Beth Brooke-Marciniak and Martine Rothblatt Will Co-Chair The Launch Salon Dinner In March
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.
Out Leadership is a global LGBT business advisory organization that partners with the world’s most influential companies to build business opportunities, cultivate talent, and drive LGBT equality forward. Comprised of 65 member firms from the financial services, technology, legal and insurance industries, and dedicated to cross-industry collaboration, Out Leadership is a certified B Corporation and operates two industry-specific business initiatives: Out on the Street and Out in Law, and three talent initiatives: Quorum, which aims to increase LGBT representation on corporate boards; OutNEXT, the first global talent development program for emerging LGBT leaders; and now OutWOMEN, connecting senior LGBT women in business.
OutWOMEN is an important new platform for Out Leadership and the goal is to bring together senior LGBT executives to create business opportunities and cultivate talent (in the pipeline) – 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 will organize 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.”
Out on the Street connects senior LGBT and Ally executives from major financial services firms to discuss crucial innovations at the intersection of business and LGBT, create business opportunity, cultivate talent, and drive equality forward.
The first global LGBT Leadership organization for the legal industry, by the legal industry, Out in Law connects senior LGBT and Ally lawyers from leading global law firms to discuss crucial innovations at the intersection of LGBT and the law, create business opportunity, cultivate talent, and drive equality forward. Convening at three annual summits in New York, Hong Kong and London, Out in Law leaders collectively set a forward-looking agenda for the global legal industry. Out in Law member firms have access to Out Leadership’s proprietary insights and trainings, as well as to its Talent Initiatives OutNEXT and Quorum.
Quorum is the first initiative to identify and place senior LGBT executives on corporate boards. A quorum is the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at a meeting to validate that meeting’s proceedings. The quality of decisions improves as the diversity of the group making the decisions increases. Every company should ask itself, “Do we have a quorum sufficient to make the best possible decisions?”
Quorum seeks to increase representation of openly LGBT directors on corporate boards. The boardroom is one of the last areas in which LGBT individuals continue to have almost no representation or visibility. Out Leadership estimate that that there are currently fewer than 10 openly LGBT directors of Fortune 500 companies – less than 0.3%. And only two companies in the Fortune 500 reference sexual orientation in their board’s diversity statements.