LBS joins Stonewall's Diversity Champion programme

Drive for inclusion and belonging continues 25 years after first LBS LGBTQIA+ network founded

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London Business School is now a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

Stonewall is one of the UK’s leading LGBT charities. Its Diversity Champion programme works with organisations to create inclusive workplaces where all LGBTQIA+ staff feel accepted without exception.

Matthew Foster, co-chair of the School’s LGBTQIA+ and Allies staff network, PROUD@LBS, said the programme would help LBS foster a community where everyone could belong and thrive.

“Stonewall membership is not just a visible signal from the School of its commitment to LGBTQIA+ inclusion – it also gives us access to specialist advice and insights,” he said.

“When founding PROUD@LBS, we were acutely aware that the LGBTQIA+ rainbow is a broad family and we want to be inclusive to all; Stonewall’s expertise will be invaluable in meeting our mission.”

LBS celebrates another important milestone this month: the 25th anniversary of the creation of LBS’s first LGBTQIA+ network.

Known today as Out in Business (OiB), the group is now one of the School’s most active clubs boasting over 900 members. Its flagship annual conference – EUROUT – is the largest LGBTQIA+ business school conference in Europe and regularly attracts leaders from the C-suite level.

Current co-presidents Charul Pant and Maury Ueta said OiB had grown over the years from a social club to now also provide professional development and community involvement.

“For us, it’s not only important that LGBTQIA+ individuals have a place where they can belong, but an environment where they can also develop and challenge themselves," said Maury.

Last year’s EUROUT conference discussed topics around corporate activism, intersectionality and allyship.

“It was definitely one of the highlights on our MBA experience where we live up to OiB’s mission: empowering the community of LGBTQIA+ and Allies within and beyond LBS and creating leaders of consequence,” Charul said.

Maury added: “For the conference’s 10th anniversary in 2020, our theme was 'Look Back, Act Forward' - celebrating the progress of the community thus far and encouraging the attendees to take an active role to keep the progress going.”

OiB’s annual ‘Coming Out Week’, held in the first few weeks of the academic school year, gives members an opportunity to share their powerful coming out stories in the classrooms. The Rugby and Football Clubs also share their stories as Allies.

Charul said: "These moments when students open up with their peers and share their vulnerability goes a long way in deepening the relationship between the LGBTQIA+ community and the Allies. It is also heart-warming to see the school decked up with rainbows in solidarity with the community.”