality forward.
“Leaders in the LGBT business space and people in the trenches, who are working to deliver on the business promise of LGBT inclusion, have long asked: ‘Where are the women?’” said Stephanie Sandberg, managing director of Advisory & Client Services, Out Leadership. “We’ve observed that LGBT women are often under-recognized and underserved in the conversation. OutWOMEN is our platform to serve this impactful network, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity.”
“Being out, being senior and being seen to have succeeded nonetheless, makes a difference,” said Ms. Brooke-Marciniak. “There are precious few women role models in the upper echelons of leadership. Just five percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and less than one percent of FTSE 250 CEO slots are held by women. Even fewer of these women openly identify as LGBT. Building this network helps each of us to visualize the path ahead to pursue executive leadership, leverage the full strength of our authenticity, and be the role models for tomorrow’s LGBT women leaders.”
OutWOMEN organizes global engagement opportunities for LGBT women in significant leadership positions at major companies. In its first year, it will convene a series of private, invitation-only salon dinners in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong. These dinners will center on engaging conversation and facilitating cross-business opportunity among a curated cohort of senior LGBT women executives. OutWOMEN will also host breakfasts at Out Leadership’s 2016 summits in New York, Hong Kong and London, which will be open to younger women and allies of the group.
“There’s a real dearth of institutional and organizational support for successful LGBT women in business. OutWOMEN addresses a clear and present need,” said Ms. Rothblatt, “The women it will serve face unique opportunities and challenges as a result of their shared identities and experiences, and I’m delighted and honored to help guide the initiative forward. It is an awesome mission.”