Sounds like a contradiction sometimes, doesn’t it? The business environment hasn’t traditionally been known to be a wonderfully accepting and liberal sphere, but, to borrow a phrase from Dan Savage, it gets better.
When I first decided to join this program, I was worried that I would have to downplay certain aspects of my self that might not mesh with the traditionally conservative environment of business school and the business world. A big decision for me when writing my personal statements regarded whether or not I share my sexuality. I didn’t. I regret that a little. I was hiding an aspect of myself that has contributed so much to my personal growth and my personality. Why? I didn’t feel comfortable.
Doing some more research, I looked into the work the Human Rights Coalition has been doing with Fortune 500 companies and their rankings of these companies in regards to their LGBTQ-friendliness. The HRC releases annually their Corporate Equality Index, where they score Fortune 500 companies on a variety of metrics such as diversity programs, domestic partner benefits, and so forth. They also release an annual list of best places to work for the LGBTQ community. Check out statements from companies that have scored 100 on the CEI here, and a list of the best places to work by industry here. You will be surprised and impressed by who you see. A Fortune 17 company in our own backyard is amongst the perfect score winners: Cardinal Health.
So what I have been doing on my part to make our Fisher College of Business more LGBTQ-friendly? I am a member of OiB, Out In Business, an undergraduate and graduate organization specifically tailored for Fisher students, LGBTQ or otherwise. Our mission statement is to to inform, involve, and inspire business students by connecting them with the resources and tools necessary to successfully advance social justice, equal rights, diversity, and inclusive initiatives at Fisher and in the community.
We’ve done great things like social mixers, invite speakers and throw events like fashion shows. Were you at any of them? I’m thinking not. Our membership is down and the word is ironically in, not out, about our group. So where do we go from here?
We have launched an aggressive social media campaign that spans Facebook (click hyperlink to see the group), Twitter and, you guessed it, my blog. There are more events coming up like speaking events featuring LGBTQ leaders of local industry, more social events and awareness programs. This group is open to everyone and I’d love to see some of you Fisher students at our events and our meetings. Working together, applying our unique skills and the business acumen that makes us Fisher students, we can make our college a true reflection of the business world today, and build a vision of what we want the business world to look like tomorrow.