When you think about Stanford University’s world renowned graduate business school, you might anticipate courses such as Accounting and Financial Management. Or Negotiations and Strategic Decision Making. Perhaps Ethics and Corporate Governance. But what about LGBT Leadership Training?
Stanford University will soon be offering an executive education course to help LGBT managers develop leadership skills. The university’s graduate school of business has created a weeklong program for LGBT individuals who hope to become future corporate leaders.
The program will be available to up to 50 participants and will cost $12,000 (approximately £8,200) for the weeklong professional development course. The new initiative is targeting a population that has not been well known (other than a small handful of famous CEOs) for its representation at the top of the corporate ladder. Dr. Thomas Wurster, one of the program’s directors, explains: “We’re at an inflection point. Companies are moving quickly to build out diversity in their leadership teams, but we’ve seen relatively few senior executives who are LGBT and out.”
The CEO of Grindr, Joe Simkhai, recently told the Wall Street Journal that “there weren’t any openly gay business executives as role models” 20 years ago when he was coming out. The new program at Stanford could offer LGBT people an opportunity to not only hone their skills, but also meet other LGBT mentors and peers with similar goals and corporate backgrounds.
The weeklong “bootcamp” for LGBT managers is the first of its kind but will hopefully set precedent for future LGBT business programs around the world.