The recent mass killings of the LGBT community in Orlando, United States have brought the spotlight on this group once again. Earlier this year, a controversial law in North Carolina that sought to place strict limits on the protection granted to the LGBT community saw the business community in the United States up in arms against this regressive regulation.

More than 80 executives from some of the world’s leading tech companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo and Salesforce wrote an open letter condemning the discriminatory law. In recent times, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Computers and Antonio Simoes, the chief executive of HSBC, UK are a few of the business leaders who have come out in the open about their LGBT preferences. While it is still early days, corporations across the world are recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion through this community.

That is why the upcoming LGBT Executive Leadership Program from the Stanford Business School in August 2016, perhaps the first from a leading global business school is important and unique. The program seeks to address the significant gap in leadership and leadership development for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people in the C-suite.

The LGBT Executive Leadership Program will help one:

  • Learn how one’s LGBT identity influences and strengthens one’s personal leadership style
  • Assess and refine one’s interpersonal skills to become a more authentic leader
  • Develop new models and mindsets for innovation using design thinking
  • Strengthen non-verbal and verbal communication skills
  • Think, prepare, and act globally
  • Identify best practices for building LGBT employee networks and career paths within your organization
  • Build a strong network of LGBT peers with whom one can share ideas and experiences


Best of all, one can share this experience with other LGBT executives and build a powerful and personal network to support you and your career for a lifetime, wherever in the world your career takes you.

The week will be filled with interactive classroom sessions, hands-on experiential workshops, small group discussions, roundtable forums, and guest speakers. It starts with a pre-program leadership assessment and on-campus debrief to guide your own personal development. Explore the art of influence and decision making. Discover how mindsets can drive innovation. Learn how to transform insights into outcomes. Build new allies as you help shape the direction of your organization. Share best practices and capture your learnings to extend the experience to your organization and support the next generation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender leaders.

The faculty leads include Sarah A. Soule is the Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Thomas S. Wurster, a Lecturer in Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Says Wurster, “Through an immediate strengthening of their skill sets, particularly around topics like power, authenticity [and], authority, participants will also benefit immediately from a network of peers, and faculty members, and mentors.”